Herbal Supplements And Its Effects On Health Conditions

1298 Words Apr 29th, 2015 6 Pages
Since the early 1990’s there has been an increasing trend in the US population using herbal supplements as a means to help prevent or treat health conditions. The industry has grown from 7,000 products in 1994 to a staggering 75,000 in 2008.1 The herbal supplement industry, specifically those containing botanical ingredients, took in nearly 5 billion dollars in revenue in 2012.2 More than half of the population reports using some type of herbal supplement, and more than 20 percent report using supplements with botanical ingredients. It is these botanical ingredients that are often unstudied, falsely labeled and unreported by patients to their healthcare providers.3 The FDA is overwhelmed with supplement feedback and concerns, but removing supplements from the market is no easy task as the FDA must demonstrate significant risk. Consider the case of ephedra weight loss products; linked to hundreds of casualties and other morbitities, it still required more than 10 years to remove from the market.4
The Users Often the socially held idea of someone using herbal supplements is either the muscled fitness devotee or the earth sensitive “hippy” weary of medical science. This is both inaccurate and a dangerous stereotype that anesthesia clinicians should be careful not to believe. In truth the average herbal supplement user is between 40 to 60 years old and a higher prevalence of female gender.7 Though do not be deceived by those generalizations, as the gamut of daily users…
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