***Urgent Warning: Danger in Herbal Medicine Supplies***

***Urgent Warning:  
Danger in Herbal Medicine Supplies***

As anyone who has been to our practice knows, we are deeply suspicious of all medical interventions and always ask two questions of any medicine, test, X-ray that might be proposed:
  1. Does it work?
  2. Does it cause more harm than good?
A bad answer to either question leads me to withdraw support for the proposed treatment.

Many suspicions have been raised about pharmaceutical company products, and rightly so.
Many are not effective, and most have harmful side effects.

We spend a lot of our time at Advanced Pediatrics studying what works and what does not, and what problems drugs can cause.

Today, May 26, 2011, the New York Times published a very troubling article describing problems in the manufacture of a category of drug most people believe must be harmless.

This report makes clear that herbal supplements contain very toxic metals and pesticides, frequently.

The metals include lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium.  Each are dangerous, especially to the developing mind of children.

One very disturbing fact is that nearly every dose of Vitamin C taken in the US is now made in China, and many samples of such supplements were found to contain heavy metals.

Other herbal preparations contain toxic levels of pesticides.

This places herbal supplements in the dire position of failing both simple but central tests:
  • With few exceptions, there is little good proof that vitamin and herbal supplements actually help or work.
  • Now that we know much of the supply of these items is laced with lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and pesticide, they clearly can cause more harm than good.
About half of all Americans take vitamin supplements.
About one-quarter take herbal supplements.

At least for our children, it is time to stop a moment and really think about why we would give our children unproven remedies that may contain chemicals that could impair brain function.

Let's apply the same wise caution to vitamin and herbal supplements that we now apply to the pharmaceutical industry.

Advanced Pediatrics recommends that all families cease use of supplemental vitamins and herbal supplements until the safety of the supply of these materials, and proof of them helping, can be assured.

Two exceptions are
1.  The use of folic acid as a supplement to prevent spina bifida in the babies of pregnant women.
2.  The use of pure Vitamin D at 400 IU a day to all children to prevent diabetes and other immune-related disorders.

Be sure, however, that your folic acid and Vitamin D are made by reputable American or European manufacturers.

Dr. Arthur Lavin

*Disclaimer* The comments contained in this electronic source of information do not constitute and are not designed to imply that they constitute any form of individual medical advice. The information provided is purely for informational purposes only and not relevant to any person's particular medical condition or situation. If you have any medical concerns about yourself or your family please contact your physician immediately. In order to provide our patients the best uninfluenced information that science has to offer,we do not accept samples of drugs, advertising tchotchkes, money, food, or any item from outside vendors.

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