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> Monday, February 1st, 2010 > Sports > Fun and Fitness: Be aware of “natural” dangers
Fun and Fitness: Be aware of “natural” dangers
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Rick Melo
Published: Monday, February 1st, 2010
Natural health products have seen a steady jump in popularity over the last few decades. They are used in many forms including herbal products, vitamin and mineral supplements, traditional Chinese and other traditional medicines. Many users take a natural health product on a daily basis and luckily for them, most of these products have a supporting history of safe use. However, just like anything else in life, there always seems to be advancements, and the natural health product industry is no exception.
Many people assume that because a product is “natural” then it must be “safe.” The reality is that these natural products, much like drugs, may have serious side effects. Anything that has an effect on the body also has the potential to be a health risk. So before you decide to hop on the next best trendy natural health product out there, you need to take some things into consideration.
Be aware that taking any product for a self-diagnosed condition may be serious. Be sure to note any allergies you have and ensure the product you’re considering doesn’t contain any of these allergy-inducing ingredients. You also need to evaluate interactions the product may have with other prescription drugs, medicines, or herbal products. Products can enhance or reduce effects of other products, resulting in side effects or overdose. We also have many individual biological differences so it’s important to realize that each of us will differ in how we respond to natural health products.
Before taking any natural health product, you should ask yourself the following; is the product approved nationally? Are the health claims of the product realistic and is there any scholarly research to support its efficacy? And most importantly, should you consult your doctor before taking the product? I’ll answer the last one for you – ALWAYS!
It gets even more complicated if you’re a pregnant woman, or a parent deciding whether or not to give a specific product to your child. In either case, be sure to take all the precautions necessary to ensure safety. I don’t think I need to remind you of Heath Ledger’s accidental overdose to convey the seriousness of it all.