January

Vitamin D and Pregnancy

1/05/2013
A recent study shows that low levels of vitamin D in pregnant women are associated with a higher risk of babies born small for their gestational age. For details, see the update in the Vitamin D Supplements Review, which includes our tests of vitamin D supplements and extensive information about the use of vitamin D. More >>

Vitamin D and Knee Arthritis?

1/12/2013
Can taking vitamin D reduce the pain and progression of osteoarthritis of the knee? A new study found no benefit for people who already had sufficient levels of vitamin D. In fact, these people needed more anti-inflammatory medication during the study than those given placebo. However, as seen in many other studies of vitamin D, people who entered the study deficient in vitamin D appeared to benefit from being given vitamin D, experiencing reduced pain. For more details, see the update in the Vitamin D Supplements Review, which includes our tests of vitamin D supplements. If you suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee or other joints, also read about glucosamine and chondroitin, as supplements with these ingredients may help. We have tested many of these products.

More Probiotic Concerns

1/19/2013
According to a published case report, two women recently developed a severely debilitating condition ("eosinophilic syndrome") two to four weeks after taking what appears to be the same "new" probiotic supplement. It's not yet known if these are isolated cases or are there more to come. For more information, see the recent update to the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Toxin in Algae Supplements

1/19/2013
A recently published study found that supplements containing a certain type of algae were all contaminated with a toxin that is a potential carcinogen and can cause liver damage. Get more details in the recent update to the Greens and Whole Foods Powders Review >>

February

Risk from Too Much Calcium from Supplements

2/16/2013
A major study found that adequate intake of calcium from the diet and other sources was associated with a lower risk of men and women dying from cardiovascular disease over the 12-year period of the study. HOWEVER getting over a certain amount of calcium from supplements was associated with 20% higher risk of men dying from cardiovascular disease. For more information, see the recent update to the Calcium Supplements Review >>

Autism and Folic Acid Supplements

2/16/2013
A new study found that women who took folic acid supplements around the time of conception had a significantly reduced risk of bearing a child with autistic disorder. Get more details in the recent update to the folic acid section of the B Vitamins Review >>

Calcium Risk for Women

2/23/2013
A long-term study found that women with high calcium intakes from their diets were 40% more likely to die during the study than women with moderate calcium intake. Worse, the risk of death was 157% higher for women with high dietary calcium intake who also took a calcium supplement. What should you do? Get the details in the recent update to the Calcium Supplements Review and read our latest recommendations on calcium intake in the What You Need to Know section.)

Growth Hormone Supplements -- Do They Help?

2/23/2013
Some supplements promise to raise your level of Human Growth Hormone (hGH) and provide extraordinary benefits, but do they really help? We reviewed the science behind these products, including SeroVital-hgh, which was the subject of a recent clinical trial. Get the details in the updated article on Growth Hormone Supplements >>

Red Yeast Rice Supplements Unchecked

2/23/2013
University researchers recently asked the FDA whether it was testing or keeping track of red yeast rice supplements -- which can lower cholesterol levels. The answer was no. However, the researcher noted, ConsumerLab.com periodically tests these products, checking for levels of active compounds as well as a potential toxin which can occur in red yeast rice. Get more details and results of our product tests in the Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review >>

March

What You Need to Know About Fish Oil

3/09/2013
Most fish oil in supplements is not natural, but is a semi-synthetic form. This affects how much you absorb and new research is revealing other differences. Time to throw out what you take, or switch brands? Probably not, but if you use fish oil, it's worth knowing about these differences. Get the details in the update to the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review (Including Krill, Algae, and Calamari Oil) >>

Concern Over Niacin

3/16/2013
You may have heard that a recent study suggests that supplementing with niacin at high doses does more harm than good. This appears to be true in only certain situations. Get the facts in the update to the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>

More Iron, Less PMS?

3/30/2013
A new study showed that women getting more iron had a significantly lower risk of suffering PMS (premenstrual syndrome) -- but not just any type of iron. Get the details, as well as our ratings of iron supplements, in the updated Iron Supplements Review »

Low Dose of Vitamin K Helps Bone

3/30/2013
Using a much lower dose of vitamin K than in previous studies, a new study found that intake of a particular form of vitamin K decreased age-related decline in bone mineral content and density in certain bones in postmenopausal women. Get the details, as well as our ratings of these supplements, in the updated Vitamin K Supplements Review >>

April

Omega-3s Linked to Less Heart Disease and Longer Life

4/06/2013
A study among older individuals who did not use fish oil supplements showed that those with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood were far less likely to have a heart attack or arrhythmia and were 27% less likely to die during the 14-year study. The reserchers calculated how much EPA and DHA a person should consume to reach this higher blood level and noted that further increases yeild little additional benefit. Get the details, as well as how to get omega-3s from foods, in the updated Fish Oil Supplements Review »

Concern Over Carnitine Causing Cardiovascular Disease

4/13/2013
Intake of L-carnitine from supplements (and from red meat) may foster atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), according to new research. Once ingested, L-carnitine is converted in some people to a compound which reduces the normal clearing of cholesterol from arteries.

For more details, see the updated reviews of B Vitamin Supplements & Energy Drinks and Protein Powders, as some of these products contain L-carnitine. The Acetyl-L-Carnitine Supplements review has also been updated because acetyl-L-carnitine is chemically similar to L-carnitine, suggesting a potential concern.

Does Ginkgo Cause Cancer?

4/20/2013
According to a new study from the government, animals given an extract of Ginkgo biloba for two years developed cancers of the thyroid and liver. Should you be concerned? See the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Ginkgo Biloba Supplements Review for more information, as well our assessment of ginkgo's usefulness, and our tests of ginkgo supplements

May

Vitamin D & Pneumonia

5/04/2013
A new study in men and women ages 53 to 73 found that a low vitamin D level in the blood was almost as strong a risk factor for pneumonia as smoking! Get the details, including the level with lowest risk of pneumonia, in the updated Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Omega-6 for Eczema?

5/04/2013
Supplements with the omega-6 fatty acid GLA from evening primrose oil or borage oil have long been promoted to treat eczema. However, a recent review of data from 27 studies casts doubt on this use. Get more information about this, and about omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, in the updated Black Currant, Borage, Evening Primrose, and Flaxeed Oil Supplements Review >>

Lower Risk of Fibroids With Vitamin D

5/04/2013
A study of women in Washington, D.C. showed that those with higher blood levels of vitamin D had a 32% lower risk of uterine fibroids -- the most common reason for hysterectomy. Unfortunately, most of the women had less than sufficient levels of vitamin D. Find out the levels associated with lowest risk of fibroids, learn how to improve vitamin D levels (without overdoing it), and get the results of our latest product tests in the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Best Supplements for Vision (Macular Degeneration)

5/11/2013
A major new study revealed what combination of supplements is best for slowing progression of macular degeneration -- and which don't seem to help. Get the details, plus quality ratings on over 20 vision supplements in the updated Vision Supplements Review >>

Vitamin D for Infants

5/11/2013
How much is needed and how much is too much? A new study sheds light on what's appropriate for infants. Get the facts and our tests of 55 vitamin D supplements (including baby drops) in the updated Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Magnesium and Bone Health

5/11/2013
New research shows why getting adequate magnesium is important for bones -- but this doesn't mean that you must take a magnesium-containing supplement. Get more information in our updated Magnesium and Calcium-Magnesium Supplements Review >>

Fish Oil No Help for Heart Disease?

5/18/2013
A new study found that taking a fish oil supplement did not reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke in people with multiple risk factors for heart disease. But this doesn't tell the whole story. Get the bottom line on fish oil for heart disease and test results for over 70 fish oil supplements, in the updated Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review >>

Optimum Level of Vitamin D

5/18/2013
New research shows that blood levels which are too low or too high for vitamin D are associated with increased risk of heart attack and earlier death. Find the "sweet spot" for vitamin D levels as well as test results for 55 vitamin D supplements in the updated Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Creatine for Fibromyalgia

5/18/2013
A new study shows that creatine might have a role in boosting muscle strength in patients with fibromyalgia. Get the details, plus quality ratings for creatine supplements in our updated Muscle Enhancers (Creatine and Branched Chain Amino Acids) Review >>

Alzheimer's Changes Slowed with B Vitamins

5/26/2013
A combination of B vitamins was found to slow brain loss in areas of the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease. This same combination of vitamins has also been shown to slow cognitive decline. Get the details on who may (or may not) benefit, dosage, plus test results for over 35 B vitamin supplements in the updated B Vitamin Supplements Product Review >>

Probiotic Reduces Abdominal Fat

5/26/2013
A study found that giving overweight people a strain of probiotic as part of a milk drink led to reductions in abdominal fat over 12 weeks. Those receiving the drink without the probiotic had no improvement. Get details in the updated Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Red Yeast Rice with Sterols?

5/26/2013
It is well known that taking a red yeast rice supplement can cause large reductions in LDL "bad" cholesterol and that sterol or stanol esters can lead to modest reductions. But does combining them result in greater benefits than using either alone? A new study says no. It's unclear, however, whether this is always the case. Get details in the updated Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review >>. Also see the updated, Cholesterol Lowering Supplements Review >>

June

Calcium May Extend Life or Shorten It, Depending on Amount

6/01/2013
The right amount of calcium from supplements may reduce the risk of dying over a period of time for some people, says a new study. But too much calcium does not help. In fact, too much may hurt. Be sure you’re getting the right amount of calcium. Get the details (and our tests of calcium supplements) in the updated Calcium Supplements Review >>. (For a quick summary about calcium dosage, be sure to read the section "What You Need to Know About Calcium Supplements.")

Does CoQ10 Help the Heart?

6/01/2013
It can for people with congestive heart failure, says a new study. Find out more about CoQ10, plus get ratings for 48 supplements in the updated Coenzyme Q10 and Ubiquinol Supplements Review >>

Glucosamine May Increase Eye Pressure

6/01/2013
New research suggests that people with glaucoma or intraocular hypertension could have worsening eye pressure if they take a glucosamine supplement. Get the details (along with our tests of glucosamine and other joint health supplements) in the updated Glucosamine/Joint Health Supplements Review >>

Don't Drink Too Much Tea!

6/01/2013
After publication of our Green Tea Review last month, a CL member emailed us about the potential danger of getting too much fluoride from tea. Although this won't happen from just a few cups of tea daily, there have been recent cases where habitually drinking extremely large amounts of tea has caused "fluorosis" causing bone pain and even tooth loss. See the warning (and our tests of green tea products) in the updated Green Tea Review >>

Curcumin May Help in Rheumatoid Arthritis

6/08/2013
Curcumin (from turmeric) has a range of potential benefits. A recent study suggests it may also help with rheumatoid arthritis. The study used the same curcumin ingredient in some products tested for quality by ConsumerLab.com. Get the details, plus our quality ratings of curcumin supplements, in the updated Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements Review >>

Does Vitamin D Prevent Ear Infection?

6/08/2013
Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D in children appears to reduce mild ear infections, but too much vitamin D may have a downside. Find out the details in our updated Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Vitamin C: Does It Fight Colds?

6/08/2013
A new analysis says it can help – a little. Get the bottom line, plus test results for 27 products, in the updated Vitamin C Supplements Review >>

Fish Oil and Stress

6/15/2013
A new study shows that fish oil may slightly blunt some of the effects of mental stress. Get the details, plus our quality ratings of 74 supplements, in the updated Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review >>

Stimulant Supplements

6/15/2013
Have you ever wondered what taking a stimulant supplement for weight management or energy might do to your body? Researchers recently gave Zantrex-3, Xenedrine EFX, Metabolift, or a brand of Guarana to young men while monitoring their heart rates and other vital signs, and recording side effects. The results raise concerns. Get the details, plus test results for 14 other supplements, in the updated Weight Supplements Review >>

Probiotic for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

6/29/2013
A popular probiotic given in a yogurt appeared to reduce symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome. However, people taking a yogurt without the probiotic did just as well, if not better, over time, raising doubt about the value of the probiotic. For more details, as well as test results and comparisons for 29 probiotic supplements, see the updated Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Vitamin D & Depression

6/29/2013
Women with depression and type 2 diabetes were given high-dose vitamin D for several weeks in a small, pilot study. By the end of the study, vitamin D levels in the blood had risen considerably and mood was significantly improved, as was blood pressure. Although just a pilot study, this is not the first study to suggest that vitamin D may help with depression. For more details, as well as test results and comparisons for 55 vitamin D supplements, see the updated Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

July

Fish Oil for Brain Function

7/06/2013
Healthy people, ages 50 to 75, given a specific fish oil supplement for 6 months experienced significant gains in their performance on visual tasks, reading, and verbal fluency in a recent placebo-controlled study. Brain scans also showed significant gains in the structure and volume of tissue in several areas of the brain. For details about the type and dose of fish oil taken, as well as test results and comparisons for 74 fish and other marine oil supplements, see the updated Fish/Marine Oil (Omega-3) Supplements Review >>

Calcium and Vitamin D to Prevent Fractures

7/06/2013
A large study among post-menopausal women receiving hormone therapy showed a much lower rate of hip fracture among those who received a specific calcium/vitamin D supplement compared to those who did not get the supplement. For details about the supplement, as well as test results and comparisons for 13 calcium/vitamin D supplements, see the updated Calcium Supplements Review >>

Fish Oil Linked to Prostate Cancer?

7/13/2013
Headlines this week about a study showing an association between the fatty acids in fish oil and the development of prostate cancer have stirred concerns about consuming fish and fish oil supplements. For details about this study and studies of other effects of fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as test results and comparisons for 74 fish and other marine oil supplements, see the updated Fish/Marine Oil (Omega-3) Supplements Review >>

Vitamin D May Protect Bones From Aging

7/20/2013
Researchers recently analyzed bone samples from people who were deficient in vitamin D and found changes indicating that the bone had "aged" and was more brittle than bone from people not deficient in vitamin D. For details about this study -- including the levels of vitamin D associated with Vitamin D May Protect Bones from Aging -- Researchers recently analyzed bone samples from people who were deficient in vitamin D and found changes indicating that the bone had "aged" and was more brittle than bone from people not deficient in vitamin D. For details about this study -- including the levels of vitamin D associated with these changes, studies of other effects of vitamin D, as well as test results and comparisons for 55 vitamin D supplements, see the updated Vitamin D Supplements Review >>   

Soy Protein to Prevent Prostate Cancer?

7/20/2013
Prostate cancer occurs less frequently in parts of the world where people eat more soy. So researchers recently gave a soy protein drink, or a placebo drink, to men who previously had prostate cancer to see if it reduced the risk of the cancer recurring. Learn what they found in the updated Protein Powders and Drinks Review >>

Resveratrol May Blunt Positive Effects of Exercise

7/27/2013
Although experiments in animals suggest that resveratrol improves athletic endurance, a new, placebo-controlled study in men found it to blunt some of the positive effects of exercise. Get the details plus test results for 20 resveratrol supplements and more information about resveratrol's effects in the updated Resveratrol Supplements Review >>  

August

Supplement Helps Dry Eye

8/03/2013
A supplement containing omega-6 (from black currant seed oil) and omega-3 fatty acids (from fish oil) was recently shown to improve symptoms of dry eye. Get the details about this formula (plus our test results of other omega-3 and -6 fatty acids supplements) in the updated Black Currant, Borage, Evening Primrose, and Flaxseed Oils Review >>

5-HTP Concern

8/03/2013
Three cases of eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) have been reported among people taking 5-HTP, a compound related to L-tryptophan. EMS is a debilitating immune condition which has occurred in people taking L-tryptophan, but there were no previous reports of it being caused by 5-HTP. Get the details in the the updated review article on L-Tryptophan and 5-HTP >>

New Probiotic Study

8/10/2013
A new study raises questions about the efficacy of taking probiotics to reduce the occurrence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. For more details, as well as test results and comparisons for 29 probiotic supplements, see the updated Probiotic Supplements Review >>   

Vitamin D for Hypertension?

8/17/2013
Some studies have suggested a modest reduction in high blood pressure with vitamin D supplementation. However, a recent study did not find such a benefit - although a closer look reveals why these results may not tell the full story. Get the details, plus more information about vitamin D and cardiovascular health, and test results for 55 vitamin D supplements, in the updated Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Ginseng Reduces Cancer-Related Fatigue

8/17/2013
A well-controlled clinical trial recently showed reduced fatigue among cancer patients given a particular type and dose of ginseng. Get the details, as well as our test results for 16 ginseng supplements, in the updated Ginseng Supplements Review >> 

Antioxidants: Too Much of a Good Thing?

8/24/2013
A new, long-term study of Americans found the risk of dying over the course of the study (about 14 years) was lowest when antioxidant levels in the blood were above the lowest levels (the bottom 20% of the population). However, for people in the top 20% of blood levels for vitamins A and E, the risk of death increased compared to people with moderate levels. For selenium and beta-carotene, there was no significant difference in the death rate between moderate and high levels, although for vitamin C some additional benefit was seen at high, but not the highest, levels.
 
The results suggest that antioxidant supplements may be useful for those who are nutritionally deficient, but, as noted by the researchers, "beyond a certain threshold, higher levels do not lead to additional benefit, and may potentially be toxic." More details (including specific serum levels) are found in the linked updates to the following reviews, which include our test results and quality ratings of products:
 
 
  
  

Chromium Concern

8/31/2013
A new study shows that chromium supplementation can sometimes cause a worsening of insulin sensitivity, raising some concern about its use. For details (as well as test results and comparisons for 8 chromium supplements) see the updated Chromium Supplements Review >>

Calcium During Breast Cancer Treatment

8/31/2013
A recent analysis of clinical studies concluded that supplementation with calcium and vitamin D during breast cancer treatment does not help maintain bone mineral density, although often given for this purpose. Calcium and vitamin D may certainly play other important roles. For more details, as well as test results and comparisons for 33 calcium supplements, see the updated Calcium Supplements Review >>

September

Fish Oil and Arthritis

9/20/2013
A study of several thousand women found those who consumed at least a moderate of amount omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) from fish in their diets had just half the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis over the course of the study than did women with lower intakes.  For details about the amount of omega-3’s and fish consumption associated with preventing arthritis, other uses of omega-3’s, and tests of fish/marine oil supplements, see the Fish/Marine Oil Supplements Review>>

B Vitamin Supplements for Stroke?

9/20/2013
A review of 14 clinical studies suggests that B vitamins may help prevent stroke. However, a deep reading of the report shows the benefit to be slight, at best.  For details about the study, other uses of B vitamins (including B6, B-12, folic acid, niacin and complexes), and tests of these supplements, see the B Vitamin Supplements Review>>  

Green Tea to Treat Fibroids

9/27/2013
A new study suggests that green tea extract may help shrink uterine fibroids (common in women of childbearing age) and reduce symptoms. For details, as well as test results and comparisons of green tea extracts and brewable teas and drinks, see the updated Green Tea Review >>

When Vitamin D Doesn't Help

9/28/2013
A recent study in postmenopausal women in New York showed that taking a vitamin D supplement did not reduce bone loss (based on measurements of markers of bone turnover). However, calcium supplementation did appear to help. Why? It all has to do with how much vitamin D and calcium the women were already getting without the supplements. You can find out the amounts and get more details in the update to the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

October

Vitamin D for Adolescents

10/05/2013
A study found that vitamin D supplementation increased bone density in the hips of adolescent girls, but not of boys. Interestingly, a high dose appeared to have less effect than a low dose. For details, including dosage and our tests of vitamin D supplements, see the updated Vitamin D Supplements Review>>

Vitamin D for Post-Menopausal Women

10/05/2013
A study compared the effects of low-dose and high-dose vitamin D on bone mineral density in post-menopausal women who were also supplemented with calcium. Both dosages helped prevent loss of bone mineral density, but the higher dose was less efficient in reducing bone turnover, i.e., bone loss, contrary to what the researchers expected.  For details, including dosage, see the updated Vitamin D Supplements Review>>

Multivitamins May Improve Breast Cancer Survival

10/12/2013
A study of women with invasive breast cancer found that those who took multivitamins were 30% less likely to die of the disease during the study than women who did not take multivitamins, suggesting a possible role for supplementation. For more information about the study, as well as tests of popular multivitamins, see the updated Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review >> 

Probiotic Helps Prevent Recurrence of Diverticular Disease

10/12/2013
A new study found a major reduction in the recurrence of symptomatic diverticular disease when people were given a specific probiotic. Further reduction occurred with a combination of the probiotic and a prescription medication. For details about the treatment, including dosage, and our tests of probiotic supplements, see the updated  Probiotic Supplements Review >>     

Most Herbal Products Don't Contain Listed Herb

10/12/2013
DNA analysis of 44 herbal products from Canada and the U.S. found that only 48% contained the herb listed on the label and one-third of these products contained contaminants or fillers not listed on the label (Newmaster, BMC Med 2013). Nine percent of products contained only rice or wheat and none of the listed herb. Many cases of herb substitution were reported, including senna (a laxative) in a product labeled as St. John’s wort. Several products were contaminated with feverfew , which should not be consumed by pregnant women and may react with a variety of medications. The researchers, from the University of Guelph in Ontario, did not disclose the identities of the tested products, which were single-ingredient herbs sold as capsules, powders, or tablets. Significant challenges continue to exist for routine use of DNA analysis of herbs, but ConsumerLab.com may use this technique where appropriate in the future, alongside other analytical techniques in its Product Reviews.   

FDA Finds Another Generic Drug Not Equivalent

10/16/2013
According to the FDA, a marketed generic version of the antidepressant buproprion hydrochloride XL (300 mg) is not equivalent to the brand name Wellbutrin XL and the product is being removed from the market. One year ago, another generic version of this drug was removed from the market for the same reason. ConsumerLab.com first reported potential problems with these products in 2007 but the FDA was slow to take action. For details, see the updated in the Wellbutrin vs Generic Budeprion Review >>

November

Caution with Calcium for Women with High Cholesterol

11/02/2013
A study in which women with high cholesterol  were given a daily calcium supplement showed a negative effect in those who were post-menopausal.  Get the details, including the calcium dosage used, in the updated Calcium Supplements Review>>

Too Much Fish Oil May Cause Adverse Effects

11/02/2013
Recent animal studies using EPA and DHA from fish oil suggest that very high intakes may dampen immunity. Might you be getting too much? Find out in the update to the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review>>

Amino Acids Speed Recovery From Knee Surgery

11/09/2013
A study of men and women receiving knee replacement surgery showed that taking essential amino acids (including branched-chain amino acids) twice daily before and after surgery reduced muscle loss and speeded recovery. For details, including dosage, plus our reviews of amino acid supplements, see the updated Muscle Enhancers Review >> 

Latest Supplement Recommendations

11/16/2013
New draft recommendations on vitamin and mineral supplement use were published this week by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The recommendations apply only to healthy adults without nutritional deficiencies. They focus only on the use of supplements for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer at doses not exceeding tolerable upper intake levels. The recommendations are based on existing science and are generally consistent with information already presented in ConsumerLab.com’s Product Reviews.  We have summarized the recommendations below, with links to more information in ConsumerLab.com’s reports:

- Beta-Carotene and Vitamin E:  Supplementation with either does not provide a benefit. Vitamin E does not pose a risk of harm, but beta-carotene increases the risk of lung cancer in people at risk for lung cancer.

- Other Single Vitamins, Minerals, Pairs, and Multivitamins: There is inadequate evidence regarding a benefit or a risk of harm.

The task force stressed that at excessive doses (above tolerable upper intake levels) there is evidence of harm with supplementation, such as with vitamin A and vitamin D

Probiotics for Oral Health?

11/16/2013
For people with periodontitis (inflammation around the teeth), a new study showed a probiotic lozenge resulted in additional improvement over standard dental scaling and chlorhexidine rinse. Get the details, as well as our tests of probiotics, in the updated Probiotic Supplements Review>>

Lower Vitamin D in Blacks May Be Sufficient

11/27/2013
The traditional method of assessing vitamin D levels may not be appropriate for most black people, according to a new study. Due to a genetic variant, this approach classifies many black individuals as "deficient" in vitamin D although their levels may be adequate. For details see the update to the  Vitamin D Supplements Review >> 

December

B-12 Deficiency and Acid Inhibitors

12/13/2013
A large, new study found the risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency to be significantly higher among people taking proton pump inhibitors (e.g., Prevacid, Prilosec) or H2-blockers (e.g., Pepcid, Zantac) than among those not taking these medications. The drugs reduce acid production in the stomach, but acid is needed to release B-12 from foods, so deficiency can occur. B-12 supplements can help because acid is not needed for their absorption. For details -- and our reviews of supplements with vitamin B-12 -- see the updated B Vitamin Supplements Review >>   

Other supplements which should or should not be used with these medications are discussed in the Proton Pump Inhibitors article, which is part of the extensive Drug Interactions section of our website (where you can look up interactions for other drugs you may be taking.) 

Probiotic Significantly Reduces Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea

12/20/2013
A new study using a combination of probiotic organisms reduced the incidence of diarrhea by half among hospitalized individuals receiving antibiotics. Two doses were tried, and the higher dose was more effective. For details about this probiotic and how it was taken, along with additional information and our tests of probiotics, see the updated Probiotic Supplements Review >>    

More Evidence of What Multivitamins Don't Do

12/21/2013
Several new studies about multivitamins were published this week. The bottom line: In well-nourished people, multivitamins don't reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or overall-mortality, nor improve cognition and memory. Although some studies have suggested a modest benefit in reducing the risk of certain cancers, no clear cancer benefit for multivitamins has been established. For more information, see the updates to the Multivitamins and Multimineral Supplements Review >>  

Liver Toxicity with Supplements, Including Green Tea

12/22/2013
An increase in cases of liver toxicity associated with dietary supplement use has recently been reported. In an article about the findings, The New York Times reports that bodybuilding supplements and products containing green tea extracts are among those associated with such cases. For more information about green tea extracts and toxicity, see the Concerns and Cautions section of the Green Tea Supplements Review >>