January

Supplement vs. Prescription Fish Oil?

1/01/2017
As we have written before, by choosing an extremely concentrated fish oil supplement, you can get essentially the same type of fish oil as you would get from a prescription fish oil. But according to a recent study, fish oil supplements are more likely to be rancid (oxidized) than prescription fish oil. However, a closer look at the study by ConsumerLab staff suggests that this finding may be misleading, as explained in the "Quality Concerns" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review >>

Reducing Asthma Risk in Children With Fish Oil

1/02/2017
A major new study showed that giving fish oil to pregnant women reduces the risk of asthma and wheezing in their offspring. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review >>

Headache and Vitamin D

1/06/2017
A large study of middle-aged men found that those with low levels of vitamin D in their blood were twice as likely to have frequent headaches as men with higher levels. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Potential Risk with High B-12

1/09/2017
Among people who are malnourished, those with elevated vitamin B-12 levels in their blood were twice as likely to die when hospitalized as those with lower B-12 levels, according to a new study. The study authors suggest caution with inappropriate supplementation. For more details about the study, and vitamin B-12, see the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>

CoQ10 for Fibromyalgia

1/09/2017
CoQ10 reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with fibromyalgia, according to a preliminary study. Get the details, including dosage, in the "What It Does" section of the CoQ10 and Ubiquinol Supplements Review >>

High-Dose Vitamin D Reduces Respiratory Infections, But With a Risk

1/09/2017
A study among older men and women found those who took high-dose vitamin D had fewer acute respiratory infections, but a greater number of falls. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Melatonin Quality Concern

1/12/2017
A recent Canadian study found that 71% of melatonin supplements did not contain within 10% of labeled amounts of melatonin. Certain types were more likely to be off-the-mark than others. For details, and our own tests of (U.S.) products, see the "Quality Concerns" section of the Melatonin Supplements Review >>

Enzymes for Muscle Soreness

1/13/2017
A blend of enzymes reduced delayed-onset muscle soreness after exercise in healthy men. For details, see the "What They Do" section of the Digestive Enzyme Supplements Review >>

Fish Oil for Migraine

1/13/2017
Although the evidence to-date has been mixed on whether taking fish oil reduces migraine headaches, a recent placebo-controlled study showed a significant benefit for fish oil when taken along with a prescription medication. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review >>

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Bone Fracture Risk

1/16/2017
A recent study found that higher consumption of extra virgin olive oil was associated with a 51% reduction in the risk of osteoporosis-related bone fractures. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Red Yeast Rice Concerns

1/16/2017
A review of adverse events associated with the use of red yeast rice products in Italy led researchers to suggest monitoring for signs of muscle and liver injury when using red yeast rice. For more details, see the "Cautions and Concerns" section of the Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Fish Oil and Bleeding Risk

1/19/2017
A recently reported tragic case highlights the concern over taking fish oil when on a blood-thinning medication. For more information, see the "Cautions and Concerns" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Reason for Olive Oil Defects?

1/19/2017
We recently noticed that all three of the extra virgin olive oils which failed to be Approved in our recent review share something in common. For details, see the "What CL Found" section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Side-Effect With B-12

1/19/2017
Certain formulations of vitamin B-12 contain additional ingredients that can cause diarrhea and bloating in some people — particularly if taking more than one pill. An apparent case of this was reported to us this week. To help you avoid this, read the details in the "What CL Found" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Questioning Curcumin

1/23/2017
A critical analysis of curcumin by several experts indicates that it may not be as useful as many believe. For more, see the "What It Does" section of the Turmeric/Curcumin Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Omega-3s for Cognitive Decline

1/27/2017
Daily supplementation with the omega-3s DHA and EPA modestly improved cognitive function in older men and women with mild cognitive decline. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Omega-3s for Arthritis

1/30/2017
A review of twenty-two clinical studies using omega-3 fatty acid supplements from various marine sources (fish oil, mussel oil, etc.) found they could be effective in reducing rheumatoid arthritis pain, particularly when the oils had a certain ratio of EPA to DHA. The oils were not effective for osteoarthritis. For more details, see the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

February

Cognitive Decline With Too Little B6

2/02/2017
A recent study among men and women in their 60's found that those getting inadequate amounts of vitamin B6 in their diets had much higher rates of cognitive decline. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Caution: Turmeric Drug Interaction

2/03/2017
It was recently reported that a man consuming large daily amounts of turmeric experienced kidney toxicity, likely due to an interaction between turmeric and the drug he was taking. Get more details about this and other drug interactions with turmeric, curcumin, and piperine (a black pepper extract often added to curcumin supplements) in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Turmeric/Curcumin Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Many Benefits of Magnesium

2/03/2017
An analysis of studies involving more than one million people found that rates of stroke, heart failure, type 2 diabetes, and death were lower when intakes of magnesium were higher. For details see the "What It Does" section of the Magnesium Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Colon Polyps and Green Tea

2/06/2017
A study of middle-aged men and women found that those given green tea extract after colon polyp removal were much less likely to develop additional polyps than those who did not take the extract. For details about the extract and dose, see the "What It Does" section of the Green Tea Supplements Review (which includes our tests of supplements and teas) >>

High-Dose Resveratrol Increases "Bad" Cholesterol

2/09/2017
A study of middle-aged men with metabolic syndrome found that high doses of resveratrol increased levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Resveratrol Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Probiotics and Weight?

2/12/2017
Several studies, including a recent one in Brazil, suggest that probiotics can help with weight reduction or other aspects of slimming. The studies published to-date, however, have limitations. For more details, see the "What It Does" section of the Probiotics Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Vitamin D Reduces Risk of Colds & Flu

2/15/2017
A study released today shows that taking vitamin D in a certain way reduces the risk of cold and flu infections by up to 70%. The benefits are greatest for people very deficient in vitamin D. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Selenium and Ovarian Cancer

2/17/2017
A recent study found that women with the highest intakes of selenium from supplements had a much lower risk of ovarian cancer than those not getting selenium from supplements. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Selenium Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Mediterranean Diet with Olive Oil Improves Depression

2/20/2017
A recent study found that men and women with major depression who consumed a Mediterranean diet with olive oil had significant improvement in symptoms compared to those who maintained their typical diet. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Olive Oil Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Does Your Multivitamin Have Too Much Folic Acid?

2/21/2017
Folic acid is in multivitamins because it is provides the essential B vitamin, folate. Getting too much folate, however, carries risks. What most people don't know is that you actually get 70% more folate from folic acid than labels currently reveal and many supplements expose you to amounts of folate which are not only way above what you need but over the daily limit for tolerable intake. Companies now have until mid-2018 or later correct their labels, but until then you may be in the dark.

To find out which multivitamins exceed the tolerable limit for folate, see the update in the Multivitamins Review. You'll also learn how the daily requirements for many other nutrients have changed and differ from what labels currently tell you.

Lutein for Stress?

2/24/2017
Supplementing with lutein can help some people protect against macular degeneration of the eye. A new study suggests it may also reduce stress. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Review of Vision Supplements with Lutein and Zeaxanthin (which includes our tests of products) >>

Magnesium for Leg Cramps?

2/27/2017
Magnesium supplements are sometimes promoted for leg cramps. However, a recent study among older men and women found that taking a particular form of magnesium at bedtime did not reduce nighttime leg cramps. Get the details about the study, plus other uses of magnesium, in the "What It Does" section of the Magnesium Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Timing Probiotics with Antibiotics Is Key

2/27/2017
Probiotics can reduce the risk of C. difficile infection due to antibiotics by nearly 70% if probiotics are started at the right time, according to a new study. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Probiotic Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

March

Probiotic for Allergy

3/03/2017
A recent study showed that taking a probiotic during allergy season reduced symptoms more than did a placebo — although not by much. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Statin Drugs and Vitamin D

3/03/2017
If you take a statin drug to lower cholesterol, take note that recent studies show it is particularly important that you keep up your level of vitamin D. Also be aware that vitamin D supplements may not raise your vitamin D level quite as much as if you were not taking a statin. For details, see the "Statin Drugs and Vitamin D" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Better Executive Functioning with Vitamin D

3/05/2017
Getting adequate vitamin D appears to help with executive functioning and attention in adolescents, according to a new study — similar to what has been preliminarily shown in men. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Can High-Dose Vitamin D Backfire?

3/10/2017
A recent study found that taking very high doses of vitamin D increases the production of an enzyme which inactivates vitamin D in the body -- which may help to explain why taking very high-dose vitamin D has been linked with adverse effects such as muscle weakness and increased risk of fractures and falls in previous studies. For details, see the "How Much Do You Need?" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Prebiotics for Appetite Control?

3/10/2017
A study suggests that a prebiotic supplement may be helpful for appetite control — although more research is needed. Prebiotics fuel the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. For more information about the study and prebiotics (including how to get prebiotics from foods), see the "Prebiotics" section of the Probiotics Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

When Does Fish Oil Help the Heart?

3/13/2017
There are new recommendations on the use of fish oil supplements with regard to preventing heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure. More about these recommendations and other uses of fish oil are found in the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Juice Plus+?

3/14/2017
Chronic systemic inflammation is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. A recent clinical trial assessed the product Juice Plus+ for its ability to reduce this inflammation in obese men and women. The abstract of the published study indicates that it works, but the results tell a different story. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Greens and Whole Foods Powders, Pills, and Drinks Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Tea Drinking Associated with Less Cognitive Decline

3/17/2017
A new study found tea drinkers to have significantly less cognitive decline than others. Read the details in the "What It Does" section of the Green Tea Supplements Review (which includes our tests of teas) >>

Problem With Aloe Gel

3/20/2017
We received a report from a consumer who used a popular aloe gel on her hair, with disastrous results. The product had failed our tests for aloe and listed as "Not Approved" in our Review. For details, see the Updates near the top of the Aloe Liquids, Gels and Supplements Review >>

Right Dose of Vitamin D to Reduce Falls

3/24/2017
As we've reported in the past, vitamin D can reduce falls in older people, but too much can increase falls. A new study helps nail down the ideal dose and blood level to reduce falls. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

DHA for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

3/24/2017
A new study tested DHA from microalgae as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. The results are mixed. For details, see the "Rheumatoid Arthritis" section of the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Supplements Review >>

DHA to Boost Children's IQ?

3/25/2017
Supplementing with DHA during pregnancy has been touted as a way to increase the IQ of offspring, but results published this week seem to quash that hope. However, there may be other benefits, particularly for women with normally low intake of DHA, as discussed in the section "During Pregnancy: Effects on Children" in the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review >>

Toxin in Algae Supplements

3/27/2017
Some Spirulina supplements and many A. flos-aquae supplements were found to be contaminated with microcystin toxin — a liver toxin, according to a recently published study. For details, see the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Greens and Whole Food Supplements Review >>

Vitamin E/Selenium & Alzheimer's

3/28/2017
A long-term study among men in the U.S. found that giving high doses of vitamin E and/or selenium did not significantly affect their risk of developing dementia. The study was part of a larger study which found that these supplements increased the risk of prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes, hair loss, and dermatitis. For details, see the "Alzheimer's disease/dementia" section of the Selenium Supplements Review >>

Vitamin D and Cancer

3/31/2017
Although studies have shown that sufficient vitamin D in the blood is associated with lower risk of developing and dying from cancer, a new study among women found no cancer benefit from taking vitamin D supplements. However, the study had a major weakness. For details, see the "What It Does -- Cancer" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

April

Curcumin for Muscle Soreness?

4/03/2017
Several studies have evaluated curcumin to reduce muscle soreness, pain, and loss of power after exercise. The most recent study showed little benefit. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the new Turmeric/Curcumin Supplements & Spices Review >>

Don't Bother with High-Dose Vitamin D

4/04/2017
Taking a moderate dose of vitamin D (particularly if you are deficient) can be very helpful, but a growing number of studies show a lack of benefit (and some adverse effects) with high-dose vitamin D. The latest study, released this morning, focused on cardiovascular disease. For details, see the "Cardiovascular disease" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Exercise Benefit Lost With High-Dose Vitamins

4/07/2017
Older men asked to perform resistance (strength) training for 12 weeks showed less gain in bone density if they were given high daily doses of vitamins C & E than if they were given a placebo. This is not the first time that  high-dose antioxidant supplements have been shown to reduce benefits from exercise. For details, see the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Vitamin C Supplements Review >>

Omega-3s for Age-Related Cognitive Decline?

4/07/2017
A recent study found DHA and EPA from fish oil did not slow cogntive decline in older adults with cognitive difficulties. However, other studies suggest there may be a benefit if taken before the onset of cognitive decline or dementia. For details, see the "Age-Related Cognitive Decline" section of the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review >>

Melatonin vs. Light Therapy for Sleep

4/11/2017
A recent study found that melatonin was slightly better than light therapy in helping children fall asleep. The overall results, however, may have been better with a lower dose. For details see the "What It Does" section of the Melatonin Supplements Review >>

Probiotic Reduces Diabetes Risk In Pregnancy

4/14/2017
Taking a certain type of probiotic during pregnancy reduced the risk of gestational diabetes, according to a new study. For details see the "What It Does" section of the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Chocolate May Reduce Diabetes Risk

4/14/2017
"Occasional" consumption of chocolate was associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes among certain postmenopausal women, according to new study. For details about this and other effects of chocolate, see the "What It Does" section of the Cocoa Powders, Dark Chocolate, Extracts, Nibs, & Supplements Review >>

Niacin & Skin Cancer

4/18/2017
People who don't get enough niacin each day may be able to lower their risk of developing squamous cell skin cancer by getting a bit more niacin from their food or supplements suggests a recent analysis. However, this doesn't mean you should overdo it. For details, see the "Niacin" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review. You can also find foods high in niacin using the food table in the report.

Olive Oil Lowers Diabetes Risk

4/22/2017
Consuming a certain amount of olive oil daily reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 13%, according to a new study. Consuming more than this amount did not reduce the risk further. Get the details, and see our tests of popular oils, in the "What It Does" section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oils Review >>

Choline May Increase Heart Risk

4/24/2017
A recent study found that taking choline supplements increased the tendency for platelets to aggregate, a risk factor for heart disease, suggesting that choline supplements should be avoided. For details see the Concerns and Cautions section of the Choline Supplements Review >>

Vitamin D for Muscle and Balance?

4/27/2017
Why did a recent study show that both high and low-dose vitamin D didn't improve muscle strength or balance in women despite the fact that other studies have shown vitamin D to help? The likely answer has to do with the vitamin D status (i.e., blood levels) of the people chosen to participate in these studies. To find out what you should do to improve your balance and reduce your chance of falling, see the "Muscle, Balance and Falls" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

May

Ashwagandha Improves Memory

5/02/2017
An 8-week study among men and women with mild cognitive impairment found ashwagandha root extract to improve many aspects of cognitive function compared to placebo. Studies have shown a range of benefits with ashwagandha, particularly in reducing stress and anxiety, although studies have been small. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Ashwagandha Supplements Review >>

Zinc for Shortening Colds

5/03/2017
Two different forms of zinc were found to work equally as well for reducing the duration of colds -- by as much as three days. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Zinc Supplements and Lozenges Review >>

Trouble Reported With Saw Palmetto

5/05/2017
A 64 year-old man developed pancreatitis and heart block (dangerously slow heart rate) after supplementing with saw palmetto, according to a recent report. For details, see the "Cautions and Concerns" section of the Prostate Supplements Review >>

Curcumin and Muscle Soreness

5/08/2017
A recent study found a particular curcumin formula helped reduce soreness after exercise – although this has not been the case in other studies with different formulas. Find out what might help you in the "What It Does" section of the Turmeric/Curcumin Supplements Review >>

Early Menopause & Vitamin D

5/10/2017
Women who get more vitamin D from their diets have a lower risk of early menopause, according to a recent study. However, supplements don't seem to help. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

What Iron Supplements Can and Cannot Do

5/17/2017
Iron supplements can reduce fatigue in younger women and even improve learning in adolescent girls. If you give blood, taking iron reduces your time to recover by more than one month. However, a recent study found little benefit in giving iron to heart failure patients low in iron. Researchers have an idea why. For details about the uses of iron, see the "What It Does" section of the Iron Supplements Review, which includes our tests and comparisons of popular iron supplements.

POTS and Thiamin

5/23/2017
A small study among people who suffer from POTS (postural tachycardia syndrome) suggested that supplementing with thiamin (vitamin B-1) may help some. For details, see the Thiamin (B-1) section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>

Stroke Risk with Calcium

5/23/2017
A new study shows that high-dose calcium supplements may double the risk of stroke in men and women. The risk of heart attack is also increased, as shown in other studies. However, there are ways to take calcium without this risk and still get bone health benefits. For details, see the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Calcium Supplements Review >>

Red Yeast Rice Better Than Statin?

5/25/2017
Red yeast rice lowered cholesterol as well as a statin drug but with a lower rate of muscular side-effects, according to a new study. Other studies have shown similar results. But is red yeast rice right for you? There are pros and cons. See the "What It Does" section of the Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review for more details. Also see "What CL Found" when popular brands of this supplement were tested.

Probiotic Reduces Depression in IBS

5/25/2017
A probiotic significantly decreased depression in men and women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a recent study. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Heart Risk Lower with Chocolate

5/29/2017
Eating chocolate is associated with a reduced risk of developing atrial fibrillation, according to a large, long-term study. Atrial fibrillation is associated with higher risk of stroke, heart failure and other serious problems. Details about this and other benefits of chocolate are found in the "What It Does" section of the Chocolate and Cocoa Powders Review, which includes our findings for the flavanol content and contamination levels of popular products.

Olive Oil Helps in Pre-Diabetes

5/29/2017
Adding extra virgin olive oil to a meal decreased the rise in blood sugar and increased insulin levels after the meal, according to a new study in people with pre-diabetes. Similar benefits with olive oil have been shown in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. For details, see the "Insulin Control and Blood Sugar" section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oils Review, which includes our tests and comparisons of popular olive oils on the market.

June

Curcumin for Ulcerative Colitis?

6/01/2017
Some studies have found curcumin helpful when added to medical treatment for ulcerative colitis, but a recent study found no benefit. Find out how this study was different and learn more about other uses of curcumin in the "What It Does" section of the Turmeric & Curcumin Supplements Review, which includes CL's tests and comparisons of popular brands.

Spoiled Fish Oil Is Less Effective

6/06/2017
Spoiled fish oil does not lower LDL "bad" cholesterol, while the same amount of non-spoiled fish oil does, according to a new study. If you take fish oil to improve your cholesterol levels, it would seem best to use a product that is not spoiled — something ConsumerLab tests for. (It may also be best to choose an oil in the triglyceride form, rather than the ethyl ester form). For details, see the "Quality Concerns" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks among fish oils.

Chondroitin Matches Celebrex for Knee Pain

6/06/2017
A type of chondroitin was found to reduce the pain of knee osteoarthritis as much as the drug Celebrex, although not as quickly. Due to potential side-effects with Celebrex, the researchers suggested that this form of chondroitin be considered a first-line therapy for knee osteoarthritis. For details, including dosage, see the "What It Does" section of the Joint Supplements Review (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, and Boswellia), which includes CL's tests and comparisons of products.

How To Get Vitamin K From Food

6/07/2017
Many of the benefits of vitamin K - such as proper blood clotting and calcium utilization for bone and heart health - are associated with getting adequate vitamin K from foods. The good news? Brand new research has found much higher amounts of vitamin K2 (the form associated with cardiovascular benefits) in dairy foods than previously known. However, the amounts vary tremendously depending on whether these foods are full-fat, or reduced-fat or fat-free. Get the details in the "Vitamin K from food" section of the Vitamin K Supplements Review. If you're interested in a vitamin K supplement, see our Top Picks among brands.

Vitamin D & Alzheimer's Disease

6/09/2017
Older people with insufficient levels of vitamin D had nearly triple the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease that those with sufficient levels, according to a recent study. Those with the lowest levels also experienced a faster rate of cognitive decline. Get the details and information about optimal vitamin D levels in the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review, which includes our Top Picks among supplements.

Hip Fracture Risk With Too Much B-6

6/09/2017
A new study found that older men and women who took a high daily dose of vitamin B-6 had a 42% increased risk of hip fracture. Get the details in the "Vitamin B-6" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review. Also, be aware that many supplements on the market contain the amount of B-6 used in this study, or more, in a daily serving! For help choosing a B-Complex or B-6 supplement that suits your needs without providing too much B-6, see our Top Picks among B vitamin supplements.

Best Iron?

6/13/2017
Contrary to expectations, a study which compared the effectiveness of two forms of iron in treating anemia in young children found ferrous sulfate to be more effective than a newer form of iron. For details about this, the different forms of iron, how to take iron, and our tests and comparisons of brands of iron supplements, see the Iron Supplements Review >>

Warning: Biotin Can Affect Thyroid Tests

6/19/2017
Vitamins that contain megadoses of biotin (vitamin B7) can affect thyroid tests, according to recent studies. This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of hyperthyroidism and improper treatment. See the "Biotin" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>

B12 Can Cause Acne

6/19/2017
Taking very large doses of vitamin B12 can cause outbreaks of acne -- even in older people, according to a recent report. Learn more in the "B12" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>

Red Yeast Rice Variability

6/23/2017
While red yeast rice can significantly reduce high levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, a recently published analysis of 28 brands re-emphasized the fact that amounts of active, cholesterol-lowering compounds can range from none to potent levels, yet this information is not found on labels. Read about the recent study and find out which products ConsumerLab has identified as the least and most potent in the Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review >>

Some Concern About Theobromine in Dark Chocolate

6/27/2017
ConsumerLab's tests of dark chocolates show them to contain about as much theobromine (a caffeine-related stimulant) as heart-healthy flavanols. So is all this theobromine good or bad? A recent study suggests that it may be an issue for people who need to control their blood sugar, while, on the positive side, it lowers LDL "bad" cholesterol. Get the details in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Cocoa Powders, Dark Chocolate, Extracts, Nibs, & Supplements Review, which includes comparisons of the amounts of theobromine in popular products, as well as amounts of flavanols, caffeine, and contaminants.

Choline Missing From Prenatals

6/28/2017
The American Medical Association recently voted to recommend that all prenatal vitamins include appropriate amounts of choline. Getting adequate choline may reduce the risk of birth defects in children, but most women don't get enough and prenatal vitamins typically provide little to none. Find out how to get adequate choline from supplements and/or foods in the Choline Supplements Review, which includes our Top Picks. Also see the "Prenatal Vitamin" section of the Multivitamin Supplements Review.

July

Extra Protein Enhances Training

7/01/2017
Even among untrained, middle-aged men, adding protein supplementation to resistance training leads to greater improvements in lean body mass (i.e., more muscle) than the training alone, according to a new study. Find out how much protein helped in the "What It Does" section of the Protein Supplements Review. The Review includes our test-based, quality ratings and comparisons of popular protein powders and drinks.

Dark Chocolate & Appetite

7/04/2017
A recent study found that women consumed fewer calories after eating dark chocolate than after eating milk or white chocolate. Dark chocolate also resulted in better blood sugar control — an effect noted in other studies of moderate consumption of dark chocolate. Get the details on this and other effects of dark chocolate in the "What It Does" section of the Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Review, which includes our tests and comparisons of popular products.

Magnesium Lowers Risk of Fracture

7/07/2017
Higher intake of magnesium from the diet and supplements was found to significantly reduce the risk of fractures in a study of older men and women. Details are in the "What It Does" section of the Magnesium Supplements Review, which includes our Top Picks among products.

Vitamin D2 or D3?

7/08/2017
Although both the D2 and D3 forms of vitamin D can raise blood levels of vitamin D, a new study showed one to be significantly better than the other — and there are some interesting explanations for this. Learn more in the "What to Consider When Using" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review, which includes our Top Picks.

Fat Fish vs. Lean Fish

7/11/2017
If you are trying to control your blood sugar, it turns out that your choice of fish can make a difference. Learn more in the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. The review includes our Top Picks among omega-3 supplements.

Lutein May Reduce Eye Strain and Headaches

7/14/2017
Taking a combination of lutein and other carotenoids may help reduce eye strain, fatigue, headaches and sleep problems associated with extended time spent in front of computer screens. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of our Vision Supplements Review. The Review includes our tests and quality comparisons of popular vision supplements.

Fish Oil for Depression

7/18/2017
A number of studies have reported on whether taking fish oil can help with depression. The most recent study found a benefit using an amount and type of fish oil generally in-line with what other studies suggest works best. See the details in the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Review. The Review includes our tests, comparisons, and Top Picks for products.

Does MSM Help Joints and Muscles?

7/22/2017
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is commonly in supplements for joint and muscle pain, although the evidence behind it has been limited. Its effectiveness in reducing pain, muscle damage, and oxidative stress was recently evaluated in people running a half-marathon. See the results in the "What It Does" section of the Joint Health Supplements Review (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, and Boswellia), which includes our Top Picks among products.

How Vitamin B6 May Backfire

7/25/2017
Supplementing with high-dose vitamin B6 can sometimes cause the same nerve toxicity associated with deficiency of B6. New research explains why this may happen and suggests how to avoid it. For details, see the "Vitamin B6" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>

Fish Oil for Endurance

7/28/2017
High-dose fish oil may help to increase exercise endurance, according to a new study, adding to evidence of other beneficial effects of fish oil on muscle mass and strength. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review, which includes our Top Picks among products.

Melatonin Increases Aggression

7/28/2017
A study among young men found melatonin to modestly increase aggressive behavior. For more about this and other potential side effects of melatonin see the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Melatonin Supplements Review (which also includes our Top Picks among products).

August

Iron for Restless Legs

8/01/2017
Iron supplementation may help to reduce the severity of restless legs syndrome (RLS) symptoms in people who have deficient or low levels of iron, according to guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology. For details, including dosage, see the "What It Does" section of the Iron Supplements Review, which also includes our tests and quality comparisons of products.

Magnesium Cream?

8/05/2017
Is rubbing a cream into your skin a good way to get magnesium? We reviewed several studies of magnesium creams or sprays, including one just recently published. See what we found in the "What It Does" section of the Magnesium Supplements Review -- which includes our Top Picks among magnesium supplements.

Problem with 60% of Berberine Supplements

8/14/2017
Berberine is a popular supplement for glucose control, but a recent study of 15 products in the U.S. found that nine contained only 33% to 89% of claimed amounts of berberine. You can find out which brands were low and which had acceptable amounts, and learn about the clinical evidence for berberine and cautions in the CL Answer about Berberine >>

Curcumin for Cancer?

8/22/2017
Curcumin (from turmeric) has shown potentially beneficial biological effects with regard to cancer, although it has not been shown to cause clinical improvements. Nevertheless, a case was recently reported of a woman with myeloma who was stabilized with curcumin treatment. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Turmeric/Curcumin Review >>

High-Dose B Vitamins & Cataract Risk

8/25/2017
Taking high doses of B vitamins, including B vitamin complexes, folic acid and B6, was associated with a higher risk of age-related cataracts among middle-aged men and women, according to a new study. For details, see the "ConsumerTips" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>

Does Lithium Prevent Dementia?

8/26/2017
A new study found the risk of developing dementia to be significantly lower in areas with higher levels of lithium in the drinking water. This finding is consistent with a study that found low-dose lithium to stabilize patients with Alzheimer's disease. Details about these studies are in the "What It Does" section of the Low-Dose Supplements Review, which includes our Top Picks among low-dose lithium supplements.

High-Dose B Vitamins & Lung Cancer Risk

8/28/2017
A recent study found that taking high doses of vitamins B6 and B12 was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer among men, particulary among those who smoke. For details, see the "ConsumerTips" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>

Probiotic for Dandruff?

8/29/2017
A probiotic was shown to significantly reduce the signs and symptoms of dandruff in a placebo-controlled, 2-month study. See the "What It Does" section of our Probiotic Supplements Review for details >>

September

Ashwagandha & Thyroid Function

9/01/2017
Ashwagandha extract improved thyroid hormone levels in men and women with subclinical hypothyroidism in a new study. See the details in the "What It Does" section of our Ashwagandha Supplements Review -- which includes our Top Pick among ashwagandha supplements.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Aids Fat Loss

9/01/2017
A study among overweight women found that substituting extra virgin olive oil for another plant oil led to greater losses of body fat during dieting. See the details in the "What It Does" section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oils Review -- which includes our Top Picks among extra virgin olive oils.

Turmeric for Arthritis?

9/05/2017
Curcumin (from turmeric) has shown promise in reducing the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis in several small studies, including one that was recently published. However, larger studies are needed to prove this benefit. Details are found in the "What It Does" section of the Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements Review (which includes our Top Picks among products).

Lower Cognitive Function in Kids Linked to High Prenatal Folic Acid

9/05/2017
Children of mothers who took high amounts of folic acid around the time of pregnancy had lower cognitive and verbal scores when tested at 4 to 5 years of age, according to a new study. Similarly, as we reported last year, pregnant women with higher levels of folate (from folic acid) had offspring with higher rates of autism. While it is important that pregnant women get a moderate amount of folic acid to prevent spinal cord defects, higher amounts should be avoided. See the Folate section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review for details.

Olive Oil and Prostate Cancer

9/09/2017
Another possible benefit of olive oil within a Mediterranean diet is a reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer, according to a new study. For details about this and other benefits of olive oil, see the updated "What It Does" section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oils Review, which includes our Top Picks among products.

Niacinamide for Alzheimer's Disease?

9/18/2017
Niacinamide (a form of niacin) has been promoted as a way to protect against memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease – a claim based on studies in mice. A recent study put this to the test in people. See the results in the "Niacin" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>

Magnesium and Dementia

9/22/2017
A recent study found an association between magnesium levels in the blood and the risk of developing dementia. See the details in the "What It Does" section of the Magnesium Supplements Review >>

Lowering Cholesterol with Red Yeast Rice and Phytosterols

9/26/2017
Red yeast rice and phytosterols help lower cholesterol through different mechanisms. Does combining them help more? See what two studies found in the ConsumerTips section of the Cholesterol-Lowerers Review >>

Changed VSL#3 Probiotic?

9/26/2017
VSL#3 is a popular probiotic, but a new study suggests that the currently marketed product may be somewhat different and not have all the same effects as the earlier product. For details, see the ConsumerTips section of the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Does Lutein Help?

9/30/2017
Lutein is an antioxidant that helps protect the retina of the eye and can slow the progression of macular degeneration. But does taking lutein help if you already have normal macular density? Two studies have "looked" at this question (including one published this week) and, you can "see" the answer in the "What It Does" section of Vision Supplements (Lutein & Zeaxanthin) Review >>

Paleo Diet and Iodine

9/30/2017
The "Paleo" diet excludes table salt and dairy products, which are sources of iodine. A recent study investigated whether or not this causes iodine deficiency (which is also a concern with a vegan diet). Get the details in the "Iodine" section of the Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplements Review >>

October

Caution When Taking Epsom Salt

10/02/2017
A case of liver injury was recently reported in a man taking a large daily dose of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). Get the details, plus more about safety issues with magnesium supplements in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Magnesium Supplements Review >>

Green Tea & Prostate Cancer

10/05/2017
A recent study investigated the effects of green tea extract in men with pre-cancerous changes of the prostate. Find out if it helped in the "What It Does" section of the Green Tea Supplements and Drinks Review >>

Ginger for Nausea During Chemo?

10/10/2017
Ginger and ginger extracts help reduce nausea in certain situations. A recent placebo-controlled study evaluated its effect on people undergoing chemotherapy and the results suggest it may be more useful in some people than in others. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Ginger Supplements Review, which includes our Top Picks for ginger root powders and extracts.

Reducing Dementia With Magnesium?

10/13/2017
In a recently published study, investigators looked to see if taking a magnesium supplement reduces the risk of dementia. See what they found in the "What It Does" section of the Magnesium Supplements Review >>

Fatty Liver and Vitamin D

10/13/2017
A recent study showed that it is difficult to raise vitamin D levels in some people who have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease -- a condition affecting 30% of Americans. This is concerning, as there may be benefits to raising low levels of vitamin D in such people. Learn more in the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Turmeric (Curcumin) and Cholesterol

10/13/2017
Turmeric and curcumin (from turmeric) can help lower levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides, according to a recent review of studies. Certain formulations may be better than others. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements Review >>

Probiotic Reduces Colic

10/17/2017
A widely sold probiotic was able to reduce by half the amount of crying in infants with colic, according to a placebo-controlled study. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Denture Adhesive Concern

10/23/2017
Copper deficiency can result from continued use of zinc-containing denture adhesives, according to a new report. Get the details in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Zinc Supplements Review >>

Vitamin D for Asthma

10/23/2017
Taking vitamin D can reduce the number of asthma exacerbations that require corticosteroid treatment, according to a recent study. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >> [Also see our Top Picks among vitamin D supplements in the Review.]

Vitamin D Toxicity

10/23/2017
Getting too much vitamin D is associated with negative effects. With continued use of enormous doses of vitamin D, toxic effects can occur, as has been reported with the use of a protein supplement containing vitamin D. See the details in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Best form of B12?

10/28/2017
It's important for many older adults and people using medications that reduce stomach acid to take a vitamin B12 supplement. Three different forms of B12 are sold. A recent study suggests that one may be better than another. Get the details in the B12 (cobalamin) section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> [Also see our Top Pick for B12 supplements in the Review.]

Fish Oil for Focus in Kids?

10/30/2017
Fish oil supplementation was shown to improve executive functioning in children, according to a study that focused on children with mood disorders. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplements Review >> [Also see our Top Picks for fish oil supplements in the Review.]

CoQ10 for Orthostatic Hypotension

10/30/2017
CoQ10 may help reduce the fall in blood pressure that occurs in orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure upon standing) according to a recent report. See the details in the "What It Does" section of the CoQ10 and Ubiquinol Supplements Review >> [Also see our Top Picks for CoQ10 supplements in the Review.]

November

B Vitamins for Memory

11/03/2017
Many studies suggest that adequate intake of B vitamins slows age-related declines in memory and cognition. This was recently shown again in a study in England. Find out which B vitamins help, and how much you need, in the "What It Does" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> [Also see our Top Picks for B vitamin supplements in the Review.]

Cereal Fiber Reduces Risk of Death from Colorectal Cancer

11/03/2017
Higher intakes of dietary fiber are associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer. A new study suggests that higher intakes of fiber from cereal may reduce the risk of dying among those who have the disease. How much is needed for a benefit? Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Oat Cereals Review >> [Also see our Top Picks for oat cereals in the Review.]

Melatonin Improves Sleep in Children with Autism

11/06/2017
Prolonged-release melatonin helped children with autism fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer in a new study. Get the details, plus more about the best way to take melatonin to get a good night's sleep, in the "What It Does" section of the Melatonin Supplements Review >> [Also see our Top Picks for melatonin supplements in the Review.]

Dark Chocolate for Memory

11/07/2017
Short-term studies suggest that large doses of cocoa flavanols improve certain aspects of memory and cognition. A new study suggests that long-term habitual intake of dark chocolate, which is rich in flavanols, can also help. For more information, see the "What It Does" section of the Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Review >> [Also see our Top Picks for dark chocolate bars in the Review.]

Curcumin Drug Interaction

11/08/2017
Curcumin, from turmeric, can affect many prescription drugs. The most recent report involves an immunosuppressive drug also used in cancer treatment. For details about this interaction and other drug interactions of curcumin and turmeric, see the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Turmeric & Curcumin Supplements Review >>

Curcumin for Memory

11/09/2017
There is mixed evidence on whether or not curcumin helps improve memory. A recently published study found that a proprietary formula helped, although, last year, a study using a different formula failed to help. In both cases, certain side effects were more common among those taking curcumin than placebo. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Turmeric & Curcumin Supplements Review >> [Also see our Top Picks for dark chocolate bars in the Review.]

How Much Tea Is Safe?

11/13/2017
Green and black teas contain fluoride, which helps build teeth and bones, but excessive intake of teas can cause teeth and bones to become brittle ("fluorosis"). How many cups of tea are safe? Find out now based on recent tests of fluoride in green, black, and herbal teas in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Green Tea Review >>

Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease

11/20/2017
Can high doses of vitamin D improve cardiovascular function? A large, one-year study in England recently sought to answer this question. Learn what the researchers discovered in the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review (which includes our Top Picks for vitamin D supplements).

How Hot Should Green Tea Be?

11/24/2017
Drinking green tea may reduce the risk of certain cancers, but its effect on gastric (stomach) cancer may depend on the temperature at which you drink it, according to a new study. Find out what the best temperature seems to be in the "What It Does" section of the Green Tea Review >> (Also see how brands of green tea, including matcha, stack up in our tests.)

Signs of B12 Deficiency

11/25/2017
B12 deficiency is not uncommon, most often affecting older people. Symptoms include anemia, fatigue, tingling in the arms and legs and loss of balance -- but a recent case report highlights a lesser-known sign of B12 deficiency. Find out more, plus how much B12 you should get in the "B12" section of the B Vitamins Review >> (Also see our Top Picks for vitamin B12 and other B vitamins.)

Curcumin for Muscle Soreness

11/27/2017
Another study was published recently suggesting that curcumin can reduce muscle soreness after exercise. However, the efficacy of curcumin for this use is questionable. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements Review >> (Also see our Top Picks for turmeric and curcumin supplements.)

Growing Concern with Biotin Causing False Lab Results

11/27/2017
Biotin (a B vitamin found in B-complex and hair and nail supplements) can interfere with laboratory results resulting in the missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cardiovascular and hormonal conditions, such as Graves' disease (a form of hyperthyroidism). Physicians and lab personnel may be unaware of this interference. For details, see the "Biotin" section of the B Vitamins Review >>

December

Autism Risk With Low Vitamin D

12/01/2017
Babies born with very low blood levels of vitamin D are more likely to be autistic, according to a new study. This is consistent with a study published last year showing a higher rate of autistic children in mothers with very low vitamin D blood levels during pregnancy. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >> (Also see our Top Picks among vitamin D supplements.)

Citrulline for Improving Exercise?

12/01/2017
Citrulline, a compound which is converted to arginine in the body, is often added to workout supplements to improve exercise performance. But does it really help? See what a new study found in the "What It Does" section of the L-Arginine Supplements Review >> (Also see our Top Picks among L-arginine supplements.)

What NAC (N-Acetylcysteine)

12/03/2017
NAC is both a supplement and a drug used to treat conditions ranging from flu and chronic bronchitis to compulsive behavior. A recent study evaluated its use in preventing kidney injury during angiography (imaging of blood vessels). Get the results and learn more in the "What It Does" section of the NAC (N-Acetylcysteine) Supplements Review >> Also see our top choices among NAC supplements.

Biotin Interference With Vitamin D Test

12/04/2017
Last week we reported that high doses of biotin (found in B complexes and hair and nail supplements) can interfere with certain blood tests. A study recently showed that biotin can also artificially inflate a test for vitamin D. Get the details in the "Biotin" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>

Fish Oil for Stress?

12/04/2017
A recent study investigated whether taking fish oil rich in the omega-3 fatty acid EPA would reduce chronic stress. See the results in the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review >>

Creatine Pumps Up Muscles

12/08/2017
Giving creatine during a resistance-training program significantly boosted muscle size more than placebo in a recent study — and certain muscles increased in size more than others. Learn more in the "What It Does" section of the Muscle & Workout Supplements Review (Creatine & BCAAs). (Also see our Top Picks and Cautions and Concerns for creatine).

Lower Heart Risk With Olive Oil

12/09/2017
Using olive oil was associated with a dramatic reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease in a recent study. But what about using olive oil along with other oils? Get the results and learn more in the "What It Does" section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oils Review. Also see our Top Picks among extra virgin olive oils.

Skin Rash from Ginkgo

12/11/2017
Although not common, be aware that skin reactions have been reported from taking Ginkgo biloba. The most recent report involved a young man who experienced symptoms the same day he began taking a popular ginkgo supplement. See the details in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Ginkgo Supplements Review >>

Danger from Too Much Vitamin B6

12/13/2017
A women who was consuming large amounts of an energy drink as well as a B-vitamin complex developed symptoms of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) toxicity (which may not be reversible), according to a recent report. Get the details in the "B6" section of B Vitamin Supplements Review >>

CL has long warned that energy drinks and shots often contain large amounts of B6 and other B vitamins.

Tea & Iron Absorption

12/15/2017
A surprising number of foods and beverages, including tea, can interfere with the absorption of iron. When you drink your tea can make a big difference, according to a new study. Get the details in the Iron Supplements Review >>

Vitamin A & Autism

12/16/2017
Giving vitamin A to young children with autism spectrum disorders and low blood levels of vitamin A (as retinol) seemed to improve some symptoms of ASD, according to a pilot study. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin A Supplements Review >>

Probiotic for Dermatitis

12/18/2017
Atopic dermatitis is a recurrent, itchy inflammation of the skin. Taking a daily probiotic mixture was found to significantly reduce symptoms and the need for topical steroids in children with atopic dermatitis. Details are in the "What It Does" section of the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Can Fish Oil Help Statins?

12/19/2017
Adding fish oil to cholesterol-lowering statin therapy was found to provide added benefit in certain situations. See the details, including dosage of EPA and DHA, in the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review > (Also see our Top Picks for fish oil supplements).

Folic Acid for Cognition

12/22/2017
Giving folic acid to older people with relatively low levels of blood folate resulted in improved cognitive performance, according to a recent study. For details, see the "Memory, Cognition, and Alzheimer's Disease" section in the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> (Also see our Top Picks for folate and other B vitamin supplements.)

Folic Acid & Risk of Autism

12/25/2017
Supplementing with adequate (and not excessive) folic acid around the time of conception is associated with a lower risk of autism in offspring, and a recent study suggests this may be particularly important for women who take antiepileptic medication. For details, see the "Folate" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> (Also see information about getting folic acid from prenatal vitamins in the "Prenatal" section of the Multivitamin Review.)