Do you think that herbal remedies and supplements should play a greater role in the management of diabetes?
I think that more research needs to be done
I don't know
Do you think that herbal remedies and supplements should play a greater role in the management of diabetes?Poll dates: January 28 - February 4, 2001
Total Votes: 825
There has been an explosion of interest, and of marketing, of herbs and other supplements in the past few years, and diabetes is no exception. As pointed out in the current issue of the New Yorker magazine (February 5, 2001, page 58), this is an expected response to changes in regulation of these products. In 1993, with supplements of dubious quality flooding the market, the FDA proposed classifying many such products as drugs. The manufacturers of these supplements immediately launched a major campaign and, soon after, the US Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, which classified botanical and herbal supplements as foods, not drugs. As a result, manufacturers no longer had to prove that the products work, or are safe. About the only thing that is forbidden is advertising that the product can cure diseases; instead, the products "help regulate blood sugar" or other such claims.
The responders to this poll seem aware of the dubious nature of the claims for herbal and other supplements, and the need for these products to undergo rigorous testing before being accepted as part of the therapy of diabetes. While there may be no harm except to your pocketbook in trying these products, there are clear examples of harmful side effects and drug interactions. Therefore, if you choose to use these unproven remedies, be sure to inform your diabetes team.
The interested reader is encouraged to look at the following resources:
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- Alternative Medicine -- The Risks of Untested and Unregulated Remedies, an editorial published in The New England Journal of Medicine (September 17, 1998, Vol. 339, No. 12)
- Unproven Therapies, a Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association
- Herbs and Diabetes (Chat at Children with Diabetes, 11 December 2000)
- Herbals, Supplements and Diabetes: Round Two (Chat at Children with Diabetes, 15 January 2001)
- Herbs and other Supplements at the Diabetes Monitor.
Last Updated: Wednesday March 16, 2005 15:36:46
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