Category Archives: FDA

Nutrition Basics Help Fight Child Obesity

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The Food and Drug Administration just released Nutrition Basics reminder to help parents look at nutrition facts labels (ingredients, percent daily value, nutrients, and serving size) before buying food for their children. The main goal of this program is to fight childhood obesity with better food choices. How often do you discuss food labeling with your patients?

For additional information, please see the FDA Consumer Update .

“Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles]/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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FDA warns of Viagra in herbal supplement: tainted dietary supplements

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FDA has released a warning about an herbal supplement by the name of S.W.A.G. or “sex with a grudge” because it has traces of generic Viagra. This product can be purchased online and advertised to “increase blood flow” and improve sexual health, unbeknownst to buyers however, this product can potentially be fatal. The manufacturer claims that there are no interactions seen similarly in medications such as Cialis, Viagra or Levitra but the FDA warns consumers that it may have severe interactions with nitrates. The FDA advises those using this product to immediately dispose of it and side effects such as dizziness, fainting, or heart attack/stroke may occur. How familiar are you with the mechanisms of reporting adverse effects and interactions related to herbal supplements?

For additional information visit Cleveland.com

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Food Serving Sizes Getting a Reality Check

rakratchada torsapThe Nutrition Food Label is undergoing an update in the near future. The aim of the new Nutrition Food Label is to bring serving sizes and calories closer to what people are actually eating today. The current 1993 Nutrition Facts Label was based on food consumption in the 1970s and 80s. The proposed label would prominently display, in bold and larger font size, the number of calories and servings per container. The new label would also change “Amount Per Serving” to “Amount Per (Serving Size) and require listing of added sugars. Ice cream and soft drinks are two food products that will undergo change from the new Nutrition Food Label proposals. What are your opinions regarding the proposed Nutrition Food Label updates? What strategies can you suggest for your patients in order to help them understand the right serving size to consume based on current nutrition labels?

For additional information, please see FDA.

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US food industry wages bitter fight over sweeteners

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A fight wages on between US sugar and corn companies where tens of millions of dollars have been spent to influence public opinion and capture market share. The Corn Refiners Association, the producers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), has campaigned to change HFCS name to “corn sugar” claiming HFCS as a natural product that is equivalent to sugar. The FDA denied the change in name from HFCS to ‘corn sugar’ since dextrose-a solid, dried, crystallized pure glucose product has already coined the term ‘corn sugar’, while HFCS is an aqueous mixture of glucose and fructose. Also ‘corn sugar’ has been used for individuals who have an intolerance to fructose therefore the name change from HCFS to ‘corn sugar’ would put individuals at risk for health concerns. The Sugar Association urges food industries to replace HFCS with sucrose due to adverse effects like diabetes, elevated triglycerides and obesity stemming from the introduction of HFCS to the market in the 1970s. What are your thoughts about possible false and misleading campaigns used by the food industry to capture market share? What recommendations do you have for your patients in terms of sweeteners?

For additional information please see BMJ.

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Antibiotic use in animals linked to bacterial resistance in humans

cow-milking-facility-100193460In an analysis conducted by the Food and Drug Administration on the use of antibiotics in animal feed, scientists found that 18 out of 30 of them may increase the risk of human exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. There was insufficient information for the scientists to review the other 12 antibiotics. Even though the FDA has made efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals, it is still broadly used. What are your thoughts about this article? What are your recommendations to minimize human exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

For additional information, please click NYT.

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Warning about thyroid supplements

bottle-of-pills-10014449In a recent report published in a scientific journal called Thyroid, researchers found that 9 out of 10 popular thyroid supplements sold online contained prescription medications known as thyroxine (T4) and/or triiodothyronine (T3). Some products contained amounts well over the normal starting dose of these medications. How often do you recommend alternatives to thyroid supplements?

For additional information, please click NYT.

Image courtesy of [m_bartosch]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

World Watches as Colorado Marijuana Law Takes Effect

 

ID-10050138Just over a week has passed since the law to legalize recreational use of marijuana came in to effect in Colorado. Although January 1st, 2014 anticpated by many, the long lines and hype seem to have dissapated from the variousmarijuana stores that have popped up recently throughout the state. This is most likely due to the fact that the Marijuana Law has many retrictions, including no public smoking, no indoor smoking where cigarettes are banned, cannot be taken out of state, must be 21 or older, Colorado residents can purchase no more than 1 ounce at a time and non-state residents can purchase no more than a quarter ounce.Legislators are still concerned about use in younger population, safety while driving and safety of ingredients. What are your thoughts on current restrictions?What do you think the restrictions on recreational marijuana use should be?

For more information please visitWebMd

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FDA Targets Trans Fat in Processed Foods

>Last week the Food and Drug Administration has announced its plan to ban trans fat in processed foods.  The decision comes based on the research and evidence related to increased morbidity and mortality (additional 7,000 deaths related to cardiovascular events and 20,000 heart attacks per year.)  Trans fats are found in foods such as donuts, frozen pizza, frosting, microwaveable popcorn and other. It is important to remind patients that the removal of trans fats from these products does not produce foods that are superior to healthier, plant-based choices. How do you typically educate your patients on how to read and understand nutrition labels?

For additional information, please click here.

Beauty over health? Decorative contact lenses

A consumer update provided by the FDA warns consumers to be cautious when purchasing decorative contact lenses. These contact lenses change how your eye appears with different colors and designs and are not meant to correct your vision. It may be surprising to some that contact lenses are considered medical devices per the FDA so selling them as cosmetics without a prescription is illegal. An eye specialist should measure your eyes so the contacts fit properly to prevent infections, decreased vision, and corneal scratches. The FDA warns to never buy lenses from street vendors, halloween shops, or beauty supply stores. How often do you see questionable uses of medical devices or cosmetics? What are some other potentially harmful use of medical devices or cosmetics?

For additional information, please click here.

 

Z Pro High Protein Supplement: Recall-Undeclared Soy and Milk.

The FDA issues a safety alert –ID-10067224 is being recalled due to non-disclosure of allergy information on individual packets. The supplement contains two major food allergens, soy and milk, that can cause reaction in individuals with severe sensitivity or allergy to these ingredients. Products shipped after January 24, 2013 contain the updated allergen disclosure on both the box and individual packets. Are you familiar with this product? What was the last supplement that FDA issued alert about that you use in your practice? For additional information, please visit FDA. “Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net”