Avoid misconceptions about supplements


--Compounds are sometimes claimed to be safe and beneficial if they are "natural"--while some natural compounds aer safe and beneficial, some are toxic (for example, deadly chemicals that are present in mushrooms and many other plants, and many are not effective therapies for any disorder

--Some supplements, especially herbs, are claimed to have beneficial effects and o side effects--supplements (like prescription medications) that have beneficial effects must contain chemicals that may also potentially produce side effects

--More is not necessarily better--it is sometimes believed that the use of high doses of a single supplement or a large number of different supplements is more beneficial than the use of low doses or a single supplement; however, in most cases, supplements in high doses or large numbers are probably not more effective and my, in fact, be more likely to produce side effects.

--Combinations of supplements with conventional medications have not been fully investigated-supplements are sometimes taken in addition to conventional medications (for example, evening primrose oil and one of the FDA--approved injectable Multiple sclerosis medications); the effectiveness and safety of these "combination therapies" has not been investigated; notably , there are some situations in which combination therapy is less effective or more likely to produce side effects than a single-treatment therapy.

Alternative Medicine and Multiple Sclerosis, Dr Allen C. Bowling, M.D., PhD

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