Various news items.
A group of 14 state attorneys general on Thursday asked the U.S. Congress to investigate the herbal supplements industry after a New York probe of the products turned up ingredients that were not listed on labels and raised safety concerns.
The group, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, also asked Congress to consider giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration more oversight of herbal supplements.
Here’s the best part:
In February, four major retailers, GNC Holdings Inc, Target Corp, Walgreens and Wal Mart Stores Inc, halted sales of certain supplements after being subpoenaed by the New York attorney general. DNA tests had failed to detect plant materials listed on the majority of products tested.
On Monday, GNC reached an agreement with Schneiderman to adopt more stringent testing standards than the FDA requires, and began to resell the supplements.
A study found the products were within FDA guidelines, Schneiderman said. GNC said tests also showed its products were safe, pure, properly labeled and in full compliance.
The way I read it the problem was whatever was promised on the label wasn’t in the bottle, and not there was stuff in there that wasn’t on the label. It doesn’t really matter which of the two happened, because, as I point out on the Meds and Supplements page, as long as the stuff isn’t toxic it’s legal. GNC can sell you stale peppermint and call it St. John’s Wort and the FDA can’t do shit about it. The FTC might, but I wouldn’t be surprised if their hands are tied.
On the subject of toxicity…
researchers also have found other problems, including high levels of lead, mercury and arsenic in certain supplements.
Size matters. And in this case smaller is better.
Hippocampal structure may be an important indicator of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) outcome and, potentially, the outcomes of other treatments in patients with major depression, new research suggests.
Investigators at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that patients who had smaller hippocampal volumes at baseline were more likely to show clinical improvement after the initial phase of ECT treatment.
“Smaller hippocampal volumes at baseline predict a more robust clinical response,” first author Shantanu H. Joshi, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at UCLA, said in a statement.
Results For all-cause mortality, the pooled relative risk of mortality among those with mental disorders (from 148 studies) was 2.22 (95% CI, 2.12-2.33). Of these, 135 studies revealed that mortality was significantly higher among people with mental disorders than among the comparison population. A total of 67.3% of deaths among people with mental disorders were due to natural causes, 17.5% to unnatural causes, and the remainder to other or unknown causes. The median years of potential life lost was 10 years (n = 24 studies). We estimate that 14.3% of deaths worldwide, or approximately 8 million deaths each year, are attributable to mental disorders.