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Garcinia Cambogia: Herbal Medications, What Does Not Work

One additional negative finding was reported in the November 1998 CAM issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. According to a report from the obesity research center at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, overweight patients who took a TCM herbal remedy, Garcinia cambogia, which is found in many commercial weight-loss products, were no more successful at shedding pounds than were those who took a placebo.

Finally, there are four additional negative findings with regard to herbs in the September 17, 1998, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Doctors from Alberta Children's Hospital in Canada report two cases in which parents opted to treat their children's cancer with shark cartilage or the herb astragalus instead of standard medicines. In both cases, the cancers progressed, and one child died. From a second report, a research team from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey tested a mixture of eight herbs, sold as PC-SPES, on men with prostate cancer. They found that the herb blend has potent hormonal effects. In a third article, the FDA described an episode in which the herb plantain was contaminated with a naturally occurring form of digitalis, a heart stimulant that can cause cardiac arrest. Citing a case report, a group of doctors from Arizona reported the case of a man found driving erratically after taking a supplement promoted as a way to increase growth hormones. Findings such as these and others underscore the need for consumer caution, further research, and the absolute necessity of herbal manufacturers to provide a safe, standardized product with full disclosure to the consumer of the contents, appropriate use, and cautions regarding any and all herbal supplements.

Consumers should be cautious in the use of teas whose labels imply that they promote weight loss, and should examine the list of ingredients carefully for laxatives.




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