Seniors and their friends and companions should consider reality versus magical thinking about the power of pills. The blunt truth: Over-the-counter dietary supplements can’t cure diseases. Not Alzheimer’s, not cancer, not diabetes, not any known disease. They don’t extend your lifespan either.
Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the federal Food and Drug Administration, not only has warned a dozen companies to stop making reckless health claims about supplements, he also told Congress his agency needs greater authority to regulate what the New York Times reported has become a “$40 billion industry, which sells as many as 80,000 kinds of powders and pills with little federal scrutiny. These products range from benign substances like vitamin C or fish oil to more risky mineral, herbal and botanical concoctions that can be fatal.”
Gottlieb told the newspaper that regulators have been reluctant to rein in the wildfire spread of supplements and their wilder claims. But the public health is at such risk now that Congress must step in.