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HHS HealthBeat (May 9, 2011)

Not talking about CAM

Bottles of herbal supplements
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ron DePas with HHS HealthBeat.

A doctor needs to know whether a patient takes supplements, such as complementary or alternative medical products – sometimes called CAM – because there are some risks. But a survey finds that, that even though more than half of people over age 50 use these products, many don’t tell their health care providers.

AARP and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine collaborated on the survey. The center’s director, Dr. Josephine Briggs:

``We are concerned that, at some times, there may be interactions between dietary supplements and prescription drugs.’’ (8 seconds)

Briggs says natural does not always mean safe, so people need to tell their doctors when they are taking herbal products or dietary supplements.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ron DePas.

Last revised: May 10, 2011