5 Popular Supplements Scrutinized
There are a lot of unknowns about some of the most used supplements
By Michael Smith, MD
Reviewed By Cynthia Haines, MD
When it comes to supplements, "buyer beware" only goes so far these days. Patients have been interested in supplements for years, but doctors have been slow to recommend them. Don't be too hard on doctors. It's ingrained in us to look for strong evidence that a treatment works without doing harm. That's a good thing.
But as more research comes out, more doctors are getting on board. But we still know very little about supplement effectiveness, and what we do know doesn't look all that great.
So, if you're going to take supplements, which ones are most likely to give you the effect that you're looking for without causing you harm?
Here's a summary of what we do -- and don't -- know about five of the most popular supplements based on current research.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
These two supplements -- both components of natural joint cartilage -- have been fairly well-studied in the treatment of osteoarthritis -- also called degenerative arthritis.