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Prostate Supplements
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Sebring61 posted:
I have BPH and my doctor prescribed FloMax and one other drug like it and neither helped my condition. Then he told me to buy Theralogix Prostate 2.3 for a healthy prostate. I had already been taking Prostate Health Complex from TruNature which costs about a third of the Theralogix brand. My doctor claims that the normal supplements you can purchase at drug stores, Costco, etc are not what they say they are and the Theralogix brand gurantees that the ingredients of Saw Palmetto, etc are what they say on the bottle. When ordering the Theralogix brand, I must supply a Provider Supplier Code in order to receive the lowest price.

I am thinking this is just another way for the supplement companies and the doctor to make money. Is there any truth in what my doctor is saying? If so, why does the FDA allow these companies to claim what they are claiming on the bottle?
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counterso responded:
I suggest you contact Theralogix directly. They staff Registered Dietitians who will talk to you for free, and they also have a highly respected medical advisory board who create all those products. They're extremely science heavy, so grill them for answers.

The research on ingredients is posted on the Theralogix web site for you to look at. But I know that it is not a quid pro quo for those doctors. They do NOT get paid for each bottle sold.

SR has saw palmetto and beta sitosterol, both of which show evidence of benefit for urinary symptoms, but require regular use for about 2 months before you experience an effect. Prostate 2.3 is usually recommended for patients with risk of prostate cancer and has nothing to do with BPH.

It is very true that ESPECIALLY with herbals without certification or standardization you have no idea how potent the product is and may get nowhere near the necessary dose. That's ANY herbal product that is not certified/tested for content accuracy, not just saw palmetto.

The Costco product isn't at all similar to either of the Theralogix products you named, so I'm uncertain how you can make a real comparison, since they're quite dissimilar. And if price is your only concern, that's something you should discuss with your doctor, who knows your health risks better than any manufacturer could.

The FDA does NOT allow claims on any product bottle for treatment or prevention of any disease that hasn't gone through FDA trials and approval, even if you see that little asterisked note. If you see any product making health claims, report it to the FDA, because it's illegal. There are a few exceptions like omega-3 for heart health, calcium for bone health, etc. but in general, if the product is making a health claim, it's probably breaking the law. I don't see any claims being made on any of those three products you mentioned.
 
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Sheldon_Marks_MD responded:
One of my good friends is a vitamin and nutrition expert, who specializes in analyzing what the bottles say and comparing to what is actually in the capsules. Sadly, most (and yes even from some major well known and respected brands) the capsules often do not contain what you think you are getting. Not only is there variability from company to company, sometimes there is variability from batch to batch and even variability of contents within the same bottle. Because there is absolutely no regulation, buyer beware.
 
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counterso replied to Sheldon_Marks_MD's response:
Indeed. Look for products that carry the NSF Certification seal (like Theralogix which you mentioned) which have been INDEPENDENTLY tested for content accuracy, purity, and freedom from contaminants.

Reports from companies like Consumerlab.com are not valuable because companies can pay to prevent their results from being published when bad, and other misleading things.

Dr. Marks is wrong, there is some regulation, but it's just not very tough like it is for drug products.
 
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counterso replied to Eugenio311's response:
They do regulate it, but only in terms of disallowing claims, and accepting reports of trouble (safety). They're mostly considered a food. There are also new regulations that have taken effect such as those regarding expiration dates, cGMPs, and such.

If you have questions, you should ask them of the manufacturer. If they can't answer them, or if your doctor isn't directing your choices, then you must decide whether to trust such companies. There are 3,000 vitamin brands, 1% of which are "physician brands." And the playing field is very uneven. Most vitamin companies don't make millions of dollars. I think once you get below the top 100 (or even sooner), they don't even make a million bucks. What you're looking for is a reason to believe in the company. Use credible measures like independent certification, visible demonstrations of compliance with safety standards, etc., and your doctor's recommendation (if you're seeing one at all).

Thing is, most supplements won't hurt you...but will they actually help you is where you have to answer the question.
 
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Eugenio311 replied to counterso's response:
Thanks for clarifying, counterso. The point I didn't make very well is that FDA doesn't approve supplements for safety or effectiveness before they reach the consumer.


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