Herbs, vitamins, minerals and natural compounds are increasingly popular, but do they actually work for common medical conditions?
Studies show some natural supplements may help to control cholesterol, blood pressure and anxiety. Natural supplements can be a safe alternative to prescription medications for some patients with these common conditions.
Vitamin D3, phytosterols (compounds made from plants) and red yeast rice are proven to lower cholesterol. Magnesium and lycopene (an antioxidant) have been shown to reduce blood pressure and chamomile extract has long been used as a therapy for anxiety.
Keep in mind that supplements are not regulated like medications are and the FDA does not require quality and safety testing for supplements. This means that these products may be ineffective, contaminated or even dangerous.
Before taking a natural supplement, talk to your doctor to make sure it is safe and effective for you.