Dietary Supplements

Long Term Memory Enhancer

Long Term Memory Enhancer

I’m always glad to see the pro-caffeine evidence continue to grow!

This most recent study out of Johns Hopkins University shows that caffeine consumption can actually have positive effects on long term memory. The study tested the effects of caffeine administration after a given memory retention task, basically showing that caffeine can help reduce forgetfulness. With further research, this could definitely impact the landscape of healthy aging.

Check out the article at Johns Hopkins Hub.



I posted awhile back about plant sterols, and the potential benefits of consuming them in order to lower your cholesterol. Basically, research has indicated that consuming about 2 grams of these plant sterols per day can help lower LDL cholesterol…It seems that Smart Balance has a product (spreadable butter) that they are touting as containing these sterols, but, it may be that they don’t contain an amount adequate to make the claims that they are using on their product label. For shame!

So, now GFA brands (makers of Smart Balance) is at the center of a class action lawsuit.

Read more about this most recent example of Big Food trying to get one over on the public here: Smart Balance is hit with lawsuit over plant sterol claims.

And if you want in-depth detail into the case, there is a link to the filing here.



Some of the recalled Hydroxycut products

Some of the recalled Hydroxycut products

Lots of recalls coming out of the FDA today, this one pertains to dietary supplement rather than a food, but, I think this is a relatively well known product, and thus worth mentioning. Apparently there have been at least 23 adverse events reported in connection with the Hydroxycut products. This is an excerpt from the official FDA site:

The FDA has received 23 reports of serious health problems ranging from jaundice and elevated liver enzymes, an indicator of potential liver injury, to liver damage requiring liver transplant. One death due to liver failure has been reported to the FDA. Other health problems reported include seizures; cardiovascular disorders; and rhabdomyolysis, a type of muscle damage that can lead to other serious health problems such as kidney failure.

Liver injury, although rare, was reported by patients at the doses of Hydroxycut recommended on the bottle. Symptoms of liver injury include jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes) and brown urine. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, excessive fatigue, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, itching, and loss of appetite.

They don’t seem to have a handle on exactly which ingredients are causing this type of reaction, and Hydroxycut’s website has already dismantled all the information on account of the recall, so I am unable to make an educated guess. It could simply be that people taking the product were increasing the dosage, because it’s common in our society to think that if some is good, more is better.

I do know that I have seen some of these adverse effects while working in the acute care setting, and they are very unpleasant, not to mention life threatening. It would be extremely sad if someone fell ill from taking a supplement to make them look better. So if you know of anyone using these types of products, pass on the information.

This is a list of the recalled products as of May 1st:

Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix)
Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Liquid Shots
Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink)
Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed
Hydroxycut 24
Hydroxycut Carb Control
Hydroxycut Natural