The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine,” came out Tuesday. Vitamins and supplements, representing about a $27 billion industry , are necessary to convert food into energy, but it’s possible to take them in excess, Offit said. For instance, it’s not uncommon to hear of someone taking 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, but that’s about the same amount in 14 oranges. “Vitamins live under this notion that you can’t possibly hurt yourself,” he said. “But you can, by challenging Mother Nature and taking these vitamins and concentrating them to these exceptionally large quantities that you would never normally eat.” Opinion: Alternative healing or quackery?
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Why TCM products are seen as poison pills abroad
Simply declaring that a certain substance is poisonous can be misleading. He used the example of cinnabar, the common mercury ore, which is a mineral drug that can, of course, be toxic in high doses. “It’s an incomplete statement to say cinnabar is poisonous,” Wei said. “The truth is that it will become harmful to humans in high and extended usage.” For decades, the Chinese medicine community has been trying to use modern Western methodologies to measure toxicity in herbal remedies. Chen Keji, president of the Chinese Association of Integrative Medicine and a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that in the current pharmacopoeia, 18.3 percent of Chinese medicines do not have instructions for dosage or any toxicity analysis.
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