An investigation on the effect of fish oil supplements for muscle growth reveals the tablets do not give gym-goers an advantage in the weight room.

Supplements are a protected class in the United States, easily claiming drug effects without being forced to prove they work the way drugs do. Most are just expensive placebos, more akin to homeopathy and superstition than medicine, though they are heavily promoted by alternative medicine gurus such as Dr. Joe Mercola and Dr. Oz.

Many of the drugs we use in hospitals, such as antibiotics, antifungals and anti-cancer drugs, are produced by bacteria that live in the soil beneath our feet.

A regimen of beta carotene (precursor to vitamin A), vitamins C and E and magnesium has been linked to slow progression of hereditary deafness in the mice with a connexin 26 gene deletion. Mutations in this gene are a leading cause of genetic hearing loss in many populations.

The supplement cocktail had the opposite effect on another mutant mouse modeling AUNA1, a type of hearing loss, according to a paper in Scientific Reports

Antidepressants, commonly used to treat anxiety, pain and other disorders, may play a role in dental implant failure, according to a new pilot study which found that the use of antidepressants increased the odds of implant failure by four times. 

While these drugs are often used to manage mood and emotions, a side effect decreases the regulation of bone metabolism, which is crucial to the healing process.

Each year of antidepressant use doubled the odds of failure.

Researchers have identified a gene which can be used to predict how susceptible a young person is to the mind-altering effects of smoking marijuana, an increasing concern as the cultural movement shifts toward legalization.  Around one percent of cannabis users develop psychosis. It is known that smoking cannabis daily doubles an individual's risk of developing a psychotic disorder, but it has been difficult to establish who is most vulnerable.  

Doctors typically prescribe several drugs to patients with mental health conditions in order to treat the various symptoms. For example, a person with bipolar disorder may be prescribed one drug to treat mania and another to treat depression. But there’s limited evidence on how combinations of drugs interact, or how diet and nutrition influence their effects.
Pharmaceutical companies take a lot of cultural heat for high prices, politicians routinely criticize them to score political points, but at least they did real discovery. One out of 5,000 candidates will make it to market, and then it has to be successfully promoted to make back costs that routinely run into the billions of dollars.

Generic companies, on the other hand, get a free pass. They do no work, they just start manufacturing after the real work has been done and the patent expires. Yet the cost savings generic drugs were supposed to bring has not really come to pass. Companies only take up the profitable ones and when a company does try to make a boutique compound profitable, they are criticized for price gouging.
Everyone loves D, the sunshine vitamin. Doctors, patients and the media have been enamored with vitamin D supplements for decades. As well as their clear benefit in curing severe vitamin D deficiencies, endless headlines hail their magical ability to reduce a vast range of conditions from dementia to cancer.

Medical specialists such as myself have been promoting supplements to our patients with osteoporosis and other bone problems for decades.

Folic acid has long been touted as an important supplement for expectant mothers, to prevent defects in the baby’s developing brain and spinal cord. It is added as a supplement to breads, pastas, rice and cereals to help ensure that women are exposed to sufficient amounts of this nutrient even before they know they’re pregnant.

psychedelic drugs via shutterstock

LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide), ecstasy (MDMA), magic mushrooms (psilocybin) and marijuana have long been designated as drugs of abuse, but they didn't start out that way.