Health

Published on January 6th, 2014

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Supplements for Brain Bruises?

Would you believe it if a supplement promised to prevent lacerations, bruises, or even paper cuts?

Then why would you believe it if a supplement claimed to prevent concussions? Don’t fall for the claims some dietary supplement manufacturers are making. With traumatic brain injuries in the news thanks to football, the FDA is warning consumers not to believe the hype that a supplement can get your brain back in shape.

“As amazing as the marketing claims here are, the science doesn’t support the use of any dietary supplements for the prevention of concussions or the reduction of post-concussion symptoms that would enable one to return to playing a sport faster,” says Daniel Fabricant, director of FDA’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs, in a post on the FDA’s Consumer Updates website.

Over the past two years, the FDA has sent warning letters to three companies selling products that claim to prevent, cure, or treat concussions.

Star Scientific Inc., the most recent recipient of a warning letter, sells Anatabloc, a product it claimed “has the potential to alleviate the negative consequences of traumatic brain injury.” Anatabloc has removed or hidden the parts of its website that mention concussions in response to the letter.

In 2012, the FDA sent warnings to two companies for their marketing of concussion supplements. PruTect Rx claimed that its product, PruTect, could prevent “post-concussion syndrome in both amateur and professional athletes.” Trinity Sports Group, Inc. featured NFL running back Sammy Morris saying, in ads for its Neuro-  Impact Concussion Response Formula, that “having suffered from a concussion, … Neuro-Impact … has proven results in my own recovery and is invaluable to all athletes, at all levels of sport, for recovering safely and quickly.” And after basketball star Kobe Bryant suffered a concussion in 2012, Neuro-Impact posted on its Twitter that it “can help with Kobe’s concussion and every other concussion. Would love to show you how.”

The FDA warns that such claims are dangerous because they could encourage athletes suffering from concussions to return to their activities before recovering fully. Says the FDA,

… repeat concussions can have a cumulative effect on the brain, with devastating consequences that can include brain swelling, permanent brain damage, long-term disability and death.

No supplement can prevent, treat, or quicken recovery from a traumatic brain injury, and consumers should avoid any supplement claiming to do so.

For more on supplements, click here.

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