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When it Comes to Medicine, is “Natural” Safer?


When it comes to medicine, is natural a better and safer option for your health?

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DR. RODGERS: True or False? When it comes to medicine, is natural a better and safer option for your health?

Hi, I’m Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases at NIH.

My colleague, Dr. Helene Langevin, director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at NIH, explains:

DR. LANGEVIN: Just because a product comes from nature does not mean that it is always safer than over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Some people think natural products are safer because they believe these medicines are free of chemicals, but natural products, such as herbal supplements, may contain dozens of chemical compounds and there are many toxic chemicals that occur in nature, such as mercury and arsenic.

For information about the safety and effectiveness of natural products, visit N-C-C-I-H dot N-I-H dot G-O-V and search “Herbs at a Glance.”

DR. RODGERS: Follow us on Twitter @NIDDKGov. This is Dr. Griffin Rodgers with the NIH.

 

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