‘Supplements and Safety’ Explores What’s in Your Supplements
Americans spend an estimated $1.3 billion on fish oil products every year, making them one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements in the country.
But do you know what’s in your fish oil?
A new documentary, “Supplements and Safety,” pulls back the curtain on some of America’s most popular supplements, and it suggests that many people who buy them may not be getting what they are paying for. The program, airing on the PBS investigative series “Frontline” on Tuesday night, is a collaboration between “Frontline,” The New York Times and The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
新纪录片《补充剂与安全》(Supplements and Safety)为您揭开了美国部分最受欢迎的补充剂的神秘面纱，该片表明，许多人其实并没能买到他们想要的东西。此片由美国公共电视网(PBS)的纪实系列节目《前线》(Frontline)、《纽约时报》杂志(The New York Times Magazine)以及加拿大广播公司(The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)联合出品，并于1月19日晚上在《前线》节目中播出。
The program examines the widespread use of potent vitamins, herbs, fish oil and fat-burning supplements. Millions of Americans use these products safely every year. But researchers have found that in many cases they can cause unexpected side effects. And because dietary supplements are largely unregulated by the federal government, adulteration and contamination are common, experts say.
The Frontline documentary investigates large outbreaks of disease tied to tainted vitamins and fat-burning supplements, including one case in which a workout supplement was linked to more than 70 cases of liver damage. The company whose products were at the center of that outbreak, USPlabs, is among 117 companies and individuals that the Justice Department filed criminal and civil enforcement actions against last year.
The “Frontline” program follows doctors, patients, industry experts and regulators to uncover the root of these outbreaks. It looks at whether the widespread use of vitamin D and other popular vitamins that are commonly sold and taken in high doses can do more harm than good. One that it focuses on is fish oil, the third most popular supplement in America, which is used by at least one in 10 adults.
Despite their popularity, some studies have found that roughly three-quarters of fish oil supplements on the market do not contain the amount of omega-3 fatty acids advertised on their labels. Some have also found that fish oil supplements are prone to becoming rancid.
Fish oil supplements are widely marketed as beneficial to cardiovascular health. But the film points out that such claims are debatable at best. A majority of clinical trials have found no evidence that they protect against heart disease, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2014.
鱼油补充剂普遍被以“有益于心血管健康”的名头推销给消费者。但这部影片指出，这充其量是种有争议的说法。2014年发表在《美国医学会期刊：内科学》杂志(JAMA Internal Medicine)上的一项研究指出，大多数临床试验显示，尚无任何证据表明鱼油对心脏病有预防效果。
“I think for cardiovascular disease, one has to say that there is no compelling evidence that taking fish oils protects against a first heart attack or a second heart attack,” Andrew Grey, the author of the JAMA study and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Auckland, says in the “Frontline” report. “So people who are advised to do that or are doing it are wasting their time and their money.”
“我认为，就心血管疾病而言，尚无令人信服的证据能表明服用鱼油可预防初次心肌梗死或再次心肌梗死，”该JAMA研究的作者，奥克兰大学(University of Auckland)的医学副教授安德鲁·格雷(Andrew Grey)在《前线》节目的报道中说。“因此，听信‘建议’去服用鱼油或正在服用鱼油的人只不过是在浪费时间和金钱而已。”
Proponents of fish oil supplements argue that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for heart function and promote overall health. Experts say there is no doubt about that. But there is no clinical evidence that taking high doses in supplement form is beneficial for most people.