Dietary Supplements and the FDA: The Link

We live in a very goal-orientated and deadline based society where constant and oftentimes, conflicting demands are placed upon our time, attention and energy and sometimes it can be very difficult trying to walk that fine line between so many different contradictory obligations.

As a result, people will often find themselves working longer than they should, foregoing meals and good eating habits, and even sleep. All of these essential biological processes which are essential for the sustenance of life and good health become subordinate to the demands on our time.

What this means then is that our health takes a nosedive, as our body is left trying to compensate for the lack of essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins that are so acutely absent, and as such has been reflected in the degradation of skin quality and the increase in digestive tract problems.

In addition, people are becoming increasingly savvy and educating themselves as to the potential and actual risks that prescription medications pose, and as such this has meant the herbal supplement is now booming.

People erroneously assume that just because an herbal remedy is natural therefore it cannot cause any harm or pose any element of risk to them. Alternatively, people assume that the dietary supplement and herbal remedy is like the wild west: lawless, unregulated and chaotic.

Both of these presumptions are wrong and it is important that an element of proportion and sense of perspective is maintained when considering the issue. In the first instance, the herbal remedy market is tightly regulated and closely monitored with stringent quality control measures in place.

In America, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the primary statutory body that is empowered to license and regulate any new dietary supplements that come onto the market.

Perhaps one of the most assuring requirements of the FDA is the mandate that any claims of purported health benefits made by a particular dietary supplement must be backed up by clinical, independent studies.

In the event that the FDA still has reservations as to the suitability and safety of a particular dietary supplement it can step in and either prevent the dietary supplement from being sold to the general public or, in extreme cases, seize control of the stock for disposal.

The FDA prides itself on promoting, preserving and advocating the health and rights to free choice for the citizens of America and so they sweat the small details so you, the consumer never have to.

Kava Kava and the Treatment of Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is a crippling and deeply debilitating disorder in which the sufferer experiences intense, overwhelming and distressing thoughts that are intrusive and highly negative. Fearful that they have alienated their target audience, social anxiety sufferers will go to extreme lengths to avoid embarrassment and typically will isolate themselves.

Social anxiety is an anxiety disorder that goes far beyond the scope of mere shyness and social ineptitude. The sufferer has a compulsion of negativity, damaging self-esteem, eroding confidence and undermining any sense of accomplishment.

Comorbidity between social anxiety and alcohol dependence is well-documented, as sufferers of social anxiety will typically seek to use a crutch of sorts to overcome their inhibitions and challenge their negative thought patterns.

To date, treatment of social anxiety has focused primarily upon counselling and psychotherapy of which cognitive behavioural therapy remains the most prevalent form, and the prescribing of medication for it has remained somewhat of a controversy.

Proponents of medication have argued that social anxiety should be treated like any other mental disorder or compulsion: in that the prescription of medication can be useful to reduce the intensity of the anxiety experienced. Once the patient stabilises sufficiently, they can then have the courage to reduce the medication.

Opponents argue that the psychological dependency upon medication is harmful, and that by dulling the perceptions and social cues of the social anxiety sufferer, the underlying problem remains unresolved.

Kava Kava is a herb found in the Pacific region, and has been regularly consumed as part of Polynesian and Hawaiian culture. In particular, Kava Kava has proven to be especially popular within Polynesian culture with aphrodisiac properties prescribed to it!

Studies commissioned into Kava Kava have identified that the herb works on the central nervous system thereby providing some much needed relief for the endless cycle of anxiety experienced by those who struggle with social anxiety.

It should also be noted that Kava Kava also possesses euphoric properties, instilling a sense of calm, detached, blissful contentment within the person who has ingested it. Typically ground down and then added to hot water to form a tea, Kava Kava is regarded as a viable social lubricant.

At first blush, Kava Kava and alcohol seem to be one and one the same. However, the crucial advantage that Kava Kava has over its counterpart is that whilst it may intoxicate the person ingesting it, it will have absolutely no negative effect on cognition at all.