Death by Dietary Supplement

I recently received some information from my brother about taking a new dietary supplement. He had read some research and was impressed with the results so he wanted to pass it along. The pill is something called CLA and it is supposed to help deal with weight gain, specifically in the belly area. At my age, any type of voodoo treatment to slow down the expansion of my girth is, at the minimum, worth checking out. He told me that the main ingredient in the pills is something that humans used to ingest regularly through our beef when cows were allowed to graze on grass. I suppose this means it is a natural ingredient and therefore safe to ingest. (Then again, there are 60 mg of Ox bile extract in the digestive enzymes I down after meals so “natural” is not always pretty.) Cows are mostly grain fed these days so they can get fat and to the market faster and the farmers can make their money quicker and the circle of manufactured life can chug along seamlessly. What we are supposed to infer from all of this information is that grain-fed cows have made human meat eaters fatter because we aren’t getting enough safflower seeds in our beef. Whatever. My brother is a doctor and he can read medical journals and follow along without nodding off so I tend to trust his information. (Although I notice he does sleep a lot...)

My wife and I decided to buy some CLA at our local Vitamin Shoppe and watch the pounds begin to melt away. Apparently, this CLA racket is big business because there were seven different manufacturers of this particular supplement lining the shelves which complicated the decision making process. I refused to buy the one with the label that had a hand drawn dragon on it so that was an immediate help. Two others were more expensive than the rest of the options so they were quickly crossed of the list even though there was a chance that the cheaper pills saved money in manufacturing costs because they employed illegal immigrant children to harvest the safflower fields for a dime a day. Then I noticed that the Vitamin Shoppe brand CLA was two-for-one and the fact that I could save even more money caused me to quickly forget the Safflower Kids. It is interesting how being shallow and on a budget go hand in hand. We had just had lunch so my wife cracked open a jar of CLA in the car so we could start the process immediately. The pills were a deep reddish brown color and gigantic. I made her read the directions carefully to make sure they were not suppositories. The saving factor was that we had inadvertently grabbed the gel cap versions of the pills which gave us a fighting chance at swallowing them. I cannot think of a worse fate than to be known as the guy who choked to death on a dietary supplement. Irony does not begin to describe that scenario.

We have been taking the pills for two weeks—one with each meal—and the results are mixed. It is too early to give specifics but stay tuned and I will continue to share our progress.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Make sure you are taking the proper amount twice a day. do not sell yourself short, my man. You will not notice any changes in the beginning, but in the long run you will notice. you can google the research on the product. mostly European data. But then again the US Health care bodies are not much into nutrition