Lack of Evidence for Supplements Helping Concussions

FDA Warns of Dietary Supplements for Concussion

Sports are in full swing and players are facing risks for injuries. The FDA has issued a warning stating dietary supplements that claim to prevent, treat, or cure concussions are untested, unproven, and may be dangerous to your health.

An increased awareness and concern for concussions is growing worldwide and because of this some companies are trying to cash in on this trend through the sale of supplements claiming to help with concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Some of the claims of these supplements are that they promote faster brain healing after a concussion. This claim, and possibly even the ingredients within the supplements, is dangerous.

Many of the dietary supplements are said to contain turmeric and omega-3 fatty acids. Although these ingredients have been shown to contain beneficial properties (decrease inflammation) they are not proven to help with specific conditions (such as concussion). There has been no supplement shown to prevent or treat TBIs.

These claims may lead to false assurances that someone recovering from a concussion is ready to return to play before they are actually healed. Head injuries are a serious matter. These type of injuries require the proper diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring by a medical professional. Increasing research is showing that if a concussion patient returns to activity too early, they are at an increased risk for another concussion.

Remember that concussions are usually the most minor form of brain injury. It happens when the brain has a short loss of normal function in response to a head injury. Sometimes symptoms do not happen right away (it may take days or weeks to see symptoms). Symptoms of a concussion may include: headache, neck pain, dizziness, tinnitus, nausea, tiredness, trouble walking, trouble sleeping, weakness, numbness, seizures, vomiting, confusion, and slurred speech.

Neurological testing and imaging are used to diagnose a concussion. Treatment protocols usually involve mental and physical rest for an extended period of time. Other treatments are used help decrease symptoms (Medications, Acupuncture, Chiropractic).

Repeat concussions may lead to brain swelling, brain damage, disability, and even death.

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This information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.

REF:

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm378845.htm