Claims that supplements boost energy are largely unproven
BY DR. KOMOROFF Universal Uclick
Thursday, September 27, 2012
9/27/12 at 3:45 AM
Dear Doctor K: Many herbs, vitamins and supplements claim to boost energy. Do any of them actually work?
Dear Reader: Unfortunately, there is not much scientific evidence to support the claims. Here is my current assessment of the published evidence:
Ginkgo biloba It may improve alertness and calmness in healthy people. If you take a daily aspirin, or any other blood thinners, I'd avoid ginkgo. It may increase a bleeding tendency.
Ginseng There's not much evidence that it reduces fatigue.
Guarana This herb induces a feeling of energy because it is a natural source of caffeine. But consuming a lot of guarana could ultimately lower your energy by interfering with sleep.
Chromium picolinate This mineral is widely marketed to build muscle, burn fat, and increase energy and athletic performance. Research has not supported these claims.
Vitamin B12 Some people take vitamin B12 as a way to get a quick energy burst. If you have a B12 deficiency, treatment definitely can improve your energy.
DHEA This naturally occurring hormone is said to boost energy. But DHEA has some potentially serious health risks. It is wise to avoid it if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, have liver disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, high blood levels of cholesterol or depression.
Coenzyme Q10 This enzyme may improve exercise capacity in people with heart disease, and one small study found that people with chronic fatigue syndrome might benefit from this supplement.
Creatine There is evidence that it can build muscle mass and improve athletic performance requiring short bursts of muscle activity, particularly in teenagers and young adults (but not in older adults). However, it has not been proven to reduce fatigue. Stick to the recommended dose (2 to 3 grams per day).
Ephedra The FDA banned ephedra because of major safety concerns.
Write Dr. K at www.AskDoctorK.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106