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Healthcare Interventions: More or Less?

From eNewsletter 7/18/2022

DID YOU KNOW the FDA was threatening to deem N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) a drug, but luckily came to their senses? Even though NAC has been used safely for over 30 years as a dietary supplement, the FDA threatened to disallow NAC to be sold as a supplement because it was approved as a new drug before it was marketed as a dietary supplement. We don't know exactly why the FDA targeted NAC and why they chose to threaten it but recently, they made an official statement stating: "The FDA does not identify safety-related concerns as we continue our review of the available data and information. We are likely to propose a rule providing that NAC is not excluded from the definition of dietary supplement". The FDA still reserves the right to change their mind, but a statement with this language usually means that the supplement will be safe from drug regulation.

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Have a happy, healthy day! Steve and Bonnie Minsky

In Today's Issue

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  • Your Healthy Kitchen: Lessening Lectin Content in Beans

  • Wild Card: Aging in Place

  • eInspire: James Garfield

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  • Healthcare Interventions: Less Is More

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Healthcare Interventions: Less Is More

Steve: One issue that is often neglected by the media, public health officials, elected officials, and medical professionals is that Americans are way over-treated with healthcare interventions compared to any other country in the world. What's more concerning is that according to a first-of-its-kind study, authors examining healthcare interventions published in Cochrane Reviews, considered the gold standard for evaluating evidence-based healthcare, more than 9 in 10 healthcare interventions were not supported by high-quality evidence, and harms were grossly under-reported. In the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology study, an international team of researchers examined 1,567 different healthcare treatments between 2008 and 2021. 95% of the treatments considered did not have high quality evidence to support their use. Harms were only reported for 33% of the treatments, meaning the jury is still out on the safety of 67% of the treatments evaluated. Of the treatments that reported harms, 8.1% of them carried significant injury risk. This is why we always say that you should only choose healthcare treatment when all other less invasive, safer alternatives have been explored and tried.