Dietary supplements may produce health benefits, but proof is lacking


Shelf after shelf of strangely named bottles fill an entire aisle at Whole Foods Market. There are "CoQ10" softgels, "charcoal" pills and mysterious "hoodia" tablets. But why would anyone take charcoal? What exactly is a CoQ10? And can you eat a hoodia?Look closely at the labels: CoQ10 pills help your heart work; charcoal absorbs all those unfriendly gases and toxins; and hoodia aids in shedding those pounds. Going down the aisle, you can find a natural sex enhancement, a memory booster and a vitamin to help eyesight. Should you be taking them all? Some nutritionists and doctors say you shouldn't be taking any of them.The supplement craze has gone into overdrive: Everyone seems to be sipping fish oil or popping multivitamin pills in the pursuit of healthful living. But for all the boastful packaging, there is no conclusive proof that supplements work the professed magic. Even Veda Woodland, the healthy eating specialist at the Whole Foods store on P Street NW, says that supplements should only be a short-term addition to someone's diet: "It should be food first."

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Dietary supplements may produce health benefits, but proof is lacking celebrities stalker