Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Glyconutrients? None For Me, Thanks
Recently there has been some back and forth discussion on some CF blogs regarding the benefits of glyconutrients. Although some people feel very strongly about this "natural" approach to treating CF by means of nutritional supplements, I for one am not convinced that this is a beneficial route to take. Certainly there are benefits of supplementing the diet, especially for those of us who have pancreatic insufficiency, but based on what I've read, I'm not willing to fill my cupboards with more pills or supplements on the off-chance that they might work.
Here are what some highly reputable websites have to say about glyconutrients:
The Mayo Clinic
- Although animal studies suggest possible health benefits from glyconutrient supplementation, there is very little research to support any of these health claims in humans. This makes it difficult to assess the potential risks and benefits of glyconutritional supplements. Also, because supplements aren't regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, they haven't been rigorously tested or approved. As a result, the long-term safety of these products isn't known.
- Whereas these products may have health benefits for people with CF, there is very little scientific evidence to corroborate these claims. In addition, there is no data as to the safety of these supplements when taken in high doses for a period of time.
- We encourage everyone with CF to consult with their CF care center physician before introducing any new treatment, medication or dietary supplement into their regimen or before removing a prescribed therapy from their treatment plan.
Until more research is available, the safety and long term benefits are assessed and this supplementation approach is endorsed by the CF Foundation, I'm going to "just say no" to the glyconutrient regime and stick with the vitamin supplements my doctor recommends. I trust his evaluation far more than that of a company that is just looking to make a buck.
According to what I've read, the use of glyconutrients has been examined in a scientifically validated study. For those of you who are unfamilar with medical research terminology, this is not the same as a scientifically proven study. A validation study means that they are able to get repeatable results within a large enough sampling popluation, all under similar conditions.
Show me a scientifically proven, double-blind study, carried out on an adult population of CF patients, and then I'll be willing to expand my horizons. Until then, I'm closing the book on this matter.