The GAO, government accounting office, recently tested two dietary supplements that were supposed to contain Gingko and improve memory. In fact they had other substances instead of Gingko that they could not identify. I believe in nutritional supplements that have had peer reviewed published studies showing efficacy in humans just as I do in any other drug. We recommend these for our patients where appropriate. But we are careful to only recommend supplements that are GMP certified or have other means of verified testing. Finally, I only recommend such supplements in the doses that correspond to the doses used in studies.
These supplements are aggregated on our website under “purchase supplements.” When I see patients I make specific recommendations and explain where to get them. I take several myself and have seen benefit. But reports like this are a useful reminder that caution is necessary. Just buying the least expensive supplement is risky – it is necessary to make sure you that what you are getting what you thought you were purchasing.