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Figure Skater Peggy Fleming Teams With HealthSaver: The Impact of Diet and Supplements on Health
Date:5/29/2008

NORWALK, Conn., May 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Complementary and alternative medicine is a diverse group of health care practices not presently considered to be a part of traditional medicine. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly half of Americans use complementary and alternative medicine, which includes dietary supplements.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080415/NYTUFNS1 )

"The use of dietary supplements has grown considerably in the past two decades," said Peggy Fleming, Olympic figure skating champion and HealthSaver spokesperson.

While supplements can help you ingest the vitamins and minerals your body requires, they should not be used as a substitute for the nutrients and benefits a balanced diet provides. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that supplements should also not be used in place of prescription medicine.

"Dietary supplements can, however, help sustain proper body function when your body does not otherwise receive the nutrients it requires," said Brad Eggleston, vice president of HealthSaver.

Educate Yourself

-- Dietary supplements do not have the same testing and labeling process

as prescription and over-the-counter medications, so it is up to you,

the consumer, to evaluate a supplement for safety and effectiveness.

-- First, find out what risks the supplement carries. Internet research

should only include credible resources, such as government agencies and

major medical centers. Clinical studies, which involve testing with

human beings, will best reflect how you may react to the supplement.

In order to ensure recent findings, articles should be up to date.

-- Read the label. Do the supplement's active ingredients target your

health needs? The Mayo Clinic recommends looking for "USP" on th
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SOURCE HealthSaver
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