GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The health and wellness industry is a $3.7 trillion market. One of the reasons for its success are the products that are often sold with great claims of weight loss, remedies for better sleep, or boosting your mood.
Most recently those remedies have been coming in the form of a patch.
But do their claims have sticking power?
Let's peel back those labels for a closer look. Starting with the ingredients.
Many of the patches contain herbal supplements like garcinia cambogia and green coffee bean for weight loss, magnesium for sleep and heavy doses of B vitamins to cure that hangover.
And while you'll be able to find plenty of online testimonials saying they work, Lynsey Hargrove a registered dietitian with Holland Hospital says you won't find any solid scientific research backing up their claims.
"The research out there is very limited so you really don't know what you're getting," Hargrove says.
That's because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not test supplements additionally, federal guidelines consider a dietary supplement as one that's taken orally, which means the patches can't be labeled or marketed like supplements.
Now let's take a look at the patch itself. The first FDA approved patch came on the market in 1979 for motion sickness since then we've seen medical-grade patches to help you stop smoking, for birth control and most recently for schizophrenia.
But here's the difference between FDA approved patches and the ones you're buying online. FDA patches are medical-grade allowing for medication to easily penetrate the skin, something the consumer market doesn't have access to. Which means you may not even be absorbing much of the supplement.
So what's the bottom line? Because of the lack of research, there's no proof the patches work but there's also no proof they don't.
"I think sometimes there's this placebo effect where I'll wear this product or take this supplement and I'll feel better because they're making other changes in their lifestyle that are impacting how they overall feel," Hargrove says.
But do you know what does work?
Real food. Just one smoothie made with nuts, berries, greens and healthy fats can give you the same relief from insomnia, hot flashes and promote weightless better than any patch.
One other note: Doctors worn many of these supplements can interfere with medications which can be worse than the problem you might be trying to fix.
- 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 1 cup kale
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 medium carrot
- ¼ of a red beet, raw
- ½ a medium tomato
- ½ a medium orange
- ⅓ cup blueberries*
- ½ cup strawberries*
- ½ cup mango*
- ½ cup cooked sweet potato
- ¼ of an avocado
- 1 brazil nut
- 2 cups cold filtered water
- Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender
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