3 Products CVS Shouldn't Sell (2023)

I have written countless times that when it comes to supplements, you can throw out both common sense and science. Up is up and down too. I worked with the idea that I really didn't have much more to write on the subject. That was until a leisurely stroll through the aisles of a CVS store. And an existential thought experiment at no extra charge.

If you're in the mood for a few yuks, take a leisurely stroll through the aisles of a CVS dispensary and see if you can find a few items that shouldn't be sold there (maybe even somewhere). very difficult. I recently did this tour. Here are three things that will take the craziness to a new level.

1. Non-homeopathic homeopathic arnica

It's one thing for people to spend money on homeopathic nonsense, but as consumers you have rights too! if Iof neptuneAs an apostle of homeopathy, I have the right to demand that the bottle you buy contains absolutely nothing but water. Therapeutic or chemical drugs are not tolerated. Placebo only!

So imagine my surprise when I saw a strange sight: homeopathic arnica that actually appears to contain an impurity: real arnica. How can it be? It's beyond me, but here it is.

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Figure 1. Boiron'sArnica claims to be diluted to a "strength" of 30°C, but it also contains a measurable amount (0.443mg) of Arnica – 0.443mg more than you might expect. This makes even less sense than the "normal" homeopathic "principles".

To understand this strange inconsistency, we need to learn what 30°C means. Figure 2 should give you an idea of ​​what dilution factors mean when you consider that the madness behind homeopathy is that solutions of [stuff] get stronger as those solutions get more dilute.

3 Products CVS Shouldn't Sell (2)

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Figure 2. 100-fold serial dilutions.

As shown in Figure 2, if you start with a 1 mg solution of some Mist and dilute it 100 times with distilled water (add 10 mL of the "mother tincture" to 990 mL of water) it is called 1C. The new solution now contains 0.01 mg of manure in 1 liter of water. Repeat this one more time and you now have a 2C solution (0.0001 mg per liter), 10,000 times more dilute than the original solution. (According to homeopathic principles, the 2K solution is "stronger" than1K solution.) It should be clear that with a 100-fold dilution series, not much material will be available in a short time.

in fact it is possibledilution calculationat what pointNothing remains. This happens around 13 °C, a dilution of 1026Sometimes even 30C arnica should contain far fewer molecules of the material than zero. (How much is 1026? Dies: 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.)

ACSH friend Dr. Joe Schwarcz, the director of McGill University's Office of Science and Society and a well-known debunker of junk science, is not a big fan of homeopathy:

When does dilution become an illusion? When homeopaths suspect that a solution may have a biological effect even if it has been diluted to the point where it no longer contains a single molecule of the original solute. (ie beyond 12°C in homeopathic terms). Although these solutions contain no active substance, they may contain a significant dose of placebo.

Joe Schwarcz, PhD, 01.06.21

Speaking of placebo, it wouldn't be wrong to call Boiron's Arnica C30 exactly that: a sugar pill. Actually two sugars. Here is the list of "inactive ingredients".

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So if the whole premise behind homeopathy is weird, it's even weirder that a sugar granule from a 30°C solution contains 0.443mg of arnica, which introduces a rather weird dichotomy where the label makes two different claims and opposites, which are incorrect. .

And here's an interesting little thought experiment.

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Image:Wikimedia Commons

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CVS charges $21.99 for three 80-pill tubes, while Amazon will ship the same for just $15.96. Which raises an existential question that could make your head explode: What's the best deal? Sure, Amazon offers more pills for your money, but shouldn't we at least consider the possibility that you're better off with them?not lesstablets? If more diluted = more potent, shouldn't fewer pills = more effective? Let's just call it "homeopathic economics" and put it on the back burner and let more sophisticated minds than mine think about it.

2. Lysine for cold sores?

Here's a smart product: Quantum Health Lip Clear Lysine+Cold sore treatment." The unsuspecting consumer would assume that the product contained lysine (an amino acid) and that it somehow helped get rid of oral herpes outbreaks faster.

The evidence for the effectiveness of lysine in curing cold sores is mixed. TOReview article 2017NOIntegrative Medicine Journalfinished...

Two randomized clinical trials did not show a significant therapeutic effect of lysine supplementation for the treatment of active herpes simplex wounds.

... dose morecanMake the difference...

L-lysine supplementation appears to be ineffective for the prophylaxis or treatment of herpes simplex lesions at doses less than 1 g/day without an arginine-restricted diet.Doses higher than 3 g/day seem to improve patients' subjective experience of the disease.[emphasis added]

Quantum Health, the company that markets lysine+Expectations:

  • Cold sore treatment with instant relief
  • Calm and does not burn
  • Reduces healing time by 50%

Who has the reason? Who knows, but a look at Lisina+Box raises some interesting (and strange) questions.

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Quantum Health Lysine Front+Package.

The front of the box looks pretty plain. Quantum claims that the ointment makes cold sores feel better and go away faster. Let's take it literally.

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The back of the box transports us to the bowels of Mundo Bizarro. If you understand what is going on here please let me know because I don't get it.

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Quantum lists one active ingredient and that is... menthol, which is used along with camphor in much higher concentrations in many over-the-counter cold sore remedies. There is nothing wrong with that; It is a local anesthetic that makes the breast feel better. Bbbbbmas... what about the magic lysine? he appears#7in a list ofidleIngredients nestled between turmeric leaves and melaleuca alternifolia oil. Something is really strange here. If lysine is truly therapeutic, then it really should be listed as an active ingredient, right? And if it is not an active ingredient, what is the name of the product? Sounds like these guys need to tweak the etiquette a bit. maybe so

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A more precise term for lysine+?


DHEA, short for dehydroepiandrosterone, is sold as (God knows why) a dietary supplement. It's nothing like that. A very close chemical relative of testosterone, it is a potentially dangerous performance-enhancing steroid that has been banned from organized sports worldwide.

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The chemical structures of DHEA (L) and testosterone (R). They differ only in their oxidation state (green and blue circles) and in the position of the carbon-carbon double bond (orange rectangle).

But it gets worse. from the newspapercell physiology and biochemistry:

“As a steroid hormone precursor, DHEA can be rapidly converted to androstenedione in peripheral target tissues by 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) and then undergo further conversion.testosteronemiestradiol..."

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Liu, et. at., Cell Physiol Biochem 2015;36:1778-1792,https://doi.org/10.1159/000430150

So we have a "dietary supplement" that is a precursor to male and female hormones. What can go wrong? Facial hair in women and breast growth in men are two relatively minor (possibly even desirable?) side effects, but promoting cancer is not:

DHEA is a hormone. The use of this dietary supplement can increase androgen levels and have a steroid effect. DHEA may also increase the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers, including prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer. If you have any type of cancer or are at risk for it, do not use DHEA.

Those:mayo clinic

Irony time!

at least it's nota bitIt's funny that an anabolic steroid with sex change properties and a cancer warning can be found in health food and vitamin stores like GNC, while at the same time...

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...some Darth Vader-style bottles are marketed asBPA free?(1)

Bet! But in Supplementland nothing makes sense. Up is up and down too.

Anyway, I've had enough. Time is up. Or is it low?


(1) Scientists and NGOs have always tried to equate the plastic component Bisphenol A (BPA) with a death sentence that changes the hormones that are formed. As I already wrote,It is not.

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