The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a consumer update on companies that market dietary supplements that claim to heal and prevent concussions. According to a news report from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the advertising of these dietary supplements has received more attention with the start of fall school sports and the federal agency is increasing its enforcement actions to warn companies when their claims are false.
Gary Coody, the FDA’s national health fraud coordinator, says, “We’re very concerned that false assurances of faster recovery will convince athletes of all ages, coaches, and even parents that someone suffering from a concussion is ready to resume activities before they are really ready. Also, watch for claims that these products can prevent or lessen the severity of concussions or [traumatic brain injuries].”
The FDA states that because the dietary supplement market is a crowded one that requires no product registration, “products making false claims can slip through, at least for a time,” as indicated on the APTA news release. The supplements are available in some retail outlets; however, companies also rely on social media for their advertising. Often, the supplements include turmeric and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Overall, Coody says, “There is no dietary supplement that has been shown to prevent or treat [concussion]. If someone tells you otherwise, walk away.”