Diet Supplements and Brain Injuries
A friend of mine who was recently in a bad highway pile up, had lost a lot of weight after taking dietary supplements. She explained that these supplements were a drug free “Superfood” for helping her brain injury, like she “read about on the internet.” Her main complaints about this drug free brain damage solution, were dehydration, and lightheadedness. Naturally, I am thinking oh boy, another frontal lobotomy waiting to happen. So along with slower reaction times due to always being thirsty, she has guys chasing her a lot due to her new slim figure.
Well at least she won’t be single with her brain injury and super model figure. The question I have, is “can she sue the supplement manufacturer when she loses it completely?” I did some research on brain injuries and low and behold, I discovered that some of these manufacturers actually say that their non FDA approved snake oil can treat concussions. No joke.
First let me preface this. My research showed that concussion and traumatic brain injury awareness are at an all time high here in the United States. Due to advances in medical technology, groundbreaking studies that show the long term effects of these injuries to the brain, and the toll they take on some of America’s most beloved athletic heroes, trauma to the head and brain are being taken extremely seriously. Some supplement manufacturers have seen an opportunity in the concern for preventing and properly treating TBIs, and have taken to the market products that they claim can aid in the recovery and prevention of TBIs. These products are unregulated and untested, and provide zero scientific evidence of their overall effectiveness.
I looked around online for the various legal eagles who sue people, and official government resource material, I found some good resource material dealing with TBI and misrepresentation. So this looks like it is a job for Matt Dolman out in Clearwater, FLA. Other than you talking to him, I think the below information will help you understand what I learned. I think if you want to report any unlawful stuff you are aware of, the Department of Consumer Affairs, both U.S. and that of your state, city and county, is a great starting point.
FDA MONITORING DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS FALSE CLAIMS OF TBI TREATMENT
The first to notice a supplement manufacturer was claiming that their dietary supplements can help treat TBIs was the Department of Defense (Source.) TBIs are common among the wounded veterans of our armed forces, and when it was discovered that a product was being marketed to the military that claimed to help treat TBIs, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was alerted. Since learning of this marketing tactic, the FDA has been monitoring the dietary supplement market place and has identified and warned two companies guilty of the practice.
The companies claim that due to the ingredients in their supplements, usually turmeric and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, that their product will offer prevention and relief from TBI symptoms. They found that one company claimed to have “the world’s first supplement formulated specifically to assist concussion recovery,” saying “it has the dynamic ability to minimize long-term effects and decrease recovery time.” They even were able to obtain a former NFL player to endorse the product and testify to its effectiveness, along with an anonymous “licensed trainer” who claimed to use it when managing concussions. Another company that marketed four products made similar claims. The FDA sent warnings to both of these companies, saying that their products were not recognized as safe and effective treatments, and accused them of misbranding, and threatened legal action. The companies, PruTect Rx and Trinity Sports Group, Inc., complied with the FDAs demands.
FALSE CLAIMS CAN BE DANGEROUS
Even if these dietary supplements have no ingredients that can harm an individual who ingests them, they still can be dangerous to the consumer. TBIs require proper treatment and rest, or else the injury can get dramatically worse. In an article published on the FDA’s website, leading members of the FDA gave their opinions on the matter.
“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,” said Gary Coody, the FDA’s National Health Fraud Coordinator.
“There is simply no scientific evidence to support the use of any dietary supplement for the prevention of concussions or the reduction of post-concussion symptoms that would allow athletes to return to play sooner,” said Charlotte Christin, acting director of FDA’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs.
If you, a loved one, or someone you know has suffered from a TBI and believe it was worsened due to being misled by false claims made by dietary supplements, you may eligible for compensation for the damages suffered. TBIs require proper diagnosis and treatment for recovery, and even then the symptoms and effects of the injury may be difficult to heal. No dietary supplement can prevent or treat brain trauma, and such claims should not be taken seriously. If you wish to learn more about how to hire a lawyer, or simply learn more about food related illnesses and cures, check out our resources page that is currently under construction.