1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Is Alvidar for Thyroid Conditions Actually a Scam?

One Ingredient Can Even Make Hypothyroidism Worse!

By

Updated June 12, 2006

Is Alvidar for Thyroid Conditions Actually a Scam?
Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo is a common herb for energy, and is reported to improve memory and blood flow.

Some side effects include:

  • Stomach or intestinal upsets
  • Headaches
  • Allergic skin reaction.
Some people who are allergic to urusiols (mango rind, sumac, poison ivy, poison oak, cashews) may be particularly allergic to ginkgo.

Gingko should not be used in anyone with a bleeding disorder, and should be discontinued before surgery or dental procedures.

Experts advise that gingko not be used with other products that increase risk of bleeding, such as daily aspirin or anticoagulant drugs, anti-platelet and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

Panax Ginseng

Ginseng is typically recommended by herbalists as a tonic, to provide energy, and to help with concentration.

Some of the potential side effects of ginseng include:

  • Skin rash, itching Diarrhea
  • Anxiety, depression
  • Nosebleeds, vaginal bleeding
  • Breast tenderness
  • Loss of menstrual periods
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Breast enlargement in men)
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Increased blood pressure
Ginseng should not be used in anyone with a bleeding disorder, and should be discontinued before surgery or dental procedures.

Experts advise that gingko not be used with other products that increase risk of bleeding, such as daily aspirin or anticoagulant drugs, anti-platelet and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

Experts also caution against use of ginseng in patients with hormone sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, or endometriosis.

Ginseng also shouldn't be combined with prescription anti-depressant drugs or supplements that interact with those drugs, such as 5-HTP , chromium, DHEA, DLPA (DL Phenylalanine), ephedra, evening primrose oil, fenugreek, Ginkgo biloba , hops, mace, St. John's wort, SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine), tyrosine, valerian, vitamin B6, yohimbe bark extract, caffeine, and yerba mate.

Ginseng also should not be used with blood pressure or heart medications, including calcium channel blockers.

Ilex Paraguariensis (Yerba Mate leaves)

The main purpose of including yerba mate is assumed to be the caffeine levels of the herb.

Caffeine is of course a stimulant drug, and can be problematic to people with blood pressure problems and heart conditions (including mitral valve prolapse).

Why ginseng and yerba mate are both included in Alvidar, when that combination is contraindicated, is a question of concern.

Filipendula Ulmaria (Queen of the Meadow/Meadowsweet)

Meadowsweet flowers contain salicylate, a raw ingredient of aspirin. They are considered anti-inflammatory.

Various sources warn that meadowsweet should not be used where a salicylate sensitivity exists, or in people hypersensitive to aspirin.

Since anti-inflammatories can increase the risk of bleeding, why this product is included in the same supplement with gingko and ginseng, when that combination is contraindicated?

Hypericum Perforatum (St. John's Wort)

St. John's wort is primarily used for its antidepressant properties.

Adverse effects can include:

  • stomach upset
  • skin reactions
  • fatigue
  • restlessness or anxiety
  • sexual dysfunction (including impotence)
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • sun sensitivity
  • altered menstrual flow
  • bleeding
  • unwanted pregnancies in women taking birth control pills and St. John's wort
Of particular concern, however, is a study that reported that St. John's wort causes elevated thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels -- meaning a worsening of hypothyroidism.

Why does Alvidar include a supplement that may actually worsen hypothyroidism?

St. John's wort is not recommended for any patients taking digoxin or digitoxin, other antidepressants, triptan-type headache medications, chemotherapy drugs, and all anti-inflammatory prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Experts recommend avoiding St. John's wort unless the herb is recommended and okayed by a practitioner.

Valeriana Officinalis (Valerian)

Valerian is a medicinal herb most commonly used as a sleep aid, and tranquilizer.

Some of the side effects of valerian include:

  • Headache
  • Stomach upset
  • Dizziness
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
Valerian also has the potential to be addictive.

Why a supplement that is meant to encourage sleep is being recommended for a condition that causes severe fatigue is not clear.

>> How much does Alvidar cost?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.