By: Jason Belcher

Mental clarity, enhanced endurance, and weight loss-these are just a few of the promises of  THRIVE, a dietary supplement routine consisting of two pills in the morning, followed by a “lifestyle shake” and “derma-fusion technology patch” to transmit additional supplementation through the skin during the day (like the anti-smoking patches). It is another in a long line of dietary programs to sell consumers on the value of natural herbs and vitamins in their busy lives.

In reality, a proper diet will give you balanced vitamin intake, but poor eating habits and busy schedules often hinder our ability to eat a balanced diet.  So, supplements are marketed to fill the gap; but, the reality is an overload of supplementation of vitamins, minerals, and caffeine in a 24-hour time frame is often unnecessary, or as Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory said: many vitamin supplements are “a recipe for expensive urine”, because the body expels what it can’t use, but in some instances, they can be very harmful to your body.

     I don’t mean to insult dietary, or vitamin entrepreneurs within the community. This is not to insult a business or try to prevent customer pools from growing; however, before people begin dietary programs, they should know the facts regarding dietary supplementation.

     Per the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dietary supplementation accounts for more than 23,000 emergency room visits each year. Of those, more than 2,100 result in hospitalization each year. This study, which draws on data from 63 emergency departments over the span of 12 years, revealed that most visits were young adults who complained of palpitations, chest pains, rapid heartbeats, and shortness of breath.

     These are symptoms associated with caffeine overconsumption. In the  THRIVE program, the “derma-fusion technology patch” does have green coffee been extract in the ingredient list, which does have higher caffeine content than roasted coffee beans along with various vitamins and minerals. This additional caffeine could be a problem, especially when caffeine loaded soda is consumed throughout the day.

     With caffeine being highly addictive, is the benefit of a program like THRIVING: weight loss and clear thinking, or is it simply addressing a caffeine addiction caused by the caffeine laden guarana, green tea, and green coffee bean extracts in the infused patches and pills?

     Just because products claim to contain natural ingredients does not guarantee they are safe to consume.

     Ultimately, consumers must take responsibility to educate themselves on safe supplementation routines.

     A program based on exercise, proper diet and physical activity offers the best solution for those pondering sustainable weight loss or endurance enhancement.

     Before starting on a dietary program, tell your doctor the program and supplements you’ll be taking.  Ask your doctor about the risks and find out any issues that might result based on your health history. Buyer beware, find out the  positive and negative effects BEFORE you subscribe.

Jake Gibson is a 2013 graduate of  Lee County High School, who has attended Morehead State University, and is currently attending Eastern Kentucky University, studying History, International Studies, French, and Political Science.

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