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FDA Warns Against Concussion-Curing Claims on Supplements

FDA Warns Against Concussion-Curing Claims on Supplements
Photograph by Nikki Bidgood

If you’ve sustained a concussion—a brain injury from head trauma that can manifest in such symptoms as headaches, confusion, and amnesia—doctors recommend lots of rest. Taking dietary supplements to accelerate recovery or prevent traumatic brain injury won’t help, they say.

That hasn’t stopped some supplement makers from marketing products as concussion cures, a practice the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers about this week. “We were taken aback that anyone would make a claim that a supplement could treat [traumatic brain injury],” FDA regulator Jason Humbert said in the agency’s alert. Claims that supplements can help heal concussions could be dangerous if they led athletes with head injuries to return to play before they’re ready, the FDA says.