Dear Ms. Meniscus, Healing in a bottle

Help! My mother-in-law keeps sending me supplements that say that they guarantee you will re-grow cartilage & the hipbone. Is there something simple I can send her explaining this is not possible. One hip is resurfaced. The other is to be replaced next month. 

Vickie H.W.


Dear Vickie:

As you clearly understand, if a supplement could re-grow cartilage and hipbone, nobody would need any medication, treatment, or surgery! If only that were so, but it isn’t! You raised an important issue Vicki, because some people believe that a supplement is “more natural” and they are seduced by what seems like a simple solution to a complex problem. Nothing is that easy, and it could be dangerous.

There certainly is a resource for you to recommend to your mother-in-law and that would be the FDA. The FDA is the acronym for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA regularly sends out warning letters to companies that cite “unapproved or unsubstantiated claims, tainted products or other health fraud-related violations.” Notice the term: health fraud.  It is very important that she become informed about the outrageous claims that some of these companies make, and the potential for damage when patients don’t seek legitimate medical advice.

Thank your mother-in-law for her concern for your health and gently inform her that you have heard about fanciful claims of healing-in-a- bottle and that they are no more believable than beauty-in-a-bottle. Do you know anyone who erased ten years of life with a little face cream? Of course not, and neither can we re-grow body parts with a supplement. So direct this kind lady to the FDA’s website, for her own safety:

Madame thanks you for raising an important issue, and wishes you well next month.