US mothers feed infants variety of herbal products

AP News
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Posted: May 02, 2011 12:01 AM
US mothers feed infants variety of herbal products

New research suggests many U.S. babies are fed herbal supplements or teas.

Food and Drug Administration researchers led the study. It was released Monday in the journal Pediatrics and is billed as the first to examine broad use of such products in American infants.

About 9 percent studied had been fed supplements at least once. The 2005-2007 study oversampled whites mothers, so authors say the true national prevalence is likely between 3 percent and 10 percent. About 2,600 mothers were questioned.

Gripe water for colic and chamomile tea were the most common products, but many others were used for reasons including fussiness and digestive problems. Side effects weren't examined.

Supplements aren't strictly regulated. The authors say there's a potential for harm, and the variety used means some probably were unsafe.