There are only 11 positions available for starters on a pro soccer team — and no one wants to be left on the bench.
But some second-stringers have managed to become valuable substitute players. James Milner played for five teams and made 161 substitute appearances, the most of anyone in the league.
It just goes to show that sometimes substitutions can turn out okay — just not when it comes to dietary supplements claiming they're substitutes for diabetes medications.
The FDA recently issued warning letters to 10 companies that market unapproved supplements to treat diabetes. Those products may be harmful — either because of the ingredients they contain or because your diabetes will worsen, as it will be ineffectively treated.
One company that got the warning sells a product containing hydrolyzed collagen, milk thistle, bitter melon extract, alpha lipoic acid, and cinnamon extract, which they claim helps reduce blood sugar levels, protects the pancreas, and improves both your skin and joint pain. There is no proof of those claims.
For a list of the suspect products/companies, go to www.FDA.gov, search for "warning letters," then search for "diabetes."
In the meantime, listen up: Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, reversed, even cured, if you walk daily (the goal is 10,000 steps a day) and adopt the healthy eating style in Dr. Mike's book, "What to Eat When."
You may also need to take FDA-approved medications to stabilize your blood sugar. If you do, explore options with your doctor.
There's no substitute for safe, effective treatments.