updated 5/2/2011 2:08:55 PM ET 2011-05-02T18:08:55

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

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. Splash News
      More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says

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.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments