Think you're doing your body good by taking dietary supplements? Think again, claims an alarming new study.
Attention, dietary supplement users: a new study by Consumer Reports has just come to some alarming conclusions that you should pay attention to. Because supplements are not regulated in the same way as medications, there is a strong risk to consumers that many may not be aware of.
A daily supplement is often a routine for Americans, but the report indicates that producers of dietary supplements have little regulation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which can make them dangerous.
Supplements often have side effects, and these side effects may interact with medication the person is currently on. Supplements are basically treated as food, which means they don’t have to be proven safe and effective like prescription drugs are. And because the labels of supplements aren’t bound by the same regulations as pharmaceuticals, you can’t trust what you see on the label.
A total of 23,000 people end up in the emergency room each year because of supplements, according to Consumer Reports.
There is a way to protect yourself: You can look for the USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia) label indicating the contents of the supplement have been verified.
Supplements aren’t always innocuous, and consumers should keep that in mind and check with their doctors first before starting on a supplement regimen.
Consumer Reports has listed the following 15 supplement ingredients to always avoid, as it can result in organ damage, cancer, cardiac arrest and other ailments:
Also called: Aconiti tuber, aconitum, angustifolium, monkshood, radix aconti, wolfsbane
Reduces inflammation, joint pain, gout
Nausea, vomiting, weakness, paralysis, breathing and heart problems, possibly death
Also called: 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine
Improves attention, enhances athletic performance, weight loss
Seizures, heart arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, possibly death; particularly dangerous when combined with other stimulants
Also called: Creosote bush, greasewood, larrea divaricata, larrea tridentata, larreastat
Weight loss; improves inflammation; treats colds, infections, skin rashes, cancer
Kidney problems, liver damage, possibly death
Also called: Coughwort, farfarae folium leaf, foalswort, tussilago farfara
Relieves cough, sore throat, laryngitis, bronchitis, asthma
Liver damage, possible carcinogen
Also called: Blackwort, bruisewort, slippery root, symphytum officinale
Relieves cough, heavy menstrual periods, stomach problems, chest pain; treats cancer
Liver damage, cancer, possibly death
Also called: Teucrium chamaedrys, viscidum
Weight loss; alleviates fever, arthritis, gout, stomach problems
Liver damage, hepatitis, possibly death
Also called: Celandine, chelidonium majus, chelidonii herba
Green Tea Extract Powder
Also called: Camellia sinensis
Dizziness, ringing in the ears, reduced absorption of iron; exacerbates anemia and glaucoma; elevates blood pressure and heart rate; liver damage; possibly death
Also called: Ava pepper, kava kava, piper methysticum
Reduces anxiety, improves insomnia
Liver damage,exacerbates Parkinson’s and depression, impairs driving, possibly death
Also called: Asthma weed, lobelia inflata, vomit wort, wild tobacco
Improves respiratory problems, aids smoking cessation
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, rapid heartbeat, confusion, seizures, hypothermia, coma, possibly death
Also called: Oxilofrine, p-hydroxyephedrine, oxyephedrine, 4-HMP
Weight loss, increases energy, improves athletic performance
Causes heart rate and rhythm abnormalities, cardiac arrest; particularly risky when taken with other stimulants
Also called: Hedeoma pulegioides, mentha pulegium
Improves breathing problems, digestive disorders
Liver and kidney failure, nerve damage, convulsions, possibly death
Red Yeast Rice
Also called: Monascus purpureus
Lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, prevents heart disease
Kidney and muscle problems, liver problems, hair loss; can magnify effect of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, increasing the risk of side effects
Also called: Beard moss, tree moss, usnea
Weight loss, pain relief
Also called: Johimbi, pausinystalia yohimbe, yohimbine, corynanthe johimbi
Treats low libido and erectile dysfunction, depression, obesity
Raises blood pressure; causes rapid heart rate, headaches, seizures, liver and kidney problems, heart problems, panic attacks, possibly death