Dietary supplements have always been a tricky topic and there has been a lot of debate whether they are bad or good for you, amongst health professionals, dieters and naturalists. The dietary supplements market is $26.7 billion and ironically there is not much government oversight in this industry.
A new investigation in the September issue of Consumer Reports identifies a list of supplement ingredients that have been linked by clinical research or case reports to serious adverse events, such as cancer, coma, heart problems, kidney damage, liver damage, or death.
Consumer Reports identified 12 supplement ingredients linked to serious adverse. The dozen are:
• bitter orange,
• colloidal silver,
• country mallow,
• greater celandine,
Surprisingly, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned about at least eight of these, some as long ago as 1993; those eight supplements include chaparral, colloidal silver, comfrey, country mallow, germanium, kava, lobelia, and yohimbe. But warnings have not prevented retailers from selling supplements containing these ingredients.
More than half of the adult population in the U.S. have taken supplements for a variety of reasons but what they do not know is that the manufacturers of these products do not have to show that these products are indeed safe and effective.
“Supplements are marketed with very seductive and sometimes overblown sales pitches for increasing your performance in the bedroom, slimming down, or boosting your athletic prowess. And consumers are easily lulled into believing that supplements can do no harm because they’re ‘natural.’ However, some natural ingredients can be hazardous, and on top of that the FDA has repeatedly found hazardous ingredients, including synthetic prescription drugs, in supplements,” said Nancy Metcalf, senior program editor, Consumer Reports.
People need to be extra careful before taking any kind of supplements, ever if they are “natural” and ask a health professional before doing so.
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