Consumer Reports published a list of 15 supplements to avoid. Forty percent of labels warned people against taking the supplement if they had a medical condition, but only some cited an ailment, such as a bleeding disorder; 36 percent warned of possible adverse reactions; but only 13 percent warned of possible interactions with a specific drug or type of drug. Might reduce the effectiveness of some medications, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), other heart medications, birth-control pills, HIV/AIDS drugs. Dangers listed are not meant to be all-inclusive. The company had frequently reformulated the product, according to the FDA, which said it didn't know which ingredients produced the liver toxicity. And if you end up with a serious side effect, ask your doctor or pharmacist to report it to the FDA, or do it yourself at www.fda.gov/medwatch or by calling 800-332-1088. Why not simply order a problem product off the market? Banned in Germany, Canada, and Switzerland. The researchers theorized that the supplements may cause quick spikes in blood calcium levels that have been linked to risky lipid levels, whereas calcium in food is likely to be absorbed more slowly. Consumer Reports also has concerns, because like any supplement, Kratom is not regulated. Watch videos from Consumer Reports. A dozen ingredients commonly found in dietary supplements should be avoided, according to a new report, because they are linked to cancer, coma, kidney and liver damage, heart problems, and death. High doses can increase levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in some people or increase the chance of bleeding. He is suing the manufacturer and others. And the FDA has recently taken legal action against a few supplement manufacturers that claimed their products could prevent or treat a disease. Plant-derived supplements make many health enhancement claims, and yet the market is largely unregulated, says a new article published in Consumer Reports (CR). We then shopped for them online and in stores near our Yonkers, N.Y., headquarters and easily found all of them for sale in June 2010. Likely effective for reducing gastrointestinal symptoms in lactoseintolerant people when used before consuming lactose or when added to milk. Here’s our take on five top-selling vitamins, plus multis: Vitamin A. Choking as a serious symptom showed up surprisingly often in the database we analyzed of problem reports to the FDA in the last five years, with more than 900 mentions. Others contained synthetic steroids. Likely effective for lowering cholesterol in people with mild to moderately high cholesterol. “That sensation feels like choking,” he says, but it isn’t. In April 2012, the agency sent warning letters to 10 manufacturers and distributors of products containing dimethylamylamine (DMAA), often touted as a natural stimulant. Ginkgo biloba can also interfere with blood thinners, but we saw a warning about that possible interaction on just one bottle of ginkgo. The Meticore supplement … But specific warnings were rarer. Consumer Reports found that an estimated 23,000 people end up in the emergency room after taking supplements every year. St. John’s wort is especially prone to drug interactions, and most of the 17 St. John’s wort product labels we reviewed did contain a general warning or named specific drugs or drug classes. In March 2008, Marques Parke, 29, a plumber from Janesville, Wis., took a weight-loss supplement called Hydroxycut because he wanted to lose 5 pounds, he said. Consumer Reports outlines in a extensive report how producers of dietary supplements face little regulation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and why that can be dangerous … Unless your health-care provider tells you that you need more than 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of a particular nutrient, you probably don’t. Lay off the antioxidant supplements and reduce your cancer risk safely by quitting smoking, avoiding excessive drinking, and eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. In the article, entitled, ‘Vitamins & Supplements, 10 dangers that may surprise you’ , Consumer Reports warns shoppers about overdosing - and choking - on vitamins, supplements … Some people may experience adverse effects from too much calcium or iron. Meticore weight loss pills take a different approach to … However, we believe that the dangers relating to the use of dietary supplements are not limited to ephedra. So there are hundreds of supplements to avoid, including many that are useless, mislabeled, contaminated, or adulterated with pharmaceuticals. Omega-3 pills and antioxidants are widely thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, respectively, and millions of women take calcium to protect their bones. They found that regular users of calcium supplements had an 86 percent increased heart-attack risk compared with those who didn’t use supplements, as reported in the June 2012 issue of the journal Heart. Dangers of Dietary Supplements: A Closer Look Researchers from Consumer Reports worked with experts from the Natural Medicines Comprehensive … Consult your doctor or pharmacist. Symptoms included signs of … Possibly unsafe. But there’s a big difference between the two, notes Pieter Cohen, M.D., an internist at Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts with a special interest in supplements. Report problems. Omega-3 fish oil. Our reporter asked for advice on how to treat type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and impotence, conditions that have effective conventional drug treatments. We strongly support the FDA’s action to ban ephedra. “These powerful medications with powerful side effects are actually saving lives when used appropriately,” he says of prescription drugs. People who might need a multivitamin include women who are pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to conceive; dieters consuming fewer than 1,200 calories a day or cutting out an entire food group (carbs, for example); and those with medical conditions that affect digestion and food absorption. Source: Institute of Medicine and the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. And consult a doctor if you need help in the bedroom, since it could indicate an underlying health problem. Once again, mainstream media has jumped on a story warning against the dangers of dietary supplements, and some of the facts are being misrepresented. To get a pill down easily, first take a swig of water to moisten your mouth and throat. Might increase the blood-thinning effect of warfarin and cause bruising and bleeding. Place the pill on the front of your tongue, take a sip of water, tilt your head back slightly, and swallow. “Supplement sales in the US reached $46 billion in 2018 and are predicted to exceed $52 billion by 2020. In 2005, eager to make the most of his baseball scholarship at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., Jareem Gunter started taking a supplement he found online that promised to improve his athletic performance and claimed to be "legal," he recalls. Vitamin C can enhance iron absorption, so avoid high doses if you have hemochromatosis, a condition in which the body absorbs and stores too much iron. Toxicity, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, respiratory-system paralysis, heart-rhythm disorders, death. We found products with those ingredients readily available in stores and online. And experts we consulted suggested that the supply chain used by some of the stores might not follow the best industry standards. Calcium. The investigators warned that the implications of their findings were worrisome given that more than half of people 60 or older take supplements containing vitamin E. Moreover, 23 percent of them take at least 400 IU per day despite a recommended daily dietary allowance of only 22 IU for adult men. "It just tore me up," he said. In 2009, we spent $26.7 billion on them, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, a trade publication. Far from reducing cancer risk, as a lot of people believe, high doses of some antioxidant supplements may actually increase it, evidence suggests. Upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, liver disorders, detoxification, cancer. The list of interactions and side effects is not all-inclusive. If you’re surfing the Internet for dietary supplements and find a site that claims its products can diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent a disease, surf right off to another site. As a consumer and nutrition enthusiast herself, Dawn Cohen has dedicated the past 7 years of her life to tracking down the safest and most effective supplements and brands. But those that do are still useful because they can raise red flags about a developing problem. Why are they still for sale? Can decrease the effectiveness of a wide range of drugs, including birth-control pills, heart medications, HIV/AIDS drugs, and warfarin. Likely effective in combination with vitamin D in preventing and treating bone loss and osteoporosis. Get Ratings on the go and compare while you shop, Privacy note: We won't use your friend's e-mail for anything other than sending this message. Might decrease the effectiveness of carbamazepine, an antiseizure drug; digoxin, a heart drug; and lithium, for bipolar disorder. Even helpful products can be harmful in some situations, such as when you're pregnant or nursing, have a chronic disease, or are about to have elective surgery. GI symptoms, dry mouth, headache, mild insomnia, anorexia, sweating, dizziness, and nervousness, especially at higher doses. The FDA warned in 1993 that it was linked to serious adverse events. The retinol form—which comes from animal sources such as eggs, liver, and whole milk—is more readily absorbed than beta-carotene, but even strict vegetarians can usually meet their needs by eating five servings a day of produce, including dark green leafy vegetables and orange and yellow fruit. Some people can have a serious allergic response that requires immediate medical attention. Since 1994, the number of supplements on the market has expanded from 4,000 to 90,000. Likely effective when taken with calcium to help prevent osteoporosis. Effective as a bulk laxative for reducing constipation or softening stools. Colds, weight loss, infections, inflammation, cancer, detoxification. But he soon began feeling fatigued, and when the whites of his eyes turned yellow, he said, he went to the hospital. Large clinical trials have repeatedly found that multivitamins don’t improve the health of the average person. China, which has repeatedly been caught exporting contaminated products, is a major supplier of raw supplement ingredients. Slim down with diet and exercise. I subscribe to Consumer Reports on-line, and ironically I just saw their cover story in my email edition, “10 Surprising Dangers of Vitamins & Supplements.” I didn’t bother to read it because it’s ridiculous, and from past editions of Many supplements will not hurt users, but Consumer Reports believes with so little government oversight, people should avoid most of them. But the FDA is … However, further research is needed to determine CBD's other benefits and safety.. CBD is a chemical found in marijuana.CBD doesn't contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that produces a high. Two national retailers we contacted about specific supplements said they carried them because the FDA has not banned them. That effort dragged on for a decade, during which ephedra weight-loss products were implicated in thousands of adverse events, including deaths. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), it is difficult for the FDA to put together strong enough evidence to order products off the market. Dr. Marvin Lipman, Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser, pointed out that worried consumers can look for the USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia) label that means a company has verified what is on the label. Extremely large amounts might cause weakness, fatigue, headache, and nausea, though side effects are rare. "The reports by themselves don’t prove the supplements caused the problems, but the raw numbers are cause for some concern. Vitamins and supplements could do more harm than good in some cases, according to a new report in Consumer Reports. Instead, try these sources: Consumers might be attracted to dietary supplements because they're "all natural" and don't contain the synthetic chemicals found in prescription drugs. So annoying! Dr. Marvin Lipman, Consumer Reports' … If your culture’s health practices are important to you, consider seeking out an integrative physician, such as Low Dog, who combines conventional medical care with holistic and traditional methods. All I can say is Yay! 11 … Pain, infections, glaucoma, liver problems, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer. Janis Dowd, 56, of Bartlesville, Okla., says she started taking colloidal silver in 2000 after reading online that it would keep her Lyme disease from returning. But recent evidence casts doubt on whether those supplements are as safe or effective as assumed. Calcium can decrease the effectiveness of certain antibiotics, osteoporosis drugs, and thyroid drugs. We’ve seen many recalled products that have contained the same or similar active ingredients as prescription drugs, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and sibutramine (Meridia, a weight-loss drug that was withdrawn from the market in 2010 because of evidence that it increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes). The president of BioAnue Laboratories told us it “complies with all U.S. laws.”). Hazardous ingredients have been known to turn up in dietary supplements marketed for weight loss, bodybuilding, and sexual enhancement. If you are already getting the recommended amount of nutrients by eating a variety of fruit, vegetables, cereals, dairy, and protein, there’s little if any additional benefit from ingesting nutritional supplements. Read and be warned. The FDA warned in 1993 that reports of serious adverse events were under investigation. Get calcium from dairy products, green leafy vegetables, and fish with edible bones, such as sardines. Moreover, vitamin E may inhibit blood clotting, so it shouldn’t be taken with blood thinners. The FDA advised manufacturers to remove comfrey products from the market in July 2001. The FDA said that Hydroxycut presented "a severe, potentially life-threatening hazard to some users" and had been linked to two reported deaths. One of the most complete set of warnings we saw was on a Vitamin Shoppe bottle. Your doctor or pharmacist can steer you away from such problems only if they know what supplements you're taking or plan to take. Andy Potts. Might increase the effect of blood-thinning drugs and high blood pressure medications. Then drink the rest of the water to help propel the pill down your esophagus. Based on current evidence, vitamins C and E haven’t been found to shield people from cancer; vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C don’t seem to protect against getting or dying from cancer; selenium doesn’t prevent prostate cancer; and there’s no convincing evidence that beta-carotene or vitamin A, C, or E supplements prevent gastrointestinal cancers. More than 6,300 reports of serious adverse events associated with dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbs, streamed into the FDA from supplement companies, consumers, health-care providers, and others between 2007 and mid-April of 2012. Might help reduce falls in people with vitamin D deficiency and bone loss in people taking corticosteroids. M.D., with a patient who had a heart attack while on supplements. In one case, a salesperson told an investigator that a garlic supplement could be taken in lieu of high blood pressure medicine. And close to 12 percent have been linked to safety concerns or problems with product quality. In this case, it’s based upon an article in Consumer Reports, “15 Supplement Ingredients to Always Avoid.”.” Most supplements haven't been studied in pregnant or nursing women. "He told me, ‘Your liver's failed. Such claims are off-limits to supplements, according to the FDA. As a result, the supplement marketplace is not as safe as it should be. Heart attack, heart arrhythmia, stroke, death. Meticore is an all-natural metabolism booster plus weight loss supplement for every individual who is looking to shed excess fat stored around … And exercise, get antioxidants from food, not a dietary ingredient at all E overdose may increase a 's! But statistically significant increase in mortality ginkgo biloba can also report your problem to the general population not! Investigators from the market has expanded from 4,000 to 90,000 for bipolar disorder the blood-thinning effect of blood-thinning and! 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