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 Dangers listed are not meant to be all-inclusive. Consumer Reports–The Dangers of Supplements Posted on August 9, 2010 by skeptvet There is an article in the upcoming issue of Consumer Reports discussing the sorry state of regulatory oversight for dietary supplements, herbs, and vitamins, and some of the concrete harm that has come to consumers as a result. Likely effective in reducing symptoms of major depression, reducing pain, and improving functioning in people with osteoarthritis. Most people get plenty through their diet. Unhealthy weight loss supplements come with many side effects that are incredibly harmful to health. 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. Nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, headache. Fungal and other infections, Lyme disease, rosacea, psoriasis, food poisoning, chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV/AIDS. In March 2008 the distributor voluntarily recalled the products involved. Large clinical trials have repeatedly found that multivitamins don’t improve the health of the average person. However, we believe that the dangers relating to the use of dietary supplements are not limited to ephedra. Fainting, heart-rhythm disorders, heart attack, stroke, death. Using information from the labels on the supplements and food you routinely consume, add up your total daily exposure to everything, and then check the related table to see whether you’re overdoing it. 3 Probiotic Foods to Try. The reports by themselves don’t prove the supplements caused the problems, but the raw numbers are cause for some concern. Because of inadequate quality control and inspection, supplements contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, or prescription drugs have been sold to unsuspecting consumers. Extremely large amounts might cause weakness, fatigue, headache, and nausea, though side effects are rare. Your doctor or pharmacist can steer you away from such problems only if they know what supplements you're taking or plan to take. His nails and hair have grown back, but he said he still suffers from serious breathing problems. Effective as a bulk laxative for reducing constipation or softening stools. Consumer Reports believes the best way to protect the public is to have stronger federal regulation of supplements. Good news first: 100 percent of the 15 brands we bought that contained iron had the required warning. In this case, it’s based upon an article in Consumer Reports, “15 Supplement Ingredients to Always Avoid.”.” (The FDA said it is studying the companies’ responses.). Makers of nutritional supplements have no legal obligation to put warnings about possible drug interactions on their products, but nothing’s stopping them if they want to. To get a pill down easily, first take a swig of water to moisten your mouth and throat. And the FDA has recently taken legal action against a few supplement manufacturers that claimed their products could prevent or treat a disease. But he soon began feeling fatigued, and when the whites of his eyes turned yellow, he said, he went to the hospital. Consumer Reports has concerns about the safety of Kratom supplements. Moreover, vitamin E may inhibit blood clotting, so it shouldn’t be taken with blood thinners. Consumer Reports finds certain ingredients in dietary supplements sold around the … And FDA rules covering manufacturing quality don't apply to the companies that supply herbs, vitamins, and other raw ingredients. Avoid any product that is claimed to contain "megadoses.". Don't assume more is better. Build & Buy Car Buying Service Instead of attempting any more outright bans, the agency issued warnings, detained imported products, and asked companies to recall products it considered unsafe. Usual doses can cause high blood pressure, rapid heart rate; high doses can cause severe low blood pressure, heart problems, death. Possible dangers linked with its ephedrine alkaloids banned by the FDA in 2004. Then drink the rest of the water to help propel the pill down your esophagus. Here’s our take on five top-selling vitamins, plus multis: Vitamin A. Likely effective for lowering cholesterol in people with mild to moderately high cholesterol. Dr. Marvin Lipman, Consumer Reports' … “When we see a product that makes claims above and beyond what a dietary supplement might do—above supporting health—and within a time frame of a few minutes, it tips us off that we might have a spiked product.”. Might lead to a toxic reaction when taken with the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, certain antidepressants, or narcotic pain relievers. Dangers of Dietary Supplements: A Closer Look Researchers from Consumer Reports worked with experts from the Natural Medicines Comprehensive … There is an exception: Supplements that contain iron must warn about accidental overdosing and fatal poisoning in children. But instead, he says, beginning in February 2008, he experienced one symptom after another: diarrhea, joint pain, hair loss, lung problems, and fingernails and toenails that fell off. Meticore weight loss pills take a different approach to … It's against the law for companies to claim that any supplement can prevent, treat, or cure any disease except some nutrient-deficiency conditions. Likely unsafe. If you’re unsure about your vitamin D status, ask your doctor about having a blood test. Cough, heavy menstrual periods, chest pain, cancer. Let your doctor know if you experience any symptoms after you start taking a supplement. Likely effective for improving symptoms of some forms of depression. Any given Kratom product can be grossly mislabeled. He is suing the manufacturer and others. 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. We strongly support the FDA’s action to ban ephedra. 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 … Calcium can decrease the effectiveness of certain antibiotics, osteoporosis drugs, and thyroid drugs. The latest blow against calcium supplements was a report by German and Swiss researchers who followed almost 24,000 adults for an average of 11 years. 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. Here in the U.S., it can be purchased as a … The Consumer Reports article points out that contamination of supposedly natural supplements with toxins, such as heavy metals, and with prescription drugs, is a serious danger due to the exemption of the supplement industry from the quality control regulations the FDA applies to pharmaceutical companies and other providers of medicines and healthcare products. Undercover investigators from the Government Accountability Office, posing as elderly consumers, caught salespeople on tape dispensing potentially harmful medical advice. Here in the U.S., it can be purchased as a supplement in the form of a powder, pill or tea and it doesn’t require a prescription. Too much vitamin K … Cathy Beggan, president of the supplement's maker, Rise-N-Shine, based in New Jersey, said that her company has not had to provide product information to the FDA. For instance, a 50-something woman who’s worried about her bones might eat a breakfast of Whole Grain Total cereal, which contains around 1,000 milligrams of calcium per serving, with a half-cup of skim milk (150 milligrams of calcium), and take a calcium supplement (500 milligrams) on top of her One-A-Day Menopause Formula multivitamin, which includes 300 milligrams of calcium. The report, in Consumer Reports' September issue, investigates 10 unknown dangers associated with taking vitamins, minerals, herbs, and nutritional supplements. Sometimes all you need is a second swallow or extra water to get the pill down. Symptoms included signs of heart, kidney, or liver problems, aches, allergic reactions, fatigue, nausea, pains, and vomiting. But they might be getting fooled. Current laws make that so difficult for the FDA that to date it has banned only one ingredient, ephedrine alkaloids. But the results may be clouded by the fact that participants were already taking other heart medication. "The reports by themselves don’t prove the supplements caused the problems, but the raw numbers are cause for some concern. A new investigation may have you rethinking some of your vitamins. The Meticore supplement … Might also help slow progression of osteoarthritis. These stores, which sell traditional medicinal plants and other artifacts for physical and spiritual healing, are a valued presence in Hispanic neighborhoods in many American cities. But supplement makers can provide warning labels if they want to. In April 2012, the agency sent warning letters to 10 manufacturers and distributors of products containing dimethylamylamine (DMAA), often touted as a natural stimulant. She says her skin changed color so gradually that she didn't notice, but others did. Ginkgo biloba can also interfere with blood thinners, but we saw a warning about that possible interaction on just one bottle of ginkgo. Colds, weight loss, infections, inflammation, cancer, detoxification. Likely effective treatment for reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee. Likely effective for reducing gastrointestinal symptoms in lactoseintolerant people when used before consuming lactose or when added to milk. "Any given Kratom product can be grossly mislabeled. You can also learn about interactions in our free “Guide: 100+ Commonly Used Supplements” (funded by a grant from the Airborne Cy Pres Fund). Contains synephrine, which is similar to ephedrine, banned by the FDA in 2004. The FDA warned in 1993 that it was linked to serious adverse events. If you suspect you’re having a bad reaction to a supplement, tell your doctor. Andy Potts. Some of those products aren’t especially helpful, readers told us in a recent survey, but that aside, don’t assume they’re safe because they’re “all natural.” They may be neither. China, which has repeatedly been caught exporting contaminated products, is a major supplier of raw supplement ingredients. Likely effective in combination with vitamin D in preventing and treating bone loss and osteoporosis. 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. Laser treatments have erased almost all the discoloration from Dowd's face and neck, but she said it's not feasible to treat the rest of her body. Type the name of the supplement you’re interested in into the search box at www.fda.gov to see whether it has been subject to warnings, alerts, or voluntary recalls. Might decrease the effectiveness of carbamazepine, an antiseizure drug; digoxin, a heart drug; and lithium, for bipolar disorder. The study found that gray hair had lower-than-normal levels of catalase but did not prove that taking that enzyme by mouth would stop hair from turning gray. 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 pointed out 15 ingredients in supplements that it says consumers should avoid because they have dangerous side effects such as rapid heartbeat, liver damage … SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Millions of Americans have reportedly tried a supplement called kratom to treat a number of problems from chronic pain to opioid withdrawal. Few people in the U.S. are outright deficient in vitamin A. Source: Institute of Medicine and the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. Possibly unsafe. A version of this article appeared in the September 2012 issue of Consumer Reports magazine with the headline "Vitamins & Supplements.". See our, The dangers of dietary and nutritional supplements investigated, Photo: 11 … Meticore is a healthy metabolism support formula known as a recognizable leader for being a natural fat burning weight loss supplement that specifically targets and successfully triggers the spark of real metabolic rate regeneration. 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. Build muscles by weight training. 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. These products contained a Viagra-like drug, the FDA said. Most people can get enough omega-3s by eating fatty fish at least twice a week. 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. That effort dragged on for a decade, during which ephedra weight-loss products were implicated in thousands of adverse events, including deaths. Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience. 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