Lately there have been some articles in the news about the dangers of supplements.  Several people have been asking me about the safety of  what they are taking.  They buy supplements from stores or online and are now afraid to take what they bought. While I don’t want to get into how many people suffer from adverse drug reactions, hospital mistakes and counterfeit drugs, I do want to point out that taking supplements can sometimes pose a risk.  My recommendation is to make sure you are informed about the supplement and the company before taking anything.  I only use companies I know and trust.

The first article called, Spike in Harm to Liver Is Tied to Dietary Aids, is about someone who suffered liver damage from a green tea extract.

The article also does go on to say:

“Dr. Victor Navarro, the chairman of the hepatology division at Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia, said that while liver injuries linked to supplements were alarming, he believed that a majority of supplements were generally safe. Most of the liver injuries tracked by a network of medical officials are caused by prescription drugs used to treat things like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, he said.”

The second article is called, Skip The Supplements

It is about the FDA not being able to regulate supplements adequately.

“But the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate dietary supplements as drugs — they aren’t tested for safety and efficacy before they’re sold. Many aren’t made according to minimal standards of manufacturing (the F.D.A. has even found some of the facilities where supplements are made to be contaminated with rodent feces and urine). And many are mislabeled, accidentally or intentionally. They often aren’t what they say they are.”

However, Dr. Mercola states in this article:

The Dr. Oz Show: Information I Couldn’t Share

This is patently false, and you only have to look at the very first sentence on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Website to settle that dispute. There, it plainly states:

“FDA regulates both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients. FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of regulations than those covering ‘conventional’ foods and drug products. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA):

  • FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market.”

The next article called Natural News Exclusive: (AMZN) sells fake, counterfeit nutritional products to unsuspecting consumers  is about how fake supplements are sold online and even on Amazon.  Even when you think you are buying from a reputable company you still may not know.

“A Natural News investigation has confirmed that (AMZN) is functioning as a retail “front” for a rapidly-expanding list of dietary supplement counterfeiters who profit by exploiting the trust factor to sell fake products to unsuspecting Amazon customers. This counterfeit operation does not appear to be the intention of itself, which is a widely-celebrated online retailer, but rather a result of Amazon’s inability to adequately police the tens of thousands of third-party sellers who sell products through the site.”

This article titled Thyroid Supplements with a Kick  in the New York Times is about thyroid hormone in a supposedly natural product:

“Researchers who tested 10 popular thyroid-boosting products sold online found that nine contained the hormones thyroxine (T4) or triiodothyronine (T3), sometimes both. The amounts varied, but in some cases the recommended daily dose contained amounts of thyroid hormone as high or higher than delivered by prescription medications, according to the report, published in November in Thyroid, a scientific journal.”

Dr. Mercola states in the article

The Dr. Oz Show: Information I Couldn’t Share

It’s worth noting that supplements that are deemed hazardous are typically “spiked” with some form of pharmaceutical drug or synthetic ingredient. With very few exceptions, it’s not the natural vitamin or herb in itself that is shown to be dangerous.

In another article by Dr. Mercola titled

Report Reveals American Healthcare System Could Save BILLIONS Each Year Through Appropriate Use of Dietary Supplements

Steve Mister, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation told Drug Store News:

“Chronic disease takes a huge toll on people’s quality of life, and the healthcare system spends a tremendous amount of money treating chronic disease, but has failed to focus on ways to reduce those costs through prevention. We already knew that the dietary supplements identified in the report can play a role in reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases; we felt compelled to find out if they could also contribute to healthcare cost savings by reducing the medical events associated with those conditions. This new report says emphatically that they do.”

The bottom line is you need to know and trust the company you are buying products from. You have to make sure that what you are taking is actually what you are taking and that you need it. I recommend going to a trained professional who works directly with companies they know and have worked with successfully.