Report: Dietary Supplements Pose Hidden Health Risks
Approximately half of the adult population of America use vitamins, herbs, and other nutritional supplements – and a new report suggests that they are at risk of adverse effects from the hidden hazards of some of these products.
A Consumers Union analysis of adverse event reports from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), published research, and interviews with specialists outlines a number of dangers associated with the use of dietary supplements, according to the Washington Post.
The Consumers Union report confirms 115 deaths and 1,000 severe injuries among the 10,300 serious outcomes associated with dietary supplements and reported between 2007 and 2012 to the FDA. However, the agency has little power over the health supplements market, reports the Post.
The potential risks to consumers from the supplements include: overdosing on vitamins or minerals, suffering adverse effects from prescription drugs masquerading as supplements, ingesting fake or scientifically unproven products that may cause damage and offer little or no help, says Consumers Union.
The Post reports that many recalled supplements have been found to use ingredients in prescription drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and sibutramine (Meridia), or other synthetic steroids.
Consumers should keep a watch on the FDA’s warnings, alerts, and recalls before taking any dietary supplement and also consult their doctors.