The multimillion dollar dietary supplement business is being ‘attacked’ by a striking report from Consumer Reports, claiming that their panel of experts have identified fifteen supplement ingredients that can make anybody sick, or even kill them.
The risks of using which include cancer, organ damage and cardiac arrest. They also underlined that the severity of such threats often depends on factors as pre-existing conditions, as well as the quantity of ingredients taken, and the length of time a consumer has been exposed to the substance.
Fifteen supplement ingredients to avoid
First in the list is aconite. Supplements with it claim to give benefits such as reducing inflammation, gout and joint pain. However, taking it could deliver weakness, paralysis, vomiting, nausea, heart problems, and possibly death.
Second, caffeine powder. This ingredient is found in supplements that promise better athletic performance, attention improvements, and weight loss. Taking it gives risks such as seizures, cardiac arrest, and again, death. It is also dangerous when combined with other stimulants, the report revealed.
Third is chaparral. It promises weight loss, inflammation improvements, and others. Risks of taking it include kidney problems, liver damage, and possibly death (again).
Fourth, the Consumer Reports warned that taking supplements with coltsfoot–which promises cough, sore throat, asthma (and others) relief–gives carcinogen, which causes cancer, and liver problems.
Fifth is comfrey, and it claims to give cough relief, help for heavy menstrual periods, among others. Taking it could give you cancer, liver damage and even death.
Listed in the sixth is germander, an ingredient in weight loss, fever, arthritis and other supplements. Apart from death, taking it gives liver damage and hepatitis.
Seventh. greater celandine. Supplements containing it promise stomachache alleviation, but the Consumer Reports warned that taking it could give you liver damage.
Eight, which is arguably one of the most common in the market, is green tea extract powder. It not only gives you ringing in the ear, dizziness and reduced absorption of iron, but could also kill you by elevating your heart rate and blood pressure. It could also damage your liver.
Ninth. The report also warns that taking supplements with Kava might give you liver damage, Parkinson’s disease and depression, and possibly death. Supplements shipped with it claim to reduce anxiety and improve insomnia.
Tenth. Supplements with lobelia–which promise respiratory improvement and smoking cessation–could give you nausea, vomiting, among others. It could also kill you, or leave you comatose.
Eleventh. Methylsynephrine. Products with it promise weight loss and increased energy, but the report suggests that taking it could give you heart rate and rhythm abnormalities, and cardiac arrest. It is also more dangerous when taken with other stimulants.
Twelfth. Pennyroyal Oil–with claims such as breathing improvements and better digestive system–could give you liver and kidney issues, convulsions, nerve damage, and again, death.
In the thirteenth place is red yeast rice. It claims to lower bad cholesterol, but Consumer Reports warns that it could give you kidney, liver and muscle issues, and hair loss. It can also magnify the effect of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, thus increasing the risk of side effects.
Fourteenth is usnic acid found in supplements for weight loss and pain relief. The report claims that it could give you liver injury.
And finally, consumers must avoid the ingredient Yohimbe, because it raises blood pressure and can give you headaches, seizures, kidney and liver problems, and even panic attacks and heart problems. Death is also listed in its risks.
For the complete details about the ‘deadly’ ingredients in supplements, you can read the Consumer Reports. The list will also appear in the September issue of the publication.
Dietary supplements in America
In 2011, the CDC–or, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–reported that the use of dietary supplements in the United States is common, with over forty percent of population said they used supplements from 1998 to 2004, and over fifty percent beginning 2003 to 2006.
In addition, products marketed as multivitamins and multiminerals are the most common, and the CDC revealed that about forty percent of men and women reported using them from 2003 to 2006.