Supplements Can Be Dangerous And They Are Barely Regulated By The Authorities

Supplements Can Be Dangerous And They Are Barely Regulated By The Authorities

Dangerous Supplements are Barely Regulated and Easily Slip onto the Market

Supplements don’t require a prescription and are considered healthy since they contain vitamins and herbs. But in combination with prescription drugs or some conditions that patients have, they can become very dangerous and even cause death.

Herbal Supplements Interfere With Important Treatments

For example a mother who gave birth had to have her child taken away because she was found to have tuberculosis. She had it when she was a teenager and it came back even though she took antibiotics and had regular checks. The cause was that she took herbal supplements (St John’s wort) and they lowered the effects of antibiotics, of birth control, or important drugs used in treating other illnesses. St John’s wort sped up the metabolism and the antibiotics didn’t stay enough in her body in order to treat her.

Supplement Overdosing

The FDA describes supplements as being a nutrition which consumers can add to their diet. The problem is that the labels don’t show side effects if they interact with other medicine or what is the recommended dose.

Researchers have found that the pills and powders are sometimes dangerous and not effective. The market is not regulated, showing to the public supplements everywhere, in adds in the internet, social media, supermarkets and pharmacies.

Between 2000 and 2012 people who got exposed to overdosing on supplements had a 166% increase, from 3.5 cases to 9.3 cases of negative response to the herbal remedies. In that period there were 34 deaths, 6 out of them were a result from ephedra (weight-loss supplement which was banned by the FDA in 2004), 3 other died from homeopathic remedies and one from using yohimbe (herbal supplement for weight loss and erectile dysfunctions).

Reversing Supplements Effect is Difficult

People who arrive in the ER after taking herbal supplements are feeling unwell because of the active ingredients the pills/powders had, a lot of these supplements had different dosage in their ingredient recipes. This is why doctors find it very difficult to reverse the dose of what the patients took, considering it’s not a medicine they know about.

Are Vitamins Good for You?

Vitamins have appeared in 1912, when the Polish chemist by the name of Casimir Funk managed to isolate the first “vitamine”. By 1950’s scientists managed to synthesize 12 out of 13 important vitamins. These vitamins were added to foods (bread, cereal, milk) in order to fortify them. By being processed, food lost the nutrients so they had vitamins added in order to compensate.

Supplements were later introduced in 1930-1940 to help people who suffered from rickets or scurvy. They were cheaper than medical treatments which were difficult to get at that time.

Today the market is full of the multivitamin products. Gwyneth Paltrow’ has a line of vitamin packs which claim that they’re energy boosters and help the metabolism. But it has been found that some formulas are not based on scientific results and a part of the ingredients haven’t been tested on humans.

Taking vitamin B6 is safe but if you take too much, you might have irregular heart rhythms; it can decrease muscular tone and interfere with asthma. Too much vitamin B6 can also cause blood pressure drops, can interact with other drugs such as Advil, Motrin or treatment for Alzheimer’s.

A lot of companies which started making multivitamins more appealing, encased in clear glasslike capsules, or other such marketing tricks, don’t differ from the normal vitamins which are a lot more cheaper.

Being Healthy Doesn’t Mean You have to Take Vitamins

Instead of taking vitamins so that you complete your nutrition, try to have a balanced diet and eat whole foods. Also you should take all in moderation, like fruit, vegetables, and grains and avoid processed food or sugary food and drinks.

For example a long-term study which was made on male smokers showed that the ones who regularly took vitamin A had more risks of getting lung cancer than the ones who didn’t take it.

Researches have shown that our bodies get their vitamins from whole foods better than when we get pills.

Avoid Taking Supplements Which Claim Physical Enhancement, Weight Loss or Sexual Performance

These supplements often contain ingredients that are not marked on their labels and are definitely up for being banned by the FDA. Most of them contained unapproved drugs which might be fatal.

Consumers don’t know if what’s in the box is the thing that is written on the label and they might risk their lives.


Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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