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Diet Supplement Safety, What you Should Know

Posted on 10/20/2015

I’m thinking of something dangerous, can you guess what it is?

I’ll give you a few hints:

  • It’s part of a $15 billion dollar industry
  • It’s responsible for hospitalizations
  • It’s virtually unregulated
  • It has no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight
  • It can cause long-term side effects
  • It’s riskier than most people believe
  • It’s often tainted and contains harmful ingredients not listed on the label
  • It’s responsible for deaths and drug interactions
  • It can be obtained by walking into virtually any store in America
  • It causes more harm than good

Answer: Dietary supplements

Vitamins Supplements (1)

Supplements? Yes, supplements! Those seemingly innocuous things you see in stores and may take for this and that. Surprised by those facts above? Well, you are not alone! Many people -- millions and millions -- are shocked to learn about the safety and efficacy of these unregulated drugs. Drugs? Yes, supplements are drugs but not the kind that need a stamp of approval by the FDA or prescription by a doctor.

Here’s something else you should know about supplements…

A recent study found that 23,000 people a year make ER visits because of taking dietary supplements for weight loss. The most common adverse side effects sending them to hospitals were heart issues, palpitations, chest pains and rapid heartbeat. The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention findings are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Federal Trade Commission has issued warnings about dietary supplements stating that they often contain other drugs or chemicals not listed on the label and come with false or misleading statements about being ‘100 percent natural’ and ‘safe.’

I hope studies like this one will alert the public that these are not your fathers or mother’s vitamins. No, and weight loss supplements are not the best route to lose weight. Calories in versus calories out equals weight loss. It’s a scientific fact.

I have stood against these for all of my life, unless medically prescribed for a specific medical condition such as iron deficiency or the like. However, taking them with careless disregard for safety any vitamin or supplement just because or an herb you read about online does not make it safe or any sense. It’s like playing Russian roulette with your health and your life.

Do you really know what you are taking? Sure, the label may say what is supposed to be in the bottle. But, studies have shown that often mixed in there with the main ingredient (or not in some cases too) are things like household plants, arsenic, lead and cadium. Check out my archived blogs on the subject of supplements, you may just be surprised. I guarantee you’ll be shocked!

Aside from safety, what about how much money these useless and dangerous pills waste? Why on earth use your hard earned money on false, unsafe products that provide no health benefits? I urge you to dig a little deeper, in light of the newest study and think twice before you plunk down $20, $30, $50 or more on your next trip to the store! Research, research, research and think before you take a drug that is unregulated and could contain almost anything and often is filled with just about everything.

Knowledge is power and the supplement industry – all $15 billion of it in the U.S., was not built on people doing due diligence and homework, just remember that!

post-author

Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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