Health Risks and Supplements

Dangerous supplements are widely available on the market today. We’ve known for years that vitamins have significant health benefits. One example of this being vitamin C which cures and prevents scurvy. Several other vitamins and micronutrients are needed for good health such as folic acid, potassium, and calcium. Indeed, deficiencies in these nutrients can cause serious diseases. So, while a healthy diet is usually adequate to provide these nutrients, many people believe that if some is good, more must be better. Sales of vitamins and a variety of supplements have risen exponentially in the past 50 years. The sales of these supplements are troubling, because high doses have been shown to increase health risks significantly and even death.

One specific study followed 38,000 women for 25 years. Researchers tracked their use of vitamins and other health supplements over this period. They observed that the risk of death increased with long-term use of any supplement, no matter whether it was natural or not.

Another study looked at 35,000 men over ten years to see if taking vitamin E, or selenium would decrease their risk of cancer. They found that taking either or both of these supplements increased cancer risk.

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While multivitamins have been shown to have health risks, dietary supplements used for fat loss, increased energy, and muscle building can be even more dangerous. As the FDA does not regulate supplements and only removes them from the market after there are reported cases of injury or death, dangerous supplements often go unnoticed.

One of the best examples of this happened on October 8, 2014 with a supplement called OxyElite Pro. This supplement was designed to boost energy and burn through fat tissue. However, 29 cases of hepatitis were linked to this supplement. People who took this supplement suffered severe health risks with 11 people being hospitalized for hepatitis and one person dying. While the company stopped selling this supplement, it was not recognized as being harmful until after it had already caused sickness and death.
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A similar case happened with a supplement known as DMAA. It was very popular among bodybuilders and were a powerful stimulant, sold in a variety of health and supplement stores. A 22-year old soldier took this supplement and then had a heart attack in 2011. He was in great physical shape and had no reported heart problems.

However, even with the health risks, supplement companies were reluctant to stop selling the product, and it can still be found in stores across the United States. While DMAA containing supplements have been banned in at least seven countries, the FDA has been unable to remove it completely from stores. While death may be a rare result related to DMAA, it has been linked to several reported liver and kidney damages.

These examples are just a few reasons why dangerous supplements area readily available on the market today. The FDA has an extremely difficult battle removing any supplement from stores, and with so many supplements available today, the health risks associated with taking them is significant. Make sure you understand that taking all these supplements may come with certain risks.