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Stay away from 12 identified dietary supplements


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Banned supplements


IConsumer Reports is a non-profit consumer-advocacy group. Recently they've identified 12 dietary supplements considered too dangerous to be on the market according to government warnings, adverse-event reports and top experts. These twelve supplements are readily available in stores and online.

While other countries have banned several of these twelve supplements, the reality in the U.S. is that the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) makes it very difficult for the FDA to limit the sale of other potentially harmful supplements. While prescription and over-the-counter drug manufacturers are required to prove that their products are safe before being marketed, DSHEA makes the FDA prove that supplements on the market are unsafe. Until the law is changed, consumers must take action to minimize their own risk.

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Here are some recommendations from Consumer Reports:
 
Stay away from the 12 supplements listed below.
 
Do not take daily doses of vitamins and minerals that exceed the safe upper limits. While vitamins and minerals are the safest and best-studied supplements, it's still possible to overdose on some of them.

Limit your intake of other supplements.
 
Tell your doctor about your supplements because they may reduce the effectiveness of certain prescription drugs.
 
Avoid supplements for weight control, which often contain multiple stimulants.
 
Do your own research. Good information can be found at the Web site of the National Institutes of health: http://www.nih.gov. Be wary of information found on sites selling supplements.
 
Be alert to adverse effects and notify your doctor immediately should any arise.

The Twelve Supplements to Avoid

Aristolochic acid
Dangers: Potent human carcinogen; kidney failure, sometimes requiring transplant; deaths reported.
 
Comfrey
Dangers: ABnormal liver function or damage, often irreversible; deaths reported.
 
Androstenedione
Dangers: Increased cancer risk, decrease in HDL cholesterol.
 
Chaparral
Dangers: Abnormal liver function or damage, often irreversible; deaths reported.
 
Germander
Dangers: Abnormal liver function or damage, often irreversible; deaths reported.
 
Kava
Dangers: Abnormal liver function or damage, occasionally irreversible; deaths reported.
 
Bitter orange
Dangers: High blood pressure; increased risk of heart arrhythmias, heart attack, stroke.
 
Organ/glandular extracts
Dangers: Theoretical risk of mad cow disease, particularly from brain extracts.
 
Lobelia
Dangers: Breathing difficulty, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, diarrhea, dizziness, tremors; possible deaths reported.
 
Pennyroyal oil
Dangers: Liver and kidney failure, nerve damage, convulsions, abdominal tenderness, burning of the throat; deaths reported.
 
Scullcap
Dangers: ABnormal liver function or damage.
 
Yohimbe
Dangers: Change in blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, respiratory depression, heart attack; deaths reported.
 
Source: Consumer Reports, 2004.
 
Resource for article: BellyBytes.com
http://www.bellybytes.com
All material is copyright BellyBytes.com


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