Not all Supplements are Safe

In Dr. Paul A. Offit’s article “Alluring but risky medicine,” released on 7/7/13, page A29, in the LA Times, he reminds us to do research on all supplements before taking them since supplements are not regulated by the FDA so manufacturers don’t need to validate their claims or disclose adverse reactions. That’s scary.

He sites, “…blue cohosh can cause heart failure; nutmeg can cause hallucinations; comfrey, kava, chaparral and valerian can cause inflammation of the liver; monkshood and plantain can cause heart arrhythmia; wormwood can cause seizures; stevia leaves can decrease fertility; concentrated green tea extracts can damage the liver, milkweed seed oil and bitter orange can cause heart damage; thujone can cause neurological damage; and concentrated garlic can cause bleeding.” Yikes!

Even if the supplement is 100% safe, what happens in the manufacturing plant can turn it into a deadly substance. Case in point, 20% of ayurvedic remedies from stores “within 20 miles of Boston’s City Hall…contained potentially harmful levels of lead, mercury and arsenic.”

Don’t take anything you don’t need to! If you are taking a supplement and you feel a bit off your game or if it’s making you sick, don’t keep taking it! Contact the manufacturer, the FDA, and your doctor immediately; your life may depend on it.

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