I was watching the Today Show this morning and they reported on an article that Consumer Reports wrote on dietary supplements and the 12 substances to avoid that are found in these supplements. Matt Lauer spoke of a man, who was taking a supplement that contained high amounts of silver and his skin turned blue! It’s true; they showed him on the air and his skin was blue!
We love our “quick fix” when it comes to improving our health and nutrition. Are we really making improvements by consuming a little pill? The American population has become too dependent on dietary supplements. They are used to lose weight, gain weight, improve stamina, build muscle, cure chronic health problems and the list goes on. There is a whole group who use “all natural supplements” a holistic approach to avoid using prescription medications. Have you ever read the ingredients on these supplements? Do you understand what the ingredients are? Can they cause harm? Just because something is listed as “all natural” doesn’t mean it can’t cause health concerns.
The supplement industry is a billion dollar industry. What do we really know about this industry? Not much! American’s base their knowledge of supplements on; friends who think they lost weight or cured medical aliments using a dietary supplement. American’s have become obsessed with the quick gratification approach to their health. We have become a population addicted to gimmicks and fads. This is especially true with the elderly, looking for the fountain of youth. It takes hard work to stay healthy; there is no magical remedy.
The FDA doesn’t regulate supplements. Giving supplement manufacturers the ability to sell products without testing for safety and whether or not it really works. Lack of proper regulation under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act has allowed unsafe supplements to be sold throughout the country. Some of these supplements are being imported into the United States, because, “fish oil from Sweden” is always better than “fish oil from America.” This is the gimmick factor!
There are 12 supplement ingredients that Consumer Reports listed to avoid. These ingredients lead to larger health complications such as: liver, kidney and cardiovascular problems. These ingredients are: aconite, bitter orange, chaparral, colloidal silver, coltfoot, comfrey, country mallow, germanium, greater cilandine, kava, lobelia and yohimbe.
As a consumer, what can I do to keep myself safe?
Consult your doctor before starting any over the counter supplements especially; if you’re pregnant, nursing, have a chronic health problem or are having elective surgery.
Your doctor can also steer you away from the adverse effects caused by food and drug interactions with these supplements. It is important to let your doctor know everything your taking both prescription and over the counter. This is equally important in emergency situations. Be sure, your family is aware of all medications and supplements you are using. Keep a list that can be given to the emergency personal and physicians.
The “Quick fix”, could lend you a life time of serious health problems. Be smart and consult your physician before starting any supplements. You’ll be thankful you did.
For more information on dietary supplements visit:
Dangerous Supplements – 12 products you should avoid – consumers report 2010
Retrieved, September 2010.
by Tracey Turnquist, Director of Marketing and Sales, Vision Software