Beware! Dietary Supplements Can Damage Your Liver, New Study Warns

First Posted: Jul 28, 2016 06:04 AM EDT

A new study has found that dietary supplements are not that safe for consumption as they are believed to be. In fact, it is estimated that more than 23,000 people end up in hospital every year after taking dietary supplements.

According to Consumer Reports, 15 ingredients found in popular dietary supplements including vitamins, probiotics and weight loss pills poses serious health hazards including liver failure, kidney failure and heart problems in some people, reported CBSNews.

The condemned list includes Aconite, Caffeine powder, Chaparral, Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Germander, Greater Celandine, Green Tea Extract Powder, Kava, Lobelia, Methylsynephrine, Pennyroyal Oil, Red Yeast Rice, Usnic acid and Yohimbe.

For instance, a single teaspoon of pure caffeine powder is equal to around 28 cups of coffee and even small amount of the supplement may cause accidental overdose.

Unlike drug products that needs to get approved as safe and effective, the problem with dietary supplements is that they do not have to go through FDA approval. This leaves the consumer at risk, said Lisa Gill, deputy content editor at Consumer Reports, reported abcNews.

Gill warned that as the supplements do not go through checking process, they could be adulterated or counterfeit and could be even hiding prescription drugs.

Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, said that consumers should be aware of the fact that they cannot trust that anything sold as a supplement is what's actually listed on the label.

Ellen Kunes, Consumer Reports' health content team leader, said that in order to ensure consumers' safety, supplement manufacturers should be required to register their products to enable them to be identified and tracked for safety recalls and to show they are safe for use.

Kunes advised people to consider giving up on dietary supplements and opt for other lifestyle changes such as being physically active, and eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables for a healthy life.

Are you willing to give up dietary supplements after reading the report? Let us know in the comments below.

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