With the passing of the responsibility for supplement safety on to the manufacturers and consumers in 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated: “The majority of supplement manufacturers are responsible and careful. But as with all products on the market, consumers need to be discriminating. They (the FDA) and industry have important roles to play, but consumers must take responsibility too.” This means that we might not know if a product is dangerous or defective until someone or in many cases, several people come forward to report the dangerous effects.
Consumer Reports, last year alone, multiple dangerous substances were found as additives in some supplements:
- Weight loss supplements containing Ma-Huang contributed to over 800 reports of adverse reactions including strokes, heart palpitations, seizures, and heart attacks. Sadly, fifteen deaths have also been attributed to Ma-Huang.
- Energy boosters containing ephedra or bitter orange (synephrine) have an equal number of reports for adverse effects, with ephedra contributing to the death of a 37 year old New York City woman who died of a stroke after taking a sports supplement.
- Weight loss and energy boosting “mimic” substances, substances that are very closely related to banned FDA additives because of their health risks, are being added to products because they can create consumer desired effects without regulation.
While many ingredients such as Ma-Huang, bitter orange, and ephedra have stolen the headlines for the dangers of dietary supplements, many other threats and defective products are still out there. Even if a product is not found to be dangerous, it might not contain what it says on the label. This leads to the question, “Who’s Got Your Back?”
To learn about various Tested and True supplements, scroll below.
*reference: Consumer Reports Health