Is Your Dietary Supplement Making You Sick?

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2010-08-04 07:11

One or more of the dietary supplements in your medicine cabinet may be making you sick, according to a new report prepared by Consumer Reports. Although the report names a dozen ingredients consumers should avoid, the longer list contains at least double that number.

Harmful Dietary Supplement Ingredients

The report is the result of a collaboration between researchers from Consumer Reports and those from an independent research group, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Experts identified about 25 ingredients from a database of nearly 1,100, earmarking the smaller group as being associated with cancer, coma, kidney and liver damage, heart problems, and death.

To arrive at the final “dirty dozen” ingredients, the experts evaluated adverse events, the availability of the substances, and how aggressively the dietary supplements that contain them are promoted. According to Nancy Metcalf, senior program editor at Consumers Reports, the selection process was “to a certain extent a subjective thing.”

The Dirty Dozen Supplements

Here is the dirty dozen chosen by the experts. You can see more information about these dietary supplement ingredients on the Consumer Reports website, including how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) views these substances.

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