Many physicians suggest that their patients take supplements to accommodate for any deficiencies they may have. But is this safe?
CBS news reports on the dangers of supplement use. This supplement use sends thousands to the ER every year.
“More than 23,000 visits to emergency rooms occur annually due to complications from taking dietary supplements such as herbal or complementary nutritional products, vitamins, and minerals, according to scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration who coauthored the study,” CBS says. Many of these visits resulted in hospitalizations.
The new research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Associaton. This research was done on emergency room reports from 63 different facilities across the country.
Dr. Andrew Geller, lead author of the study and medical officer in CDC's Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion commented on the study.
He said, “People may not realize dietary supplements can cause adverse effects but each year thousands of people are treated in emergency departments because of adverse events related to these supplements.”
Which person does this affect the most?
Research shows that young adults between the ages of 20 and 34 were most affected and faced symptoms such as palpitations and elevated heart rate.
How are supplements marketed in the U.S.?
In the US, supplements can't be marketed for the treatment or prevention of diseases. This means they do not get analyzed and approved by the FDA the same way prescription drugs do. Despite this lack of approval many people take supplements to address a range of symptoms or to help their overall health.
Dietary supplement use has become so common that researchers say half of all American adults have taken at least one in the last month.
“In the study, weight loss or energy products caused 72 percent of supplement-related adverse events involving cardiovascular issues including chest pain, tachycardia, and heart palpitations.”
CBS suggests that young adults taking products to lose weight or increase energy should keep in mind that some of these products could have effects on their heart. Also the items should not be taken in excess or without consulting with their physicians.
Dr. Andrew Greenberg, director of the Obesity and Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston commented on the study.
He said, “If your doctor tells you to take two pills, you take two pills, but if you go to a nutrition store you may think if two pills is good, then six must be great. In the supplement world, more is not necessarily good.”