Problems with Supplements
Problems with supplements continue to surface as health-conscious consumers, including a large and aging baby boom generation, help make dietary supplements a lucrative, multi-billion-dollar business. Because they're considered natural products, many people freely use dietary supplements, believing they're safe. But some people learn too late that the supplements used were not as safe as they thought.
Dangerous Side Effects of Supplements
Serious dietary supplement side effects such as heart, kidney and liver damage have been reported, and numerous deaths attributed to supplement use have occurred. Some of those supplements were removed from the market, others remain today. And, even when one product is removed, a similar one could quickly be offered for sale.
Although supplement usage is often based on natural remedies used for ages, and some can be beneficial, the products today can contain a combination of ingredients different from what was concocted and administered many years ago. Supplements are mixed and used along with medications that together can be very risky. They can also be tainted.
Main Problems with Supplements
One of the main problems with supplements is that the manufacturer decides if a product is safe for consumers. Government testing and approval is not required. In fact, a manufacturer is not even required to register their product with the US Food and Drug Administration unless a new dietary ingredient is used.
In this competitive industry, manufacturers can push the limit trying to find a combination of supplements that offer the most benefits with an acceptable amount of risk. They determine what mixtures of supplements can be used, how much of each supplement is added and what is an acceptable, safe amount for consumers. If injuries occur due to usage or over usage, the FDA must prove the product unreasonably harmful before taking action.
Although manufacturers list ingredients included in a dietary supplement, often you will find proprietary blends that do not list the exact amounts of each ingredient added. A certain amount of some ingredients might be safe, but more could cause side effects.
This can pose a problem if someone is using other supplements at the same time and attempting to keep their intakes at a safe level. For instance, creatine, one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements, is suppose to be safe to use, but taking too much can cause kidney damage, as can high doses with caffeine. But how can you restrict your usage if the exact amount included in each supplement formula is not specified?
Plus, although a supplement's label may tell you that the ingredients are proven to work without side effects, that may not mean the actual product you're purchasing and using works in the same way. Labeling of supplements could be improved.
Additional Problems with Supplements
A lack of knowledge about long-term effects of using supplements is also a major problem. There is simply not enough testing to know what damage a product can cause to the body after long term use.
Another of the chief problems with supplements is that people often use them without a physician's knowledge or an adequate understanding of how the supplements change the body. If you want to loss weight or increase your endurance, you can find a few supplements that are suppose to help and take them. However, you may be unaware that those very supplements could be causing your body much more harm than good. Education is the key, but how many of the millions of people regularly using supplements actually understand the effects they have on the body or the side effects they can cause? If a preexisting medical condition exists, or if other supplements or drugs (over-the-counter or prescription) are also taken, the risks for side effects can increase greatly.
Some people use dietary supplements rather than seeking professional medical treatment when needed, although those supplements may not actually be providing any benefits. This is considered another problem with supplements.
Dietary Supplement Lawsuits
Problems with supplements continue to surface, and as injuries occur lawsuits are filed. The Gibson Law Firm is currently taking cases involving injuries due to the use of dietary supplements, including a liver damage lawsuit. If you or a family member suspect a dietary supplement caused liver damage or other injuries, an attorney will provide a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your claim.