Wait One Minute Before You Take That (Herbal or Weight Loss) Supplement

Before you reach for a weight loss or herbal supplement, or energy drink, think again, a new study shows, pointing out that consumption of some of them can lead to severe liver damage, and even failure.

According to newswise.com, the study found problems can develop, for one, because "many patients do not disclose supplement use to their physicians, important drug side effects can be missed."

Which supplements are they?  The story cites SlimQuick™, a weight loss supplement containing green tea extract; Ripped Fuel (R), another weight loss supplement, this one with 60% flavoids, and massive amounts of caffeine and cacao; black cohosh, and Rockstar (R) Sugar Free, an energy drink.

Patients who presented at hospitals suffered from hepatitis, liver failure and in one case, early cirrhosis. In all cases it wasn't just one sip of the supplements or energy drinks, but sustained consumption, though doctors warn it may not take much with certain people to send their health into a tailspin.

And there are other toxic supplements out there.  medicinenet.com lists Lipokinetix (R), another weight loss supplement that purportedly boosts metabolism to burn calories faster.  According to Tse-Ling Fong, MD, who treated patients with liver disorders related to this mix of an ephedrine-like stimulant, a type of thyroid hormone, and a tea extract, one patient almost needed a transplant.

Other supplement ingredients that may cause harm include kava (and with this one, the more you take, the more the damage), Jin Bu Huan, germander, chaparral, shark cartilage, and mistletoe.

As with all vitamins and supplements, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate these as it does medical drugs, so there's no way of knowing exactly what's in them, and how harmful they may be.

I must confess I've never believed in any of this stuff, though my husband's a big proponent of it (and he's a dentist!).  But it's wise to check out any supplement you're thinking of taking just in case a problem like this might occur.

“There is a lack of knowledge about the status of FDA regulation of dietary supplements,” newswise.com quotes lead investigator Dina Halegoua-De Marzio, M.D. “Currently, dietary supplements are not required to have safety or efficacy studies before they are marketed to the public, and they remain popular among consumers despite reports of hepatotoxicity. This case report is an example of how even minimal use of these unregulated dietary supplements can lead to... liver failure requiring liver transplant. It is important that patients talk with their doctors before starting any new dietary supplements.”

Comments

  1. Taking those so called magical pills or supplements may land you in trouble. Doing exercise regularly and following a healthy diet will compliment to weightloss and helps you to live a healthy life. Including detox diets once in 2 months will clean your body complete. You can even use wu-yi tea for the cleanse diet.

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