Half of health conscious adults in the US take supplements on a regular basis in order to stay healthy. We take these when we want to lose weight, play sports, avoid prescription drugs, etc. When purchasing popular supplements, I always look for the highest vitamin content I can get for my money. I typically look for the greatest percentages of vitamins like C, D, B, and zinc, just to name a few — We tend to purchase supplements based on their benefits, period. This is because most Americans don’t know what to look for on a supplement label after they’ve researched vitamin content. To be perfectly honest, I don’t typically read supplement ingredient labels and if I do, I don’t know what most of them mean, let alone what they are or how to pronounce them.
According to new research from Consumer Reports, some of the ingredients in these supplements might actually be more harmful than helpful. For starters, there is a specific list of 12 vitamins to avoid as they’ve been linked to kidney failure, liver disease and cardiovascular issues, among other problems. Next time you go supplement shopping, stay away from anything containing the following ingredients.
(also known as)
|PURPORTED USES||POSSIBLE DANGERS||COMMENTS|
(aconiti tuber, aconitum, radix aconiti)
|Inflammation, joint pain, wounds, gout.||Toxicity, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, respiratory-system paralysis, heart-rhythm disorders, death.||Unsafe. Aconite is the most common cause of severe herbal poisoning in Hong Kong.|
(aurantii fructus, Citrus aurantium, zhi shi)
|Weight loss, nasal congestion, allergies.||Fainting, heart-rhythm disorders, heart attack, stroke, death.||Possibly unsafe. Contains synephrine, which is similar to ephedrine, banned by the FDA in 2004. Risks might be higher when taken with herbs that contain caffeine.|
(creosote bush, Larrea divaricata, larreastat)
|Colds, weight loss, infections, inflammation, cancer, detoxification.||Liver damage, kidney problems.||Likely unsafe. The FDA advises people not to take chaparral.|
(ionic silver, native silver, Silver in suspending agent)
|Fungal and other infections, Lyme disease, rosacea, psoriasis, food poisoning, chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV/AIDS.||Bluish skin, mucous membrane discoloration, neurological problems, kidney damage.||Likely unsafe. The FDA advised consumers about the risk of discoloration on Oct. 6, 2009.|
(coughwort, farfarae folium leaf, foalswort)
|Cough, sore throat, laryngitis, bronchitis, asthma.||Liver damage, cancer.||Likely unsafe.|
(blackwort, common comfrey, slippery root)
|Cough, heavy menstrual periods, chest pain, cancer.||Liver damage, cancer.||Likely unsafe. The FDA advised manufacturers to remove comfrey products from the market in July 2001.|
(heartleaf, Sida cordifolia, silky white mallow)
|Nasal congestion, allergies, asthma, weight loss, bronchitis.||Heart attack, heart arrhythmia, stroke, death.||Likely unsafe. Possible dangers linked with its ephedrine alkaloids banned by the FDA in 2004.|
(Ge, Ge-132, germanium-132)
|Pain, infections, glaucoma, liver problems, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer.||Kidney damage, death.||Likely unsafe. The FDA warned in 1993 that it was linked to serious adverse events.|
(celandine, chelidonii herba, Chelidonium majus)
|Upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, liver disorders, detoxification, cancer.||Liver damage.||Possibly unsafe.|
(awa, Piper methysticum, kava-kava)
|Anxiety (possibly effective).||Liver damage.||Possibly unsafe. The FDA issued a warning to consumers in March 2002. Banned in Germany, Canada, and Switzerland.|
(asthma weed, Lobelia inflata, pukeweed, vomit wort)
|Coughing, bronchitis, asthma, smoking cessation (possibly ineffective).||Toxicity; overdose can cause fast heartbeat, very low blood pressure, coma, possibly death.||Likely unsafe. The FDA warned in 1993 that it was linked to serious adverse events.|
(yohimbine, Corynanthe yohimbi, Corynanthe johimbi)
|Aphrodisiac, chest pain, diabetic complications, depression; erectile dysfunction (possibly effective).||Usual doses can cause high blood pressure, rapid heart rate; high doses can cause severe low blood pressure, heart problems, death.||Possibly unsafe for use without medical supervision because it contains a prescription drug, yohimbine. The FDA warned in 1993 that reports of serious adverse events were under investigation.|
This clip from the August 3, 2010 episode of the Today Show gives viewers an in-depth look at the danger associated to some of these ingredients.
If you are unable to SAFELY obtain the vitamins you need or lose the weight that you want through the use of supplements, I recommend eating loads of old-fashioned fruits and vegetables every day. These super foods are jam-packed with all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs.