Monday, August 16, 2010

The 12 Most Dangerous Supplements

What if I told you that you could take a little red pill everyday and within a few weeks you would be lean and ripped without an ounce of fat? How about if I convinced you 3 small capsules a day is all you need to get buff and pack on 10 pounds of pure muscle? Sounds too good to be true right? Well it is, but unfortunately in our quests for building a getter body and looking good on the beach this summer, we spend crazy amounts of money on products every day that promise us these results. The sad reality is they rarely deliver. But if you are one of those people that buy supplements and over the counter products in the hope that they live up to their marketing hype, parting with your hard earned money may not be the only negative. In a strange twist of fate, it may be your health that ultimately suffers. Consumer Reports have just compiled a list of the 12 Most Dangerous Supplements, and the scary thing is number 12 is taken by many males in the hopes of increasing some muscle mass. Consuming any on this list however could not only make you very sick with some irreversible side effects, but they could cost you your life as well.

We have seen a drastic change in the health and nutrition industries in the last 10 years. People want to lose fat, feel better, live better qualities of life and live longer. Every morning show has a health segment teaching us what to eat and when to eat it, there are reality shows taking overweight people and teaching them how to exercise and lose weight, and there are now popular TV Doctors with their own TV shows that's sole purpose is to teach how to live healthier and longer. With this new trend comes opportunity. Opportunity to make money that is. The supplement industry has boomed, and according to the National Business Journal, Americans spent $26.7 Billion on dietary supplements in 2009, and there are no signs of slowing growth. In their search for the next bigger and better supplement, companies are finding and marketing all new kinds of products, from herbs to chemicals and throwing them into proprietary blends in some of your favorite daily capsules. But along with this comes risk, and unfortunately because of little to no federal regulation, companies can include ingredients in your products with little research on their side effects. Consumer reports advise us that these top 12 are the most dangerous, and ones that if you do see appearing in your favorite fat burner, multi vitamin or health tonic, you might want to reconsider swallowing...

In alphabetical Order

1. Aconite

Also Known As: Aconiti tuber, aconitum, radix aconiti
Uses: Inflammation, joint pain, wounds, gout.
Possible DangersToxicity, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, respiratory-system paralysis, heart-rhythm disorders, death.
CommentsUnsafe. Aconite is the most common cause of severe herbal poisoning in Hong Kong.

2. Bitter Orange

AKA: Aurantii fructus, Citrus aurantium, zhi shi
Uses: Weight loss, nasal congestion, allergies.
Possible DangersFainting, heart-rhythm disorders, heart attack, stroke, death.
CommentsPossibly 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.

3. Chaparral

AKA: Creosote bush, Larrea divaricata, larreastat
UsesColds, weight loss, infections, inflammation, cancer, detoxification.
Possible DangersLiver damage, kidney problems.
CommentsLikely unsafe. The FDA advises people not to take chaparral.

4. Colloidal Silver

Paul Karason who started taking colloidal silver for it's purported health benefits however
his skin as turned permanently blue due to taking it

AKA: Ionic silver, native silver, Silver in suspending agent
UsesFungal and other infections, Lyme disease, rosacea, psoriasis, food poisoning, chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV/AIDS.
Possible DangersBluish skin, mucous membrane discoloration, neurological problems, kidney damage.
CommentsLikely unsafe. The FDA advised consumers about the risk of discoloration on Oct. 6, 2009.

5. Coltsfoot

AKA: Coughwort, farfarae folium leaf, foalswort
UsesCough, sore throat, laryngitis, bronchitis, asthma.
Possible DangersLiver damage, cancer
Comments: Likely Unsafe

6. Comfrey

AKA: Blackwort, common comfrey, slippery root
UsesCough, heavy menstrual periods, chest pain, cancer.
Possible DangersLiver damage, cancer.
UsesLikely unsafe. The FDA advised manufacturers to remove comfrey products from the market in July 2001.

7. Country Mallow

AKA: Heartleaf, Sida cordifolia, silky white mallow
UsesNasal congestion, allergies, asthma, weight loss, bronchitis
Possible DangersHeart attack, heart arrhythmia, stroke, death.
CommentsLikely unsafe. Possible dangers linked with its ephedrine alkaloids banned by the FDA in 2004.

8. Germanium
AKAGe, Ge-132, germanium-132
UsesPain, infections, glaucoma, liver problems, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer.
Possible Dangers: Kidney Damage, Death
CommentsLikely unsafe. The FDA warned in 1993 that it was linked to serious adverse events.

9. Greater Celandine

AKA: Celandine, chelidonii herba, Chelidonium majus
UsesUpset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, liver disorders, detoxification, cancer.
Possible Dangers: Liver Damage
Comments: Possibly Unsafe

10. Kava
AKA: Awa, Piper methysticum, kava-kava
UsesAnxiety (possibly effective)
Possible Dangers: Liver Damage
CommentsPossibly unsafe. The FDA issued a warning to consumers in March 2002. Banned in Germany, Canada, and Switzerland.

11. Lobelia

AKA: Asthma weed, Lobelia inflata, pukeweed, vomit wort
UsesCoughing, bronchitis, asthma, smoking cessation (possibly ineffective).
Possible DangersToxicity; overdose can cause fast heartbeat, very low blood pressure, coma, possibly death.
CommentsLikely unsafe. The FDA warned in 1993 that it was linked to serious adverse events.

12. Yohimbe

AKA: Yohimbine, Corynanthe yohimbi, Corynanthe johimbi
UsesAphrodisiac, chest pain, diabetic complications, depression; erectile dysfunction (possibly effective).
Possible DangersUsual doses can cause high blood pressure, rapid heart rate; high doses can cause severe low blood pressure, heart problems, death.
CommentsPossibly 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.

So next time you are browsing around your online supplement retailer or heading down to the health store to pick up some products, take some time to research what you are actually consuming and what ingredients are in those products. Just because it comes in a shiny container with pretty packaging doesn't mean it is safe for you. If all else fails and you aren't sure about an ingredient, then don't buy it. A well rounded diet of whole foods will provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it need to be healthy. Your body and your wallet will thank you for it.

Healthy Boy x


  1. Why is it that drug companies have to list all the possible problems of taking a Rx required drug in all ads and commercials - shouldn't you doctor be informing you before prescribing the drug?

    Yet, all the over the counter drugs can be bought and taken with little or no warnings. Wouldn't it be better to require warnings in commercials and ads for otc drugs?

  2. Thanks for the warning, Adam. It's just one more - really great - reason to find a reputable supplement company that you can trust to always provide quality products. ~Marilyn

  3. i think the best thing to know by the consumer is the particular brand of supplements need to avoid. coz its truly it help a lot those name and pics but many of the consumer rely only to the brand and those what it can give benefit to them...many cant waste their time to know the ingredients, and also cant find what is all about.

  4. I'll definitely avoid these products. Thanks for the list and warning. I hope the government will take care of this.

  5. I avoid taking prescription and OTC drugs as well. Have you seen some of the possible side effects of those things? Even worse.

  6. this is not a strong argument against the use of these ingredients! only hype. most supplements do not contain natural herbs only synthetic lab produced chemicals that are toxic to the body. science is very behind when it comes to herbal medicine and this article simply proves it.


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