“Natural” health supplements pose bigger real world dangers than GMOs

Back in July, I wrote about how the biggest contributor to the label GMOs law, Dr. Mercola is a health supplement maker who is against labeling of his products. In the September issue of Consumer Reports, they publish an article which points out the dangers that supplements could pose to human health: 10 surprising dangers of vitamins and supplements.

Among their findings:

1. Supplements are not risk-free

More than 6,300 reports of serious adverse events associated with dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbs, streamed into the FDA from supplement companies, consumers, health-care providers, and others between 2007 and mid-April of 2012. …The reports described more than 10,300 serious outcomes (some included more than one), including 115 deaths and more than 2,100 hospitalizations, 1,000 serious injuries or illnesses, 900 emergency-room visits, and some 4,000 other important medical events.

After looking at 233 products, all purchased online or in stores in the New York City metropolitan area in the spring of 2012, we can report that the only thing consistent about the labels is their lack of consistency.

The article addresses some specific supplements which you see being touted on labels all over the place.  Consumer Reports writes they might be not be as good for you as the claims suggest. In fact, they might be harmful. For instance, antioxidants: Far from reducing cancer risk, as a lot of people believe, high doses of some antioxidant supplements may actually increase it, evidence suggests.

Omega-3 fish oil. The widely held view that fish-oil pills help prevent cardiovascular disease hit a snag when a study of 12,500 people with diabetes or prediabetes and a high risk of heart attack or stroke found no difference in the death rate from cardiovascular disease or other outcomes between those given a 1-gram fish-oil pill every day and those given a placebo…

 

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