More and more people today take vitamin supplements without consulting a medical professional. Their assumption is that these supplements can only be beneficial, and that they don’t need to be approved or checked by a healthcare professional. A recent study by Consumer Reports says otherwise. The report listed 12 ingredients that are found in supplements that are linked to serious side effects.
These ingredients include: aconite, bitter orange, chaparral, colloidal silver, coltsfoot, country mallow, germanium, greater celandine, kava, lobelia, and yohimbe. The FDA spokesperson says that the FDA does caution consumers about possible side effects with seven of these supplements (aconite, chaparral, colloidal silver, comfrey, germanium, kava and yohimbe), but that they do not know with what evidence or scientific basis Consumer Reports has come to these conclusions.
While the FDA used to regulate dietary supplements in the same fashion that they regulated other foods, this changed in 1994. Since that time when DSHEA was signed into law by President Clinton, it has been up to the manufacturer to determine which supplements are safe. Doctors urge the general public to be very aware of what supplements they are using and to check with their doctor before starting to use any new supplements.