Health

Can You Trust the Labels on Your Supplements?

THURSDAY, Nov. 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Think you know what's in your favorite supplement? Think again.

More than half of the herbal and dietary supplements analyzed by researchers contained ingredients that differed from the list on their labels.

Some had hidden ingredients that might actually harm health, researchers said.

Bodybuilding and weight-loss supplements, in particular, tended to contain ingredients not listed on their packaging, said lead researcher Dr. Victor Navarro, chair of hepatology for Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

Chemical analyses found that product labels did not reflect ingredients for 80 percent of bodybuilding and performance enhancement supplements, and 72 percent of weight-loss products, the researchers reported.

"We found that half of the bodybuilding supplements in our analysis contained undeclared anabolic steroids," Navarro said.

The researchers and health experts are concerned that these mystery ingredients can cause lasting liver damage.

More than 20 percent of liver damage cases reported to the U.S. Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network are attributed to herbal and dietary supplements, the researchers said in background notes.

Sonya Angelone is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She said, "Your liver is your major detoxification organ. That's why you're going to see liver problems with these products." Angelone, a San Francisco registered dietitian, wasn't involved in the new study.

Navarro and his team analyzed more than 200 supplements reported to the liver injury network by hundreds of patients, to see whether their labels reflected the actual contents.

Only 90 of 203 products had labels that accurately reflected their content, the investigators concluded.

In one case, a bodybuilder who became very ill from liver damage had taken a supplement that contained tamoxifen. That's an anti-estrogen drug typically taken to prevent a recurrence of breast cancer, Navarro said.

"Tamoxifen counteracts some of the steroid effects guys get from using the bodybuilding supplements," Navarro said. "The liver injury he experienced is exactly what you see with tamoxifen toxicity."

The Council for Responsible Nutrition is the leading U.S. trade group for dietary supplements. A spokesman noted that Navarro's study has not yet gone through the rigorous peer review required for publication in a medical journal.

"Dietary supplement manufacturers are required to declare all ingredients on their product labels. Products that contain undeclared ingredients are illegal," said Duffy MacKay, the council's senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.

"Before drawing any conclusions, this new research should be peer reviewed and confirmed, and the companies should be contacted for a response. Furthermore, in the name of transparency, the product names should be publicly disclosed," MacKay continued.

MacKay added that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should inspect any manufacturing facilities in question and take enforcement action against those "proven to be blatantly ignoring the laws."

Angelone said she wasn't surprised to find that anabolic steroids had been mixed into some of the bodybuilding products.

Supplements sold for weight loss or muscle building "tend to be contaminated the most, and usually they're contaminated with unlabeled drugs because that's how you get a quick effect," Angelone said. "They want people to use their product, so they have to put something in there to create an effect and keep selling their product."

The FDA does not regulate the supplement industry as it does pharmaceuticals and medical devices, Navarro and Angelone noted.

"It's up to the public to complain, otherwise no one's going to go in and check, as they do proactively with drugs," Angelone said. "Unless there are adverse effects, nothing's going to get done. There's a lot of money to be made."

Angelone added that anyone interested in using supplements should reach out to a registered dietitian or nutritionist. They can guide consumers to responsible companies that provide professional-grade supplements, Angelone said.

"Their quality control measures are a lot higher," Angelone said of the better supplement makers. "They also have certificates of analysis, which is something you should ask for. That's an analysis by a third party that shows the quality level of the supplement."

Beyond that, people should question whether they need a supplement at all, Navarro said.

"Most people, if they have a well-rounded diet, don't need supplements of any kind," Navarro said.

The findings were presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, in Washington, D.C.

More information

For more on using supplements safely, visit the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Original Article

Related Articles

5,243 Comments

  1. Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

  2. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  3. I have been browsing on-line greater than three hours as of late, yet I never found any fascinating article like yours. It is lovely price enough for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you did, the internet will probably be much more useful than ever before.

  4. What i don’t understood is actually how you are not really a lot more well-favored than you might be now. You are so intelligent. You already know thus considerably relating to this matter, produced me for my part consider it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like women and men aren’t interested until it¡¦s something to do with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs great. All the time maintain it up!

  5. Hey there! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the great work!|

  6. Very efficiently written article. It will be supportive to everyone who utilizes it, as well as yours truly :). Keep doing what you are doing – looking forward to more posts.

  7. My family all the time say that I am killing my time here at net, except I know I am getting familiarity all the time by reading such fastidious articles.

  8. I like what you guys are up too lotopyeer. Such smart work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my web site 🙂

  9. Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!

  10. I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  11. Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

  12. This is a really good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate info… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

  13. I do agree with all of the ideas you have presented in your post. They’re really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for novices. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

  14. Excellent blog site! Do you really have any other helpful hints for aspirant freelance writers? I’m planning to start my own website very soon although I’m a little lost on every single thing. Could you propose beginning with a complimentary site like Live journal or opt for a paid choice? You’ll discover so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any kind of recommendations? Thanks a lot!