The 12 Most Dangerous Supplements – What to avoid and what’s worth trying instead!

It’s no secret that nutritional health supplements are big business! Understandably so, since many health food supplements can actually help increase your overall health and performance. However, some supplements can actually do more harm than good. I’ll get into the list of good and bad supplements (based on this Consumer reports article) in a moment. Before I get into the lists of good and potentially “bad” supplements, please consider this: ALL supplements are only the icing on the cake and DO NOT replace real food. In other words, don’t prioritize taking a vitamin C pill when you’re still eating fast food as your primary meal sources.


Consumer Reports  a very interesting story titled.


In today’s post, I’ve summarized the recently released Consumer Reports article titled “The 12 Most Dangerous Supplements” and provided below, what I feel to be the key, take-home points form the article. I’ve also included the Consumer Reports list of the 12 Most Dangerous Supplements to avoid ( based on their reports) along with their  list of supplements you should consider.


Here are (what I feel to be) the key, take-home points bullets from this Consumer Reports article:


– “More than half of the adult population have taken supplements to stay healthy, lose weight, gain an edge in sports or in the bedroom, and avoid using prescription drugs. In 2009, we spent $26.7 billion on them, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, a trade publication.”


– “What consumers might not realize, though, is that supplement manufacturers routinely, and legally, sell their products without first having to demonstrate that they are safe and effective. As a result, the supplement marketplace is not as safe as it should be.”



  • “We have identified a dozen supplement ingredients that we think consumers should avoid because of health risks, including cardiovascular, liver, and kidney problems. We found products with those ingredients readily available in stores and online.
  • Because of inadequate quality control and inspection, supplements contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, or prescription drugs have been sold to unsuspecting consumers. And FDA rules covering manufacturing quality don’t apply to the companies that supply herbs, vitamins, and other raw ingredients.
  • China, which has repeatedly been caught exporting contaminated products, is a major supplier of raw supplement ingredients. The FDA has yet to inspect a single factory there.”


    – “Working with experts from the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, an independent research group, we identified a group of ingredients (out of nearly 1,100 in the database) linked to serious adverse events by clinical research or case reports. To come up with our dozen finalists, we also considered factors such as whether the ingredients were effective for their purported uses and how readily available they were to consumers.”


    – “The dozen are aconitebitter orangechaparralcolloidal silvercoltsfootcomfreycountry mallowgermaniumgreater celandinekavalobelia, and yohimbe. The FDA has warned about at least eight of them, some as long ago as 1993.”


    – Of the more than 54,000 dietary supplement products in the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, only about a third have some level of safety and effectiveness that is supported by scientific evidence, according to a review by NMCD experts. And close to 12 percent have been linked to safety concerns or problems with product quality.”


    -“It’s against the law for companies to claim that any supplement can prevent, treat, or cure any disease except some nutrient-deficiency conditions. But in the past two years, the Federal Trade Commission has filed or settled 30 cases against supplement marketers, charging that they made exactly those kinds of claims.”


    – “Look for the “USP Verified” mark: It indicates that the supplement manufacturer has voluntarily asked U.S. Pharmacopeia, a trusted nonprofit, private standards-setting authority, to verify the quality, purity, and potency of its raw ingredients or finished products. USP maintains a list of verified products on its website.”


    – “Research in the right places: Be skeptical about claims made for supplements in ads, on TV, and by sales staff. If a claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Instead, try these sources:”


  • The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements.
  • The FDA, for alerts, advisories, and other actions.
  • Consumer Reports Health’s dietary supplements and natural health products information.


    – “Consumers might be attracted to dietary supplements because they’re “all natural” and don’t contain the synthetic chemicals found in prescription drugs. But they might be getting fooled.”


    Consumer Reports List of Supplemnts to Avoid

    “These supplement ingredients are among those linked by clinical research or case reports to serious side effects. We worked with the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, an independent research group that evaluates the safety and effectiveness of nutritional supplements, to develop this list. We think it’s wise to avoid all the ingredients on it. Unless otherwise noted, there’s insufficient evidence to rate their effectiveness for their purported uses. Dangers listed are not meant to be all-inclusive.”















    Go here to get more detailed information on the Consumer Reports list of Supplements to avoid, including: Also known as names of the supplements listed above, purported uses, possible dangers and additional comments on the above supplements.


    11 Supplements to Consider

    “These popular supplements, listed in alphabetical order, have been shown to likely be safe for most people and possibly or likely to be effective in appropriate doses for certain conditions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting any supplement. Most supplements haven’t been studied in pregnant or nursing women. The list of interactions and side effects is not all-inclusive.”














    Go here for more details on the Consumer Reports list of Supplements to Consider, including: Also known as names of the above supplements, Efficacy for selected uses, Selected potential side effects, Selected drug interactions.


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