A recent study revealed a significant increase in liver damage related to dietary supplements. The study, conducted by a national network of liver specialists, found a 13% increase in serious liver damage over a 10 year span. Some of these patients required liver transplants and some have even died due to liver failure. Authors of the study point to dietary supplements as a potential cause.
Bodybuilding supplements and green tea extract are the two of the most common dietary supplements linked to liver damage. Supplements containing unlisted steroids as well as herbal pills and powders that claimed to increase energy levels and boost weight-loss efforts are identified as the cause of liver damage.
Supplements are poorly regulated
Dietary supplements, including vitamins, diet pills, and body building supplements, are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. What that means is that anyone can make a substandard supplement and sell it to unsuspecting consumers. The FDA only steps in when adverse events are reported. Supplement manufacturers are not even required to prove the claims they make about their product.
In fact, the products are only required to list ingredients. The only real “rule” is that manufacturers cannot present supplements as a cure for any type of disease or condition. It’s said to be “anybody’s guess” as to what’s really inside these supplements. They can even contain steroids and steroid-like substances.
Strict measures needed to reduce health risks
This is a serious problem. Americans spend $32 billion a year on dietary supplements. Industry critics are now calling for measures to force these companies to prove their products are safe and created according to stringent manufacturing standards before they are available on the market. Until then nobody really knows what is in that supplement you take every morning.