What are potential side effects of dietary supplements?

Perhaps Serious. Depending upon the supplement, heart trouble, hypertension, strokes, and kidney trouble. Good diet should eliminate the need for dietary supplements in otherwise healthy people.And if not healthy, talk to your doctor.

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What are the side-effects of Dietary supplements?

Adverse effects. When consumed in high enough amounts, for a long enough time, or in combination with certain other substances, all chemicals can be toxic, including nutrients, plant components, and other biologically active ingredients. (Official US Government FDA website, accessed Oct. 2011 The worst offenders of supplement contamination cases are found among weight loss and sexual enhancement products, and sports enhancement and body building supplements (News & Events -Press Announcements, Dec. 15, 2010, from Official US Government FDA website, accessed Feb. 2011; Cohen, et al., 2014). Although herbs and botanicals oftentimes do contain essential nutrients for human life -such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids- they do consists of many other non-essential constituents, frequently in dominant ways. Because of the presence of numerous plant components which are “foreign” to the human physiology, herbs, in general, tend to be less safe than vitamins and minerals for instance. The official data corroborates that herbs and botanicals tend to generate the most adverse effects of dietary supplements (American Association of Poison Control Centers, 1983-2008; GAO, 2009). The herbs kava and lobelia have a high risk of causing dietary supplement side effects, including -at large doses- coma and death, which prompted a number of countries (but not the USA) to ban their sale (GAO, 2009). Yohimbe has caused some deaths, ginseng too has been implicated with deaths (American Association of Poison Control Centers, 1983-2008), and ma huang (ephedra) has been banned by the FDA in 2004 after a few people had died. In many or even most of these case, however, the herbs had not been used as indicated, or as traditionally recommended. Ma huang, for example, has been used safely for thousands of years in Chinese medicine, primarily for respiratory afflictions such as asthma, or congestive issues due to the common cold. In the cases of death involving the herb it was inappropriately used for weight loss and as a stimulant to improve athletic performance, frequently as a highly concentrated extract rather than in the form and at the safety platform of a whole herb, as traditional application suggests. (Weight loss pills frequently contain concentrated botanical extracts that may pose a serious danger This means that the relatively few cases where people experience negative effects of dietary supplements are almost always tied to products compromised in quality, or improper product use. drug-nutrient interactions tend to get underreported and minimized. According to information and data retrieved from research, nutritional supplement-drug interactions are most commonly encountered with herbs and botanicals Other examples. Calcium can lower the absorption of the antibiotic tetracycline, reducing the drug's therapeutic potential. Excessive vitamin A can cause liver damage, Excessive vitamin D can cause kidney stones and calcifications. kava and valerian act as sedatives and can increase the effects of anesthetics and other medications used during surgery.” (Official US Government FDA website, accessed Oct. 2011) Typical herbal or botanical offenders that have been identified are Ginkgo biloba, St. John's Wort, valerian, kava, garlic, saw palmetto, ginseng, ginger, willow, and fenugreek St. John's Wort can increase serotonin levels excessively when combined with certain anti-depressants, such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (Peng, et al., 2004). It can also adversely interact with blood-thinning medications and other cardiovascular drugs. Because Ginkgo biloba has an anticoagulant or blood-thinning effect (decreases platelet aggregation), it could lead to adverse events of increased bleeding when combined with blood-thinning drugs. Ginseng, garlic, vitamin E also have slight anticoagulant effects. The majority of health supplement-drug interactions are of low relevance. To increase your likelihood of safety utilizing herbals there are certain common sense rules. 1. Listen to your advisor carefully and provide full disclosure of any drugs you take (over the counter as well) 2. Share with your physician or dentist all vitamins and herbal information. 3. More is not better follow the rules. 4. Watch out for discounted vitamins. Buy a high quality name brand since the FDA does not regulate the supplement industry and only steps in with serious side effects or deaths. If you compare this to the facts about drug-drug interactions you can clearly see the obvious truth about dietary supplements and drug interactions are uncommon. (rather than the misleading anti-supplement propaganda). Stevan Cordas DO MPH Associate Clinical Professor UNTHSC TCOM Fort Worth. Read more...

What are slo-niacin dietary supplements used for? Any side effects?

Triglicerides. Slow niacin is a medication and NOT a dietary supplement. It does improve lipid profile by diminishing triglycerides and improving HDL (good) cholesterol mildly. HOWEVER: niacin does NOT improve chances of patients getting stokes, heart attacks or dying. Niacin is sometimes difficult to take due to side efects as flushing that can be severe. Read more...