Supplement with Caution!

Hello Loyal Soup People! This week, let’s chat about supplements. In short – they can be very dangerous! I hate to start my column with such stark  language, but I just read some information about dietary supplements that makes me want to sound the alarm!

Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has very little control over the dietary market. Unlike with prescription or over-the-counter medication, manufacturers of dietary supplements are not required to perform any safety tests or obtain FDA approval before putting their product  on the market! In fact, the only way the FDA can pull a supplement is if it’s proven to be contaminated or if someone gets sick from ingesting it.

Your liver is at the most risk from dietary supplements. Between 2004 and 2013, the rate of liver injuries, including ones serious enough to require a transplant, tripled in number. Over 23,000 Emergency Room visits each year are attributed to dietary supplements. The biggest culprits are those linked to claims of gaining muscle and losing weight. They often contain various types of steroids and/or prescription medication which aren’t actually legal in the United States!

If you currently take any dietary supplements, watch for signs of liver damage. Jaundice, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, fever, and rash can all be signs of liver damage. My best advice is to steer clear of supplements altogether. If you’re trying to lose weight and gain muscle – do it the old fashioned way! Diet and exercise!

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!