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Supplement Ingredients You Want to Avoid

By Sara Butler

Supplements can be great, but they have one huge problem -- they aren’t regulated for efficacy or safety. That means you have to educate yourself on the potential rewards and risks of supplements in order to make informed consumer choices if you do buy some. To help you on your way, here are a few of the ingredients you want to stay far away from when you buy supplements.

What’s the Deal with Regulation of Supplements?

Dietary supplements are regulated by the government as a food but not as a drug. This means no one has tested it for safety or to see if it actually can deliver on what health promises it makes. They may not even have everything on the label used to make it. Supplement companies don’t have to go through the stringent testing drug manufacturers do in order to get their products on the shelves then into your hands.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid supplements altogether. Some supplements can be very effective for people with dietary restrictions or chronic health problems. If you’re eating a balanced diet then chances are supplements aren’t necessary for your overall health and wellness. Though if you do have any questions about possible benefits, you should speak to a trusted medical professional such as your chiropractor.

Ingredients to Stay Away From

The following ingredients may be harmful to people with certain medical conditions or people who take other prescription drugs or supplements. According to Consumer Reports, they are:

  • Chaparral– Claims to help inflammation, rashes, infections and colds.
  • Aconite – Claims to benefit those with joint pain, gout or inflammation.
  • Germander – Claims to benefit those with arthritis, gout, fever and stomach problems.
  • Coltsfoot – Often used for asthma, laryngitis, cough and sore throat.
  • Kava – Claims to help with symptoms of anxiety and insomnia.
  • Pennyroyal oil – Often used to treat those with digestive disorders or breathing problems.
  • Lobelia – Claims to help people quit smoking.
  • Red yeast rice – Often used for heart disease and high cholesterol.
  • Methylsynephrine – Claims to increase energy and athletic performance.

You should be aware these ingredients can be listed by other names as well, so make sure you cover all your bases by researching a supplement before you consider taking it.

Adverse Effects

If you ever experience any of the following, you should stop taking the supplement:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing problems
  • Impaired driving

Some of these ingredients have the potential to do liver damage and cause serious heart problems; they may even put you at risk for certain types of cancer.

As ever, you are far better off adjusting your lifestyle, diet and sleep habits in the pursuit of health as you are just taking a pill for it! 

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