Herbal and dietary supplements are responsible for four times as many transplants and deaths from liver disease as conventional medicine.
You know the mantra: herbs, vitamins and other supplements are better for you than the stuff “big pharma” tries to sell you.
And it’s not “stupid” people believing that, as the majority of US supplement users have an advanced education and are over 40 years old.
Educated and still having no idea what all that “natural” can do to their bodies.
Your Poor Liver
A Philadelphia study over a period of ten years looked at 839 people with liver disease and how their troubles came about.
The majority of liver problems were caused by conventional medicine, but more than four times as many deaths and need for transplantation were due to supplements:
- Over the decade, liver illness from supplements rose from 7% to 20% of all cases
- 45 cases were caused by bodybuilding supplements
- 85 came through non-bodybuilding supplements
- The bodybuilding supplements led to prolonged jaundice, but no deaths
- The non-bodybuilding supplements caused deaths, more of them to women
- 13% of deaths and transplants were caused by supplements, only 3% by conventional medicine
It’s interesting that bodybuilding supplements were responsible for less harm than the stuff your regular health crowd pops. I’m looking at you, vegan yoga lovers, who think bodybuilders are stupid muscle mountains and tell me about “cleansing” and alternative treatments I’m just not “open-minded” enough for.
Potent, Yet Nearly Uncontrolled
There are natural supplements out there that can do a lot of things to a lot of things and yet you get very little caution about them. Dr. Navarro, lead author of the above study, summarized it in a press statement:
While many Americans believe supplements to be safe, government regulations (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994) require less safety evidence to market products than what is required for conventional pharmaceuticals. With less stringent oversight for herbals and dietary supplements, there is greater potential for harmful consequences including life-threatening conditions.
I wrote about the ludicrous way the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act came about a while ago. It’ll astound you how little your safety played a role in composing it.
Picture courtesy of “Bruce“.