DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS: MORE BAD NEWS!

As I stated in my last communication, multivitamins and supplements are, with few exceptions, a waste of money. Now we have even more revelations to worry about: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Tainted Supplements Database, created in 2007, lists products adulterated with active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Between 2007 and 2021, 1,068 unique dietary-supplement products were added to the database. A recent study has found that the products most likely to include APIs were for sexual enhancement and weight loss:

  • Since 2016, the percentage of products containing more than one API has increased.
  • Since 2016, the percentage of adulterated products for sexual enhancement was higher, the percentage of weight-loss products was lower, and no muscle-building products were reported.
  • Some products with APIs were removed from the market by the FDA because the risks were too great, some were never reviewed by the FDA, and some combined multiple APIs in ways that make it impossible to determine how benefits compare to harms.

The FDA created the Tainted Dietary Supplement Database in 2007 to identify dietary supplements adulterated with APIs. This article compares the determination of adulteration in dietary supplements from the 10-year time period of 2007 through 2016 to the most recent 5-year period of 2017 through 2021. From 2007 through 2021, 1068 unique products were found to be adulterated with APIs. Sexual enhancement and weight loss dietary supplements are the most common products adulterated. Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (Viagra like) are commonly included in sexual enhancement dietary supplements, but a single product can include up to 5 APIs. Sibutramine, a drug removed from the market due to cardiovascular adverse events, is the most included adulterant in weight loss products, although sibutramine analogues, phenolphthalein (which was removed from the US market because of cancer risk), and fluoxetine (Prozac) were also included.

Posing important risks for consumers are 1) the lack of disclosure of APIs in dietary supplements that avoid the normal oversight procedure of prescription drug use and 2) the use of APIs that are banned by the FDA or used in combinations that were never studied.

As I have also warned before, no supplements are sufficiently studied to identify all inherent toxic effects, sometimes even life-threatening ones..

CONCLUSION

Unless you have a specific vitamin deficiency, as identified by a medical professional, consuming multivitamins is a waste of money. Moreover, as I have repeatedly stated, virtually all supplements present risks that are potentially dangerous, and certainly not worth taking!

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