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Boston, Massachusetts Personal Injury: Are Dietary Supplements Dangerous Drugs?

Consumer Reports is saying that some dietary supplements may be causing more harm than good. Its report warns of 12 ingredients in supplements that can cause serious side effects, including liver, cardiovascular, and kidney problems. The ingredients that Consumer Reports is cautioning against are:

• Yohimbe • Lobelia
• Kava • Greater celandine • Germanium Comfrey • Country mallow • Coltsfoot • Colloidal silver • Chaparral • Bitter orange • Aconite
Consumer Reports says there are even supplements that contain pesticides, heavy metals, and prescription drugs.

According to CNN, the Food and Drug Administration says that these possible side effects are dependent upon how much of an ingredient the user takes over a certain period of time. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration’s power to regulate the dietary supplement industry is limited and many supplements are sold without having to prove that they work and are safe.

A recent article on the magazine’s Web site talks about one man, John Coolidge, who started to experience joint pain, diarrhea, lung problems, hair loss, and the loss of toenails and fingernails after taking Total Body Formula, a supplement that was supposed to improve his health. Hundreds of others have stepped forward to complain about the adverse reactions they experienced while taking the supplement. Based on the FDA’s testing of the supplement following the complaints, most samples had over 200 times the amount of selenium than what was listed on the supplement’s label and almost 17 times more than the recommended intake of chromium.

Some have expressed concern that there may even be some manufacturers who may be adding pharmaceuticals into their supplements. One doctor, internist Dr. Pieter Cohen at Cambridge Health Alliance, says that some of his patients have gotten sick from taking supplements.

Our Boston products liability lawyers want to remind you that there are legal remedies available to the victims of a product that caused serious injuries, illness, or wrongful death.

Three Types of Product Defect:
• Design defects • Marketing defects • Manufacturing defects
Dangerous supplements: What you don’t know about these 12 ingredients could hurt you, Consumer Reports, 2010
Report: Dietary supplements pose health risks, CNN, August 4, 2010

Related Web Resources:
12 supplements you should avoid, Consumer Reports
Selected Examples of Deceptive or Dangerous Marketing for Herbal Supplements, GAO, May 26, 2010
Contact our Boston injury lawyers today.