Half of health conscious adults in the US take supplements on a regular basis in order to stay healthy. We take these when we want to lose weight, play sports, avoid prescription drugs, etc. When purchasing popular supplements, I always look for the highest vitamin content I can get for my money. I typically look for the greatest percentages of vitamins like C, D, B, and zinc, just to name a few — We tend to purchase supplements based on their benefits, period. This is because most Americans don’t know what to look for on a supplement label after they’ve researched vitamin content. To be perfectly honest, I don’t typically read supplement ingredient labels and if I do, I don’t know what most of them mean, let alone what they are or how to pronounce them.

vitamins

According to new research from Consumer Reports, some of the ingredients in these supplements might actually be more harmful than helpful. For starters, there is a specific list of 12 vitamins to avoid as they’ve been linked to kidney failure, liver disease and cardiovascular issues, among other problems. Next time you go supplement shopping, stay away from anything containing the following ingredients.

NAME
(also known as)
PURPORTED USES POSSIBLE DANGERS COMMENTS
ACONITE
(aconiti tuber, aconitum, radix aconiti)
Inflammation, joint pain, wounds, gout. Toxicity, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, respiratory-system paralysis, heart-rhythm disorders, death. Unsafe. Aconite is the most common cause of severe herbal poisoning in Hong Kong.
BITTER ORANGE
(aurantii fructus, Citrus aurantium, zhi shi)
Weight loss, nasal congestion, allergies. Fainting, heart-rhythm disorders, heart attack, stroke, death. Possibly unsafe. Contains synephrine, which is similar to ephedrine, banned by the FDA in 2004. Risks might be higher when taken with herbs that contain caffeine.
CHAPARRAL
(creosote bush, Larrea divaricata, larreastat)
Colds, weight loss, infections, inflammation, cancer, detoxification. Liver damage, kidney problems. Likely unsafe. The FDA advises people not to take chaparral.
COLLOIDAL SILVER
(ionic silver, native silver, Silver in suspending agent)
Fungal and other infections, Lyme disease, rosacea, psoriasis, food poisoning, chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV/AIDS. Bluish skin, mucous membrane discoloration, neurological problems, kidney damage. Likely unsafe. The FDA advised consumers about the risk of discoloration on Oct. 6, 2009.
COLTSFOOT
(coughwort, farfarae folium leaf, foalswort)
Cough, sore throat, laryngitis, bronchitis, asthma. Liver damage, cancer. Likely unsafe.
COMFREY
(blackwort, common comfrey, slippery root)
Cough, heavy menstrual periods, chest pain, cancer. Liver damage, cancer. Likely unsafe. The FDA advised manufacturers to remove comfrey products from the market in July 2001.
COUNTRY MALLOW
(heartleaf, Sida cordifolia, silky white mallow)
Nasal congestion, allergies, asthma, weight loss, bronchitis. Heart attack, heart arrhythmia, stroke, death. Likely unsafe. Possible dangers linked with its ephedrine alkaloids banned by the FDA in 2004.
GERMANIUM
(Ge, Ge-132, germanium-132)
Pain, infections, glaucoma, liver problems, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer. Kidney damage, death. Likely unsafe. The FDA warned in 1993 that it was linked to serious adverse events.
GREATER CELANDINE
(celandine, chelidonii herba, Chelidonium majus)
Upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, liver disorders, detoxification, cancer. Liver damage. Possibly unsafe.
KAVA
(awa, Piper methysticum, kava-kava)
Anxiety (possibly effective). Liver damage. Possibly unsafe. The FDA issued a warning to consumers in March 2002. Banned in Germany, Canada, and Switzerland.
LOBELIA
(asthma weed, Lobelia inflata, pukeweed, vomit wort)
Coughing, bronchitis, asthma, smoking cessation (possibly ineffective). Toxicity; overdose can cause fast heartbeat, very low blood pressure, coma, possibly death. Likely unsafe. The FDA warned in 1993 that it was linked to serious adverse events.
YOHIMBE
(yohimbine, Corynanthe yohimbi, Corynanthe johimbi)
Aphrodisiac, chest pain, diabetic complications, depression; erectile dysfunction (possibly effective). Usual doses can cause high blood pressure, rapid heart rate; high doses can cause severe low blood pressure, heart problems, death. Possibly unsafe for use without medical supervision because it contains a prescription drug, yohimbine. The FDA warned in 1993 that reports of serious adverse events were under investigation.

This clip from the August 3, 2010 episode of the  Today Show gives viewers an in-depth look at the danger associated to some of these ingredients.

If you are unable to SAFELY obtain the vitamins you need or lose the weight that you want through the use of supplements, I recommend eating loads of old-fashioned fruits and vegetables every day. These super foods are jam-packed with all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs.

healthy eating

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Comments
  1. bbtobin says:

    thanks for the article Katie! i take lots of supplements..so this is good info to have!

  2. The Silver Genie says:

    This is an absolute media Blitz!

    This garbage report is everywhere.

    “The magazine says it can be a killer at high doses.”

    So can water, so drink water with caution, “Just because it’s

    natural doesn’t mean it’s safe.”

    Reference: Associated Press updated 1/13/2007 10:24:31 PM ET

    “SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A woman who competed in a radio station’s

    contest to see how much water she could drink without going to

    the bathroom died of water intoxication, the coroner’s office

    said Saturday.”

    “Jennifer Strange, 28, was found dead Friday in her suburban

    Rancho Cordova home”

    Get a grip people!

    Safety Information Related to Nanoscalar-Oligodynamic Silver Ions

    A Nutraceutical Silver Supplement

    © 2002, by Natural-Immunogenics Corp.

    http://www.natural-immunogenics.com/pdf/SS-White%20Technical%20Pa

    per%20002-SafetyInformation-01-23-033.pdf

    Abstract:

    d. 2.2.1. Inhalation Exposure:

    2.2.1.1. Death – No studies were located regarding death in

    humans or animals after inhalation exposure to silver or silver

    compounds.

    e. 2.2.2. Oral Exposure 2.2.2.1.

    Death – No studies located regarding death in humans following

    oral exposure to silver or silver compounds.

    e. 2.2.3. Dermal Exposure

    2.2.3.1. Death – No studies were located regarding death in

    humans following dermal exposure to silver or silver compounds.
    (b) Extremely rare and isolated human deaths reportedly

    associated with silver ingestion or infusion, have been reported.
    However, the circumstances of such cases were so ill-defined that

    it is impossible to formulate any meaningful data, let alone

    determine any conclusions.

    Try getting someone that knows something about what they’re

    collecting data on.

    Would you send a blind man to collect data for a “new Consumer

    Reports investigation” to a painting exhibit?

    (Colloidal) Ionic Silver for the health of your family, pets,

    plants and home.

    Don’t be fooled by negative propaganda or misrepresentations.

    • katiestew says:

      I appreciate your colorful comment silver genie. Of course almost anything can be harmful if overdone. I would like to research the information you referenced, but the link you provided was inoperable. Please repost a working link so readers can develop their own opinions. My mission is not to provide propaganda, but to encourage people to reflect upon the ways in which they chose to live their lives.

  3. […] 12 Ingredients to Avoid when taking Vitamins and Supplements « Katie Stewart Vents about RA […]

  4. Great article, Just passed this on to a friend who read up on this and she took me to dinner after I gave her this site. So, Thanks!!

  5. Form Script says:

    I am just making a blog related to this. If you agree, I would like to use some of your content. And with full refernce of course. Thanks in advance.

    – Josh

  6. M Stewart says:

    Way to go Katie! Mo

  7. Eric says:

    Keep in mind that FDA officials are not elected and mostly are former Big Pharma execs that have only one interest in mind. That is to continue helping these pharmaceutical companies exceed last year’s profits to keep their investors happy. It is BIG business folks. You will notice on all vitamins and supplements that “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” The only drugs or cures that the FDA does approve are those that are patented by large corporations. This problem continues into healthcare as a whole. Every doctor I have ever been to is trained to do one of two things. First, prescribe a man-made synthetic drug. Second, let’s get you into surgery. The “health-care” system is not designed to cure anyone. It is designed to simply treat symptoms, not the root cause of any disease. If everyone was healthy and cured of all diseases, there would be no need for blockbuster drugs, approved by the FDA, such as Vioxx and others that KILL people. I feel much safer using nature and what it provides to actually CURE ailments. Granted, nature provides powerful substances that must be used with care and in moderation. I suggest using a Naturopathic Doctor or holistic practitioner BEFORE ever falling victim to the BIG BUSINESS health care system of revolving doors and no cures.

    • katiestew says:

      Hi Eric –
      Thanks for stopping by! You definitely have some good points. I think RA sufferers like myself tend to want to try almost anything if there’s some sort of implied “cure” or relief that might stem from trying it. I would just like my readers to stop and think before consuming any sort of substance, regardless of whether it is natural or man-made.
      Best,
      Katie

  8. Took me time to learn all of the comments, however I really enjoyed the article. Good job…

  9. I want to post quick hello and want to say appriciate for this good article.

  10. Seán says:

    Well said Eric.

  11. Your current post provides confirmed beneficial to me personally.
    It’s really informative and you’re simply naturally quite well-informed in this area. You get exposed our sight in order to different views on this particular subject with interesting and sound content material.

  12. […] 12 ingredients to avoid when taking vitamins and supplements […]

Hi and thanks for stopping by katiestew.wordpress.com! I will review and approve your comment shortly. If you have questions or want to get in touch, please feel free to email me at katiestew18@hotmail.com or follow me via twitter at @kstew_arthritis. Stay well!

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