12 Ingredients to Avoid when taking Vitamins and Supplements

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.


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.

(also known as)
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(coughwort, farfarae folium leaf, foalswort)
Cough, sore throat, laryngitis, bronchitis, asthma. Liver damage, cancer. Likely unsafe.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(celandine, chelidonii herba, Chelidonium majus)
Upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, liver disorders, detoxification, cancer. Liver damage. Possibly unsafe.
(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.
(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.
(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


The Role of Vitamins in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Although there are some miracle prescription drugs on the market which can help curtail the crippling effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), there is still no cure for this chronic disease. No one knows exactly why some people end up permanently crippled while others can live somewhat normal lives with few minor adjustments. No matter the severity of the RA, we must continue balancing our lives to the best of our abilities. This means we must work, raise our kids, nurture romantic relationships, maintain friendships, deal with finances and go to school… Yes, all of the easy “normal people things” must still be managed while undergoing those ever annoying surprise RA flare-ups and constant pain.

Diet and exercise, along with your prescription medications can be instrumental in controlling the effects of RA.


There is strong evidence suggesting that omega 3-fatty acids can act as an anti-inflammatory agent thus helping to reduce pain and stiffness. That being said, fish should be consumed regularly by those with RA. Nutritionists recommend 2-3 meals of fatty fish per week. If you absolutely hate the taste of fish, try supplementing the dish for fish oil capsules instead.

Folic Acid

Rheumies should get a daily dose of Folic Acid, especially when taking methotrexate. Folic Acid helps your body manufacture red blood cells. Deficiency can lead to anemia, weight loss, loss of appetite and diarrhea. Natural sources of Folic Acid come from green leafy vegetables, as well as some fortified grains like cereal.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant vitamin that can help prevent cartilage break-down. Vitamin C deficiency is detrimental to immune function. Since RA is an autoimmune, persons with RA should get regular doses of Vitamin C.

Vitamin B6

All B vitamins are water soluble meaning the body doesn’t store them. These vitamins are important because they help the body convert food into fuel. Vitamin B6 is especially important for nervous system health as it helps regulate brain development and function. Dietary sources of vitamin B6 come from poultry (chicken and turkey), seafood (shrimp, salmon and tuna) as well as beans, spinach, carrots, brown rice, wheat germ and whole-grain flower. In supplement form, 50 mg can be taken daily.

Vitamin D

If unable to spend 15 minutes per day in the sun, RA patients are strongly urged to integrate vitamin D supplements into their treatment plan. Vitamin D is such a beneficial vitamin to rheumies because it assists the body in absorbing calcium thus maintaining stronger, healthier bones.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is recommended to rheumies as it can clean free radicals while also fighting joint inflammation. While this vitamin doesn’t by any means prevent RA or all flare-ups, it has been known to give relief to some rheumies. If you want to avoid supplements and take the more natural route, eat plenty of asparagus, avocado, eggs, milk, nuts, spinach and whole grains to get your healthy doss of vitamin E.

Since taking all the supplements above might seem a little overwhelming at times, especially given the large number of pills you already ingest daily for RA, I recommend considering one daily multivitamin vitamin along with a healthy diet. Eating a combination of the foods mentioned above can help raise our vitamin intake to suggested rheumy levels. After all, we are what we eat.

Has anyone tried treating their RA with any of the “special” joint juices on the market? Tell me about your experience. Was it glam or scam?