Claims that certain supplements can cure anything and keep you healthy and wise have boosted the vitamin business to billions of dollars per year. Most people today want to stay young and avoid diseases and have bought into the idea of supplements to enhance their health.

             Health food stores in America abound with shelves laden with goods that promise miracles for your health. But there are certain dangers involved in surreptitiously ingesting vitamin supplements. Some danger occurs if you’re taking other medications that the supplements might have an adverse reaction to.

            Some people think that “natural” is safe, but that isn’t always true. Some supplements that might endanger your health are:

  • Weight loss supplements that contain “theophylline.” Theophylline is taken from a black tea extract and bitter orange. It’s sometimes prescribed for asthma, but can cause seizures and irregular heartbeat.
  • Aristolochia. Anherb supplement that sometimes causes cancer or kidney failure.
  • Bitter orange. A weight loss supplement that may cause seizures.
  • Kava. Can be the source of liver failure.
  • Pennyroyal. Anherb that’s linked to nerve damage and liver and kidney failure.
  • Comfrey. An herb that sometimes causes liver damage.
  • Lobelia. An herb that can cause tremors, dizziness, breathing difficulties and low blood pressure.
  • Androstenedione. Can increasecancer risk and decrease the good HDL cholesterol.

            Despite possible side effects, there are many instances when supplements are effective. For example, if you’re a vegetarian, senior citizen or a woman who’s menopausal or post-menopausal, you may not get all the vitamins you need.

            People on a severe diet plan, smokers, heavy drinkers and pregnant women may also need extra vitamins to supplement their diets because many vitamins are difficult to absorb.

            It’s always best to consult a health professional if you suspect that your body needs dietary supplements. Also, check with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to see if there are current bans on a particular supplement.

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