“All-natural” dietary supplement? Think again!

Posted by Sarah Showard | Aug 21, 2012 | 0 Comments


The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on the makers of supposedly “all-natural” dietary supplements because many of them are laced with prescription drugs. In a new analysis by Consumer Reports, “Vitamins and Supplements: 10 Dangers That May Surprise You,” the most frequent violators are makers of supplements aimed to enhance male sexual performance.

Daniel Fabricant, director of the FDA's Division of Dietary Supplement Programs, told Consumer Reports that most problems with supplements aren't even reported to the federal agency. But the FDA has gotten complaints that consumers have died or suffered strokes, acute liver injuries, kidney failure and blood clots in the lungs because of supplements tainted with prescription drugs. Ironically, many people choose supplements touted as “all natural” because they are trying to avoid those very side effects associated with certain prescription drugs – unknowingly ingesting those drugs, Consumer Reports said.

Fabricant said dietary supplements with hidden amounts of prescription drugs are “the largest threat” to consumers. Consumer Reports found such drugs as sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and sibutramine (Meridia, a weight-loss drug taken off the market) showing up unlabeled on many supplements.

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About the Author

Sarah Showard

Sarah Showard graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English-Linguistics and a Certification in Women's Studies. She then graduated from New York University School of Law in 1988. Sarah began practice initially as an insurance defense attorney, and has been representing plaintiffs since 1990. Sarah has a son, Benjamin, who recently graduated from The Gregory School and will attend ASU in the fall, with future plans to attend law school and eventually join Showard Law Firm. In her spare time Sarah enjoys horseback riding and spending time in Sonoita with her husband Peter.


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