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15 Ingredients in Dietary Supplements You Should Be Wary Of


 Some of us use different types of supplements to improve our health, but although they play an important role in the lives of quite a few people, they may also be dangerous. In the past decade, sales of these supplements have increased by about 81 percent, probably because this is a safe and easy way to maintain health, but in the last three years, the Food and Drug Administration has received about 6,500 complaints about health problems caused by dietary supplements, Including about 100 deaths and hundreds of cases in which people were in real danger of losing their lives.

 

This data is surprising, but given that these supplements do not go through the same rigorous testing as medicine usually does before reaching the drugstore, we can’t say that this isn’t expected.

If your doctor recommends that you take supplements or you decide to do so on your own you should look for the following list of 15 dangerous ingredients and make sure they aren’t in your supplements.

1. Yohimbe 

supplement ingredients

This ingredient is called "natural Viagra" by many and is an alkaloid found in the bark of a tree. In addition to its stimulating sexual effect in both men and women, it can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, headaches, epileptic seizures, liver and kidney problems, and anxiety attacks. "Yohimbe has countless quality control issues as well as unhealthy heart effects," says Dr. Mark Moyad, director of alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

Yohimbe can be found in nutritional supplements designed to treat low libido, sexual dysfunction, depression, and obesity.

2. Caffeine Powder 

supplement ingredients

Caffeine powder is 100% pure caffeine. Theoretically, one teaspoon of caffeine powder equals about 28 cups of coffee, but supplements will contain much smaller amounts. However, caffeine powder can cause epileptic seizures and heart attacks if combined with consumption of other beverages containing caffeine or other stimulants.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

The caffeine powder can usually be found in dietary supplements that treat attention deficit disorder, improve athletic ability and help to lose weight.

3. Aconite

supplement ingredients

The aconite plant has been known for its ability to suppress disease symptoms before they occur if taken early. However, although it is a plant that has been used for many years in Chinese folk medicine, it is also known as a powerful and dangerous poison. Aconite intake may cause nausea, vomiting, weakness, breathing problems, heart rate problems, and even death.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

Aconite is often used in supplements meant to treat inflammation, joint pain, and shingles.

4. Chaparral 

supplement ingredients

Although the Chaparral plant has been used by Native Americans to treat venereal diseases, snake bites, chickenpox, and tuberculosis, the chaparral used in dietary supplements is not the same herbaceous herb that exists in the Americas. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that it not be used as it may cause liver and kidney problems. Also, although some people attribute to it the ability to reduce cancerous tumors, British cancer researchers recommend not using chaparral to prevent any kind of cancerous growth, because it may actually worsen the condition.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

Chaparral is used mainly in supplements meant to treat infections, skin rashes, cancer, and in supplements that promote weight loss.

5. Tussilago / Coltsfoot

supplement ingredients

The Tussilago plant is used to make tea and is also added to certain supplements, but few know that there have been cases in which the drink caused liver damage and that during pregnancy it even caused damage to the developing fetus's liver. The German government has deemed Tussilago illegal as it was also found to be a carcinogen that should be avoided in both external and internal treatment.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

Tussilago is commonly used to create nutritional supplements that help prevent a cough, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma and inflammation of the vocal cords.

6. Comfrey

supplement ingredients

Although different cultures have used the comfrey plant for medicinal purposes, opinions are now divided regarding its effectiveness in the human body. Experts say that humans should not consume it internally and that it should only be used externally, so the Food and Drug Administration banned its use internally in 2001 and determined that products still containing it intended for external use should contain a warning. Comfrey is a substance that can be carcinogenic, and in internal use it can cause extensive damage to the liver.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

Comfrey can be found in nutritional supplements that help a cough, heavy menstrual bleeding, stomach problems, chest pain and cancer.

7. Teucrium / Germander

supplement ingredients

Although there are many warnings about Germander, people are still using the plant to treat gallbladder problems, as well as gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or abdominal pain. The plant is known to kill bacteria, so many manufacturers use it in mouthwash formulas, but it is not safe to use. In France, it was banned completely, while in Canada, it was banned from use in mouthwashes. In general, it is recommended not to use the plant in any form as it is harmful to everyone and for some, it can even cause permanent damage.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

Teucrium is used in various types of mouthwash, but it can also be found in supplements that help to lose weight and treat high fever, gout, stomach problems and arthritis.

8. Chelidonium / greater celandine

supplement ingredients

This plant is moderately toxic when touched, but as long as it is used in the right dose it may be useful. However, internal use of the plant is found to paralyze organs and damage the smooth texture of the muscles, and in addition, it also increases blood pressure. In 1978, a Ukrainian chemist claimed to have found a cure for cancer and AIDS from this plant, but he was arrested in Vienna in September 2012 and charged with fraud. In internal use, this ingredient may cause liver problems, and when used externally it may cause an allergic reaction. So far there have not been enough experiments conducted to know how safe it is for use.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

Chelidonium is currently used in most nutritional supplements designed to treat abdominal pain.

9. Green Tea Leaf Extract (Camellia sinensis)

supplement ingredients

One capsule of green tea leaves contains 5 times more polyphenols than a cup of green tea, but although it can help prevent cancer, our body can only absorb up to 26% of it, so it is recommended to consume green tea in its liquid form. This is because, in combination with other drugs, the extract can increase cancer cell resistance, and therefore is not recommended at all during chemotherapy. In addition, excessive consumption of green tea leaf extract can damage DNA cause and acute liver failure.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

Green tea leaf extract is used in dietary supplements for weight loss.

 

10. Kava

supplement ingredients

Kava is used to reduce anxiety, feelings of restlessness and various sleep-related disorders, such as muscle cramps, but the plant is not recommended for everyone. Like all other ingredients on this list, Kava can also cause liver damage and should not be combined with alcohol or psychiatric drugs, such as antidepressants. The most important thing you should know about kava is that it inhibits quick bodily reactions, so it is not recommended for anyone who is planning on driving or performing other actions that require being alert.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

Kava can be found in supplements that treat anxiety or sleep disorders.

11. Lobelia

supplement ingredients

Lobelia is a plant that is used mainly to treat various respiratory problems, relax the muscles and increase sweating. The plant is considered not safe for internal use for most people, since some of its side effects include nausea, vomiting, coughing, dizziness, tremors, and it also has a detrimental effect on the heart. For now, scientists don’t know enough to determine whether the benefit of the plant exceeds its disadvantages, and therefore it is recommended to avoid it.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient? 

Lobelia can be found in nutritional supplements designed for the treatment of respiratory problems, especially those that help quit smoking, as its effects on the body are reminiscent in some processes of the influence of tobacco.

12. Methylsynephrine / Oxilofrine

supplement ingredients

Oxilofrine is considered to be a psychoactive synthetic stimulant which, among other things, is also an appetite suppressant. It was banned for use by athletes, as it was used not only to boost energy but also to improve athletic ability. This substance can cause heart murmurs and even cardiac arrest, especially when combined with other stimulants. This is one of the substances recommended by Dr. Moyad to stay as far away from as possible since it is a psychoactive drug in every respect.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

Oxilofrine is usually found in supplements for weight loss, improving athletic function and increasing energy.

13. Pennyroyal oil

supplement ingredients

Despite the severe warnings regarding the use of pennyroyal oil, it still used in many supplements. Its use may cause menstrual cycle changes, miscarriage, liver, kidney and nervous system disorders, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, confusion, hearing problems, high blood pressure, pulmonary failure, and brain damage. Scientists are still unable to determine whether the positive effect of pennyroyal oil and pills in treating colds and pneumonia overrides the damage it creates.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

Pennyroyal oil can be found in supplements that deal with problems related to breathing and lungs, as well as problems related to digestion.

14. Red yeast rice (Red yeast rice)

supplement ingredients

Red yeast rice is used in Chinese cuisine, but to this day researchers have not been able to determine how much of it is recommended for consumption. This ingredient helps maintain normal cholesterol levels and improve blood flow, but the American Heart Association warns against using it until they have completed their long-term research.

Where are you likely to find the ingredient?

As mentioned above, red yeast rice can be found in dietary supplements that treat cholesterol and blood flow problems.

15. Usinic acid

supplement ingredients
In 2013, a large number of cases were reported of people whose liver was severely damaged by the use of dietary supplements containing usinic acid, and some of which even reached the point of death due to injuries caused by it.
Where are you likely to find the ingredient? 
Usinic acid is found in supplements that help to lose weight and relieve pain.
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