Consumer Reports tests nutritional supplements
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- More than half of American adults take nutritional supplements, but Consumer Reports found they're not without risk. The Food and Drug Administration has received more than 6,000 reports of serious adverse effects in the last five years.
Counselor Dina Khader has been advising people about nutrition for more than 20 years. She says she's seen many cases of misuse of supplements.
"People start to take their own supplements without really checking if they really need it or if it's something that would benefit them in any way," Khader said.
A Consumer Reports investigation found many surprising dangers in vitamins and supplements, largely unregulated products. And moreover, there's increasing evidence there may be few, if any, benefits.
"There was a study published in June that showed that calcium supplements increased the risk of heart attack by 86 percent compared to the group who didn't get them," Consumer Reports' Nancy Metcalf said. "On the other hand, that same study showed eating calcium-rich foods can protect your heart."
A recent study of antioxidant supplements shows that high doses of some "may increase cancer risk" and not reduce it.
"Even more troubling, some supplements have turned out to contain prescription drugs like Viagra and Cialis that were not on the label," Metcalf said.
The FDA says supplements spiked with prescription drugs are "the largest threat" to consumer safety. There have been more than 400 recalls of such products since 2008.
"Even with uncontaminated vitamins and minerals, the labels don't tell the whole story because generally, the FDA does not require manufacturers to include warning labels," Metcalf said.
When Consumer Reports checked out the labels on more than 200 bottles of supplements, it found just one in three listed possible adverse reactions.
"In some cases, the potential risks of supplements can outweigh the benefits. We say if you're generally a pretty healthy person, you can skip them," Metcalf said.
Eating a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein is the best way to go.
healthcheck, christi myers
- 20 on missing plane worked for Austin company
- New info in case of women found dead by dumpster
- Body found after shots ring out near Greens Bayou
- North Houston house fire leaves one dead
- Collision sends HPD officer, driver to hospital
- Fire marshall: Teen burned mom's clothes over marijuana
- Person fatally falls from 6th floor of building at Texas A&M
- Thousands of bees attack woman in California
- Yates comes up short in 3A title game
- Masked robbers hold up bank in west Harris County
- Three bodies found in rubble of burned down home
- Mark Kelly, twin brother enlisted for NASA study
- Gun hidden in sock kills woman at thrift store
- Will Justin Bieber be at Houston rodeo?