Tag Archives: supplements

Dietary Supplements Send Thousands to ER Yearly

Weight loss dietary supplements rush nearly 23,000 individuals to the hospital emergency room annually, says a new study. This is the first time someone has calculated national numbers on this issue.

Dietary Supplents for Weight Loss

Dietary supplements send 23,000 to ER annually, says study. Photo by news@jama

According to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, supplements for weight loss and energy were the most threatening, and heart problems were the most common issue with those type of supplements. Seniors, women and preschoolers were at higher risk.

“People may not notice that dietary supplements can cause any adverse events, but each year thousands of Americans are treated in emergency rooms for symptoms related to dietary supplements,” says Andrew Geller, MD, a medical officer at the CDC who led the study. Some supplements may be safe but I always recommend diet and exercise for natural weight loss.

With over 150 million Americans taking dietary supplements, the number of people who go to the emergency room seems small to supplement manufacturers. “If you look at the projected number of emergency room visits and do the math, we’re looking at far less than one-tenth of one percent of supplement users will visit the ER,” says Duffy Mackay, ND, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade organization.

I still believe that 23,000 visits to the emergency room for a weight loss or dietary supplement is too many. Experts who did not take part in the study agree that these figure are too high. “The number is alarming,” says Pieter Cohen, MD, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School who studies the safety of dietary supplements.

The results were found by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration who went through medical records maintained by at least 60 hospitals around the United States. They studied a 10-year time frame, from 2004 to 2013 and searched for occurrences that physicians had specially noted had been caused by some type of supplement.

Adults between the ages of 20 and 34, and women, were most at danger. Energy and weight loss products were the blame for this age group and women were more affected than men overall. Heart issues such as racing pulse, chest pain and irregular heart beat were the most common reason individuals requested help. Adults over the age of 65 had issues with swallowing their supplement so this group was the most likely to be hospitalized. Preschoolers made up for 1 in 5 visits to the ER because many of them had taken a pill when the parent or guardian was not watching. I suggest that anyone who has dietary supplements to keep them out of sight and reach of children. Seniors can ask their physicians about other forms of taking the supplements or split the pill in half to prevent choking.

I do not believe all weight loss dietary supplements are bad but agencies need to step in and make sure that are at least safe. I would like to see those 23,000 emergency room visits decline greatly in the future and hope that people find a safe weight loss supplement to take when trying to lose weight.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Andrew I. Geller, Nadine Shehab, Nina J. Weidle, et al “Emergency Department Visits for Adverse Events Related to Dietary Supplements” The New England Journal of Medicine 15 October 2015

Green Coffee Bean Weight Loss Claims End in $9 Million Fines

Are you familiar with the green coffee bean supplements for weight loss? If not don’t bother, as the makers of green tea weight loss pills are ordered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to pay $9 million in false claims (Schiavone 2015).

Dr. Oz Green Coffee Bean Weight Loss

Dr. Oz approves green coffee bean extract for weight loss. Photo by Lucille Roberts

I have personally watched episodes on the Dr. Oz Show where companies would advertise green coffee bean extract that supposed to help you lose weight but I thought nothing of it. I always keep the mindset that weight loss is not possible without diet and exercise. According to the FTC, a guy named Lindsey Duncan “…and his companies, Pure Health LLC and Genesis Today, Inc., deceptively claimed that the supplement could help consumers shed 17 pounds and 16 percent of his or her body fat within 12 weeks without diet or exercise, and that the claim was backed by a clinical study.”

To make matters worse, that study was later discovered to be flawed, and the FTC settled charges with the company that sponsored it in September.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Lindsey Duncan and his companies made millions by falsely claiming that green coffee bean supplements cause significant and rapid weight loss,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. This case shows that the Federal Trade Commission will continue to fight deceptive marketers’ attempts to prey on consumers trying to improve their health. “This not only makes me feel safer as a consumer, but I know have doubts about other weight loss claims affiliated with the Dr. Oz Show.

In the agreement, “…the defendants are barred from making deceptive claims about the health or efficacy of dietary supplements or drug products, and will pay $9 million for consumer redress,” a news release from the FTC issued Monday states.

I hope that the FTC will continue to protect consumers from future false weight loss claims and ensure that every company goes through the proper procedure to test their products for actual weight loss effectiveness.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Schiavone, R. “Makers of Green Tea Weight Loss Pills Featured on Dr. Oz Pay $9 Million for False Claims” 27 January 2015