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Those Vitamins May Not Be Making Or Keeping You Healthy

If you are taking supplements to build muscle mass, lose weight or for sexual enhancement, the drugs that you're taking may actually be dangerous or defective drugs that do more to harm you than help you based on the results of a study of Class I drug recalls by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A Class I drug is one that contains something with a high likelihood of causing "serious adverse health consequences or death."

We recently discussed warning issued by the FDA related to the use of DMAA in dietary supplements. Eighty-six incidents of adverse health effects, including death, have been linked to the dangerous drug additive. But DMAA is not the only potentially unhealthy ingredient that can do more harm than good. Over half of the 465 Class I drug recalls that the FDA issued between 2004 and 2012 were for dietary supplements.

No FDA approval is required before a company can begin marketing and selling "health" supplements in the United States. There is relatively little government oversight of the $60 billion supplement industry.

Critics not that the lack of an FDA approval process means that drugs manufactured by companies outside the U.S. easily make it into the U.S. marketplace and find their way to consumers shelves throughout Florida and elsewhere. These supplements may be "adulterated," or contain ingredients that would be classified as a Class I potentially dangerous drug. But, when the FDA finds out and attempts to contact the company to initiate a recall, less than 20 percent of these companies have provided accurate contact information to the FDA.

While there are many supplements on the market that are safe for consumers to use, there continue to be dangerous drugs advertised as "health supplements."

Source: Forbes, "Massive Drug Recalls are a Wake-Up Call for Vitamin and Supplement Industry," April 18, 2013

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