Every year, thousands of people end up in the emergency room as a result of using supplements for various purposes such as for an energy boost, to lose weight or build muscle mass. What some people may find surprising is that the number of people who are sent to the emergency room for supplement related complications is actually higher than the number of people sent for side effects of prescription drug use. The most common age group for this include teenagers and young adults.
According to a study done by government researchers, it is estimated that about 23,000 people end up in the emergency room every year after suffering from a complication due to some type of supplement or vitamin pill. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers stated that "More than one quarter, or 28 percent), of emergency department visits for supplement-related adverse events in our study involved young adults between the ages of 20 and 34 years.”
According to the researchers, "Weight-loss or energy products caused more than half these visits, commonly for cardiac symptoms. The cardiac symptoms included rapid heartbeat, chest pain and heart palpitations. They also stated that "Weight-loss or energy products were implicated in 71.8 percent of all emergency department visits for supplement-related adverse events involving palpitations, chest pain, or tachycardia (rapid heartbeat).” The types of cardiac symptoms seen in relation to supplements are often a result of them containing stimulants.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned people about these types of supplements for years. They have issued many warnings stating that many of them that are marketed as not containing prescription drug ingredients actually do. The problem with many of these supplements is that they are often advertised as being ‘natural’, ‘herbal’, or ‘organic’ and do not contain any unsafe ingredients. However, this is not always the case. Because many of these ‘natural’ supplements are not subject to the same regulations and testing standards as prescription drugs, we often do not know the complete ingredient list. And for this reason, these supplements can in fact be very dangerous.
This study did not state which specific supplements sent people to the hospital. However, it does claim that things like vitamins, minerals, products found online, or even in your local grocery or health food store are selling these products.
Some of the supplements that the FDA has recently listed on their website as unsafe and contain hidden ingredients include King of Romance, Viagra 007, Black Panther, Extreme Diamond 3000, Herb Viagra, Black Mamba Premium, African Superman, Black Ant King, and La Papa Negra to name a few.