Are diet supplements safe?

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Some diet supplements may be safe, but they have also been dangerous and caused a number of serious injuries and even deaths. About one in five women in the U.S. have tried a weight-loss supplement. By law, dietary supplements can only contain ingredients that are already found in the food supply or can be extracted from nature without changing their chemical makeup. Diet supplements are typically marketed as appetite suppressors or fat burners.

Although supplement manufacturers claim their products heighten the effects of diet and exercise, many doctors say there is not much support for them. In addition to possibly being worthless, many could be dangerous. According to the FDA, some supplement companies are using ingredients that are untested or undisclosed. Under law, supplements are in the same category as foods, not drugs, which means they are not tested as rigorously as drugs. The FDA attempts to ensure safety of the supplements after they have hit the market, but that can be difficult.

Many consumers of dietary supplements have suffered side effects. Recently, OxyELITE Pro was found to contain a new, undeclared ingredient called aegeline, which caused some consumers to become ill. The manufacturer declared a recall, but by then at least 43 consumers had been insured. One doctor who started treating women who had become sick after taking a weight-loss product did a study of weight loss supplements and found that at least two thirds of the supplements that were recalled between 2009 and 2012 because they contained drugs were still for sale, and most still had the same formulas.

When a supplement is recalled, it can be very difficult to notify wholesalers, distributors, and retailers of the products. An investigation found that the FDA does not have accurate information for 20 percent of supplement companies.

If you have been harmed by a supplement, it may be time to talk with an attorney. You may have legal rights. Call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707. We may be able to help. You can also visit us on Facebook to learn more. 

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