Categories

Researchers warn of hazards of inadequately regulated dietary supplements

Posted 15 Jan 2024

After a review of several databases, researchers with Touro College of Pharmacy and Nova Southeastern University’s College of Pharmacy have identified a total of 79,071 reported adverse events related to the use of dietary supplements. The events were reported to U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) between 2004 and 2021. Their searches for adverse-event reports included the use of vitamin E (vitamin derivative), beta-sitosterol (plant sterol) yohimbine, kava kava, kratom, garcinia cambogia, herbal products, and OxyElite Pro (marketed for weight loss).

Key points made in their paper include:

  • Vitamin E supplementation has documented interaction with several routine medications.
  • Over a thousand adverse events regarding the use of a prostate support supplement called Super Beta Prostate containing beta-sitosterol were reported to CFSAN in the past two decades. Most of the reports involved finding blood in the urine.
  • Poison centers
Read the rest

Australian TGA seizes hundreds of potentially dangerous sport supplements from Sydney retail store

Posted 10 Jan 2024

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) with the assistance of NSW Police have seized 478 sport supplements containing potentially dangerous substances from a Sydney retail store.

It is alleged that the supplements were intended for supply to consumers. Some of the supplements are alleged to contain substances which are banned from sale and supply in Australia due to their high risk to consumer health.

The seizures were made after the TGA and NSW Police executed search warrants at the Sydney retail store on 19 December 2023 as part of ongoing investigations into the alleged importation, manufacture, supply, and advertising of unapproved therapeutic goods.

In Australia, medicines and chemicals are classified into schedules in the Poisons Standard according to the level of regulatory control required to protect public health and safety. Schedule 4 lists substances regulated as prescription-only medicines and schedule 10 lists substances of such danger to … Read the rest

Dangerous weight loss products for sale online with no health warnings

Posted 25 August 2021

Which? finds substances that can cause heart problems being sold on eBay, Wish and AliExpress

Denis Campbell Health policy editor, The Guardian

Wed 25 Aug 2021

“Dangerous” weight loss products containing substances that can induce a stroke or heart attack are being sold on websites such as eBay without any health warnings, an investigation has found.

The consumer group Which? found dozens of products on sale online containing plant extracts that can make users agitated or aggressive and increase their heart rate and blood pressure.

They all contained either yohimbine or synephrine, substances that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said have “considerable potential to cause harm if used without medical supervision or advice”.

Which? bought nine such products, which are used by some people seeking to lose weight, bodybuilders and gym-goers, through the online marketplaces eBay, Wish and AliExpress. Of those, two … Read the rest

AHA Warning: Some Supplements can Worsen Heart Failure

Posted 11 August 2016

In a new scientific statement citing Natural Medicines, the American Heart Association (AHA) warns against the use of many supplements in people with heart failure. St. John’s wort, grapefruit juice, ginsenghawthorn, danshen, black cohosh, and green tea are among those discussed for their potential to cause significant interactions with commonly used heart failure medications. Other natural medicines, including aconitegossypol, licorice, and yohimbine are noted for their potential to cause harmful cardiovascular effects, including high blood pressure and decreased heart rate. Ephedra, a banned substance in the US, is also warned against as it raises blood pressure, can stimulate the heart, and make chest pain and irregular heartbeat worse.

For more details on specific drug interactions associated with these supplements, please review our scientific monographs on each product, or try our interaction checker.Read the rest

Horny goat weed, over-the-counter sexual treatments unproven, maybe harmful

Posted 19 January 2016

Most Top-Selling, Over-the-Counter Sexual Treatments Unproven, Some Could be Harmful, Review Shows

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – January 11, 2016

From horny goat weed to ginseng and maca, over-the-counter dietary supplements sold to improve male sexual health contain a wide variety of “natural” ingredients. Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center reviewed the scientific evidence for the most common ingredients to determine if they are effective – and most importantly – safe. The results are published online ahead of print in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Read the rest