Supplements are not risk-free
The FDA however cannot easily take supplements off the market despite receiving these reports. To date, it has banned only one ingredient, ephedrine alkaloids (pictured), after a decade-long effort during which weight-loss products with ephedra were implicated in thousands of adverse events, including deaths.
How to protect yourself:
Go to the FDA website and type in the name of the supplement you're taking to see whether it has been subject to warnings, alerts or voluntary recalls. People having a bad reaction to a supplement should tell their doctor, and also report it to the FDA's adverse event system.