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Consumer Reports: 10 hidden dangers of vitamins

  • Consumer Reports: 10 hidden dangers of vitamins

    dietary supplement ephedra CBS/The Early Show

    Supplements are not risk-free

    According to Consumer Reports, 6,300 people reported serious side effects associated with dietary supplements to the FDA between 2007 and April of 2012. Of those, there were 10,300 serious side effects, 2,100 hospitalizations, 1,000 serious injuries or illnesses, 900 emergency room visits and 115 deaths.

    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.