Recently obtained numbers suggest that each year, Americans spend almost $15 billion on the different dietary supplement. However, a new study conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed while those supplements are consumed with the aim of improving health, a large share of them end up producing harmful results and sending people to the emergency room (ER).
For instance, three years back Christopher Herrera, who was then a 15-year-old, had to be hospitalized after consuming dietary supplements including green tea extract. His family members decided to admit him to a hospital after they noticed his eyes turning yellow.
Christopher consumed the supplements for losing weight but ended up developing liver problems. At such a young age, he was even told that he had only 50% chances of living.
Christopher, who needed several months to recover fully, now says that he will never try to lose weight with supplements. For him, the best way of losing weight now is playing basketball and going for a run every day.
It’s true that the 15-year-old’s case was extreme, but now even the CDC is saying that dietary supplements are sending a large number of people to the ER. To be more precise, a study conducted by the government body has estimated that dietary supplements are causing as many as 23,000 ER visits every year. That’s not all; these products are also responsible for 2,000 hospitalizations each year.
The CDC study has found that young adults constitute over 25% of all the ER visits caused by dietary supplement consumption. The majority of these young adults experience adverse reactions after taking energy and weight loss supplements.
Dr. Andrew Geller of the CDC, who happens to be the study’s lead author, said that cardiac symptoms like irregular heartbeats, increased heart rate, and chest pain were found to be common in patients experiencing problems after consuming weight loss or energy supplements.
The next majority in the group visiting the emergency room were the young children who took supplements that had originally been formulated for adults (these include sleep aids, multi-vitamins, etc.). They made up 20% of all ER visits. The most serious problem experienced by older adults taking dietary supplements, on the other hand, was choking.