Boston, Holt & Durham, PLLC

Dietary supplements can be dangerous products

It is probably safe to say that the medicine chests in many houses in Tennessee contain at least one bottle of dietary supplements. This may include calcium, fish oil or one of the many products that promise weight loss without food restrictions. Many choose these supplements because the manufacturers promote them as a more natural alternative to chemical prescriptions, and consumers often believe this makes them a safer choice. However, many of these supplements are dangerous products.

In fact, some studies show that each year, dietary supplements result in about 23,000 trips to the emergency room and over 2,000 patients admitted for treatment at hospitals across the country. This is partially because some supplements are tainted with harmful ingredients or contain unlabeled ingredients that could cause dangerous reactions when taken with certain other medications. A 10-year study showed that almost 750 supplements contained ingredients that were not approved for pharmaceutical use.

The supplements most often tainted with dangerous ingredients are those purchased for losing weight, improving sexual performance and building muscle. Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate or test dietary supplements, consumers may have no idea what the products contain. Many labels omit critical ingredients or list items that are not in the product.

From time to time, the FDA issues voluntary recalls for dangerous products in the supplement industry. However, this may not be enough. Those in Tennessee who suffer injury from a harmful dietary supplement or other product have the right to seek redress through the civil courts with the help of a skilled attorney.

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