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Are Dietary Supplements Safe? The Answer From Who Should Know

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Contradictions and inconsistencies have been perhaps the only consistencies in dietary supplements news recently. One day we hear that they are safe, the next day we hear that they are not. On the Dr. Oz show, a guest speaker vilifies (some) supplements and calls for stricter regulations. Later Dr. Oz mentions certain weight loss supplements that may help bust belly fat and demand suddenly outstrips supply, despite the fact that recent news suggested that weight loss supplements do not work.

Now, the question remains; are dietary supplements safe? Yes, according to the people who should know; American Poison Control (aapc.org). These are the people who get called when someone ingests something they should not have. These are the people who have the statistics and records for every kind of substance, including dietary supplements, have nothing to gain or lose and therefore are no doubt neutral.

New data has been released regarding the 28th Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers. The report shows that there is a ‘wide margin of safety for dietary supplements’. The report is a collection of data from 2010 that was reported through the Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS).

Liquid Health’s CEO Brandon Siggard, described the results as “positive and reassuring”. He said, “The results from the 28th Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, is a welcomed response to some of the negative press on supplements recently. This news is both positive and reassuring of our efforts to help people become healthier.” He went on to say, “Although this report shows the safety of the dietary supplement industry as a whole, it is very important to try to take these results in context.“

It is reported that about 50 percent of Americans use supplements. A study of close to 20,000 participants showed these results. The study from the National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary supplements also showed that 20 percent of the adults in the study are taking a health supplement with at least one botanical. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Nutrition.

In 1993, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, defended herbal supplements in front of the Senate. He said, “[herbal remedies]…have been on the market for centuries,” he said, adding: ”In fact, most of these have been on the market for 4,000 years, and the real issue is risk. And there is not much risk in any of these products.” See original story

Well spoken, those words about herbal supplements. They were with us long before modern medicine and were safe all along. Of course, there is always the case of individual allergies, but these have always been there for virtually anything you can think of including (oh, yes) water.

This is not to say that all dietary supplements are safe. Some companies have been known to cut one too many corners. Others in the fast-results market such as weight loss and sexual dysfunction can push the truth a little and some of them have been known to spike products for quicker results. But, by and large, dietary supplements are safe. Just be sure to get yours from a reputable company.

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