The FDA just did a nine-year investigation into supplements including those used for weight loss, erectile dysfunction, and muscle building. What they found was a shocking number of these supplements contain pharmaceuticals that had no business being there aren’t weren’t listed on the bottle.
Health supplements are very convenient in an era when the human diet is undergoing numerous changes. People are adopting various diets and lifestyles, and stress is making it even harder to maintain a balanced diet. Luckily, supplements are here to save the day, and over half of the U.S. population takes some form of them.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has discovered that this may not be the case. Supplements replenish our body’s reserves of healthy minerals, vitamins, probiotics, and a hint of pharmaceuticals that needn’t be there. It turns out that the administration has found various American supplements to be full with additional ingredients that aren’t mentioned on the ingredient list.
The Truth Behind Dietary Supplements
Since they’re not supposed to contain drug additives, the FDA doesn’t regulate ingredients or claims of dietary supplements as it does for pharmaceutical drugs. However, over the last decade of constant research, researchers have discovered well over 750 brands of supplements to contain hidden pharmaceutical ingredients. Despite the findings that the FDA made, not even half of the supplements were recalled.
This indicates that a plethora of supplement companies are supplying unapproved drugs to the market. This poses a serious risk to consumers and buyers, who can develop a series of health concerns and issues as a result of consuming the supplement. The supplements include varieties that are used for problems like muscle development, weight loss, and erectile dysfunction.
Be Mindful When Taking Supplements
The recently published report in JAMA network shows that out of all the supplements that were tested, around 80 percent included at least a single drug ingredient that wasn’t mentioned on the bottle. On the other hand, around 20 percent of them contained a minimum of two drug ingredients. Out of all the pharmaceutical ingredients they found, common drugs were steroids, Prozac, and Viagra.
If consumers take these drugs without caution and mix them with other substances, the result could be a dangerous side effect. For instance, SSRIs that were discovered in drugs for sexual enhancement could have a negative impact on young people and can develop symptoms associated with depression.
A Lack of Power from the FDA
The FDA usually discovers the presence of harmful pharmaceuticals and ingredients in supplements after physicians reported dangerous side effects. Unfortunately, all that the administration can do is to request the company to recall their supplements.
Since 2011, the FDA has the authority to issue a necessary recall but they hadn’t used this power until 2016.
As of yet, officials are trying to get companies to recall spiked supplements voluntarily, but Massachusetts-based internist at the Cambridge Health Alliance, Dr. Pieter Cohen, explains that aggressive action will be mandatory if companies don’t recall their products.
The only way for the FDA to keep consumers safe from such production malpractices is to take proper action against manufacturers who don’t take responsibility for their actions and add pharmaceutical ingredients to so-called ‘natural’ dietary products. As of yet, the FDA is advising consumers to be careful about the supplements they consume, and contact their physician as soon as they begin to notice signs of negative symptoms.