Friday, August 3, 2012

Will The Consumer Reports Issue On Supplements Make A Difference?

I have always respected Consumer Reports (CR). It takes no outside commercial money and it runs no advertisements. It simply tells it like it is. Will it's new report on the dangers of dietary supplements make a difference? Probably not.

With an article in the magazine reporting that there are over 55,000 supplement products on the market and with the current law squarely on the side of supplement marketers, allowing them to sell their products with almost impunity and without the need for any scientific validity whatsoever, the salvo fired by CR will probably make little difference.  Supplements have become a big business with reports estimating the industry sales being somewhere between $28 and $100 billion.  They will not go gently into the night.

That's a shame because as CR states frankly, and I've been bellowing for months (see my two YouTube videos titled, Why Supplements and Vitamins Are Usually A Waste Of Money and May Be Harmful, at  and ), these products are not just a mostly big waste of money, they are potentially harmful.

The most important part of the article by CR is its reference to the over 100 people who died from these products. It is important to get this out in the media stratosphere because supplement marketers often claim their products never kill anyone and therefore there is no harm in taking them. Well they do kill and the numbers are probably much larger than reported because the connection between use of products and untimely death is probably often missed.  I find that patients often forget to mention one supplement product or another that they have been taking. Unlike prescriptions, there is usually no formal record of a patient taking a supplement. (One of the things we do at MDPrevent during an Annual Wellness Visit is make a record of such use.)

At this point, if there is still any single reader of this blog taking even a single supplement without having consulted his or her physician, no matter how many times you read or heard how wonderful it is and how great it makes you feel, please stop immediately. You simply can't rely on information you get from the internet or friends. Anyone who has ever been burned by a stock pick from a friend knows what I mean.

Please, please, please come to your senses and stop relying on pills for your health and salvation. Learn how to eat properly to enjoy the benefits of a healthy and long life. Find a doctor knowledgeable in nutrition and supplements to help you make good choices. It's your life, health, and money at stake. Isn't it worth getting it right?

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