Dietary supplements have grown remarkably popular in the last few years. They may help with weight-management but their side effects remain highly debatable. According to a new study published in the journal Hepatology, liver damage caused by herbals and dietary supplements have increased from 7 percent to almost 20 percent in the United States in the last 10 years.
Dr. Victor Navarro from Einstein Medical Centre in Philadelphia said, “While many Americans believe supplements to be safe, government require less safety evidence to market products than what is required for conventional pharmaceuticals. With less stringent oversight for herbals and dietary supplements, there is greater potential for harmful consequences including life-threatening conditions.”
The new study examined 839 patients in the federally supported Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network who had liver damage between 2004 and 2013. Forty-five cases were caused by bodybuilding supplements, 85 by non- body-building supplements and 709 by medication.
Liver injury due to non-bodybuilding supplements is most severe when compared with injury due to body-building supplements or conventional medication. It may even require the need for transplantation and can also be fatal.
The team concluded that bodybuilding supplements caused prolonged jaundice in young men but no fatalities or liver trans-plantations occurred. However, the team also noted that they couldn’t say that the results applied to the whole of the U.S. population. More research is needed, but the public needs to be cautious before taking any dietary supplements.