HealthDay and MedlinePlus reports that in over half of the supplements studied by researchers, the actual ingredients differed from what was written on the label. Some ingredients may actually be harmful. Researchers find that 80% of bodybuilding and 70% of weight-loss supplements contained ingredients not listed on the labels. Also, half of the body building supplements contained anabolic steroids that were not included on the label.
Health professionals and researchers worry that undisclosed substances may contribute to long-term liver damage. Researchers state that over 20% of liver damage cases reported are attributed to herbal and dietary supplements. In one case cited, a bodybuilder experienced liver damage after taking a supplement that contained an anti-estrogen cancer treating drug called tamoxifen. Liver damage is known to be caused by tamoxifen toxicity or overdose.
The Federal Drug Administration does not regulate supplements the way other drugs are regulated. Talk with your doctor, dietician, or nutritionist before taking any supplements. If supplements are needed, those professionals can point you to supplements that are more trusted and have gone through more rigorous standardization processes to ensure consumers get a high-quality product.
Research findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, in Washington, D.C.