As we seek ways to enhance our well-being, supplements often emerge as promising options to address various health concerns. These products claim to offer benefits ranging from improved sleep to a trimmer waistline, presenting a myriad of possibilities. However, within this sea of options, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements, opening the door to potential health risks. In our pursuit of knowledge about these supplements, we consulted health experts, including Ramit Singh Sambyal, Dr. (shefinds.com) Shara Cohen, and registered dietitian Jesse Feder, RDN, CPT. They shared insights on some of the most concerning supplements—ephedra, beta-carotene, and kava—unveiling the specific dangers each poses.
If cardiovascular health is a concern, Dr. (clinicspots.com) Sambyal issues a caution against supplements containing ephedra. He emphasizes, “This stimulant can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolism.” The risks escalate when combined with other medications, creating potential interactions with blood pressure drugs, caffeine, and decongestants. Despite the FDA’s 2004 ban on ephedra due to severe health issues, Dr. Sambyal notes lingering concerns, stating, “some products may still have ephedra or its derivatives, like ma-huang in traditional Chinese medicine.” (shefinds.com)
Beta-carotene, commonly found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, is known for potential health benefits. However, Dr. Cohen raises a red flag for certain individuals, particularly smokers, due to its association with a higher risk of lung cancer. Citing the Beta-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET), she reveals that beta-carotene supplements, when combined with smoking or asbestos exposure, increased the incidence of lung cancer. (shefinds.com) (shefinds.com) While beta-carotene from food sources is generally safe, caution is advised for high-dose supplements, especially in groups at a high risk of lung cancer.
Kava, a supplement often embraced for stress relief, carries hidden health risks, specifically for the liver and kidneys. ( 📄 CDC Traces Outbreak of Multiple Cases of Transmitted Eye Syphilis to One Man ) (weillcornell.org) Feder notes, “Consuming kava regularly has been shown to affect enzyme and antioxidant activity in the liver, which can lead to liver damage.” Additionally, he highlights the impact on kidneys, stating, “Kava may decrease blood flow to the kidneys and cause increases in harmful metabolites which can also damage them.” While kava might be deemed safe for some in moderation, individuals with kidney and liver issues are urged to err on the side of caution and avoid it altogether.
In our quest for well-being, supplements can be valuable allies, but they come with responsibilities. ( 📈 Supreme Court Issues Unfavorable Decision, Posing Setback for Democrats ) Thorough research and understanding of potential risks are essential before incorporating something new into your routine. ( 📄 Transgender Men’s Tampon Triggers Conservative Criticism ) Consider how supplements may interact with existing medications and contribute to pre-existing health conditions or risk factors. Sticking to recommended dosages and seeking guidance from a healthcare professional when in doubt becomes imperative in ensuring a safe and beneficial supplement experience. (linkedin.com)