5 “worthless” supplements, doctors say

Millions of people turn to nutritional supplements to help with a variety of things like weight loss, hair growth, acne, stronger nails, general health, and more. But whether we should take them is a different story. While there are some benefits, there are also significant risks, according to medical and health experts. Kelly K. MiddletonMD/MPH, based in Atlanta orthopedic surgeon He says, “As a physician, I have extensive experience in health, fitness, and wellness. Before taking any supplement, it is essential to research the supplement and discuss its use with your physician. Supplements can be beneficial when used appropriately. However, some supplements may not be worth the money or the risk.” taken because of potential side effects or lack of evidence of efficacy.

supplements It is a huge business and IBIS World reports, “The market size, measured by revenue, for the vitamin and nutritional supplement manufacturing industry is $39.8 billion in 2023.” Although the market is booming, not everyone likes nutritional supplements and warns of serious risks. “Unfortunately, my field is full of trainers who sell nutritional supplements that our clients don’t need,” she says. Grace AlbinAn ACE-certified fitness trainer reveals to us. “This isn’t just financial waste, some of it can do more harm than good. Several supplement makers contact me every week, offering me high commissions for engaging in aggressive selling tactics. But I would never recommend these products to my followers.”

Albin emphasizes, “You should not take supplements unless you have a deficiency in that specific vitamin or mineral. And if you can’t make up for that deficiency by eating foods high in the missing nutrient. Everyone should have an annual physical where a doctor reviews the blood.” Work out and tell them the levels are too high or low. A few years ago it showed me I was low on D3 and iron, so those are the only two I get.” Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who share what to know about nutritional supplements before taking them and which ones to avoid.


Dr. Tommy Mitchell, a board-certified family physician with Holistic wellness strategies He says, “Before diving into the world of vitamins and nutritional supplements, one should understand the specific needs of the individual and research the different options available. Before taking any vitamin, people should be aware of the potential side effects and consult a doctor or pharmacist if they have any doubts in addition. To this, consider timing – for example, some vitamins may need to be taken with food to increase absorption.

Furthermore, although many vitamins are available over the counter, there are cases where a prescription is required for specific vitamins for optimal benefit. It is important to consider dosage amounts carefully – excessive intake of a particular vitamin can lead to adverse effects on the body rather than the intended benefits. Understanding one’s health goals and individual situation before scooping up a multivitamin intake is vital.”

Vitamin supplements

Dr. Mitchell says, “With so many vitamins and nutritional supplements available today, it can be difficult to decide which ones are worth spending the money on and which aren’t. But due to many factors, such as improper production or storage, some of the so-called healthy- Supplying vitamins may not do your body any good. Many vitamins, especially those of unknown source sold in stores or gas stations, lack the potency needed to produce good long-term health benefits, making them a waste of money.

Plus, some vitamins are found naturally in almost any balanced diet, making them unnecessary purchases for those who already eat plenty of fresh produce and protein. Therefore, it is imperative for anyone who purchases vitamins or supplements to know how they may be cutting corners with their products and how you can avoid this by looking for trusted brands.”

Young woman vomiting near the sink in the bathroom

Dr. Middleton says, “One supplement that may not be worth taking is garcinia cambogia extract. This supplement has been described as a weight loss aid and an appetite suppressant, but there is little evidence to support these claims. Garcinia cambogia extract can cause adverse side effects such as nausea, gastrointestinal upset, and even liver damage in some cases. It may not be worth the money or the potential risk of taking this supplement.

the National Center for Health Integration and Integration He says, “Many studies have investigated the effect of garcinia cambogia on weight loss in people. Very little research has been done on other uses of garcinia cambogia. Dozens of cases of liver toxicity have been reported in people who were taking products labeled as containing garcinia cambogia. A 2020 review of 11 short-term studies in people found no significant effects of garcinia cambogia products on weight loss.Cases of liver damage associated with the use of garcinia cambogia products have been reported.This problem appears to be uncommon, but some cases were severe.Most of the cases involved reported with products labeled as containing a combination of ingredients, but some related to products labeled as containing only garcinia cambogia.”

Kava kava supplement capsules on a brown wooden board
Shutterstock/Irina Imago

Dr. Middleton explains, “Another supplement that may not be worth taking is Kava. This supplement has been used traditionally to reduce anxiety and stress and improve sleep quality. studies It showed that long-term use of this herb can cause liver damage. It can interact with many common medications and increase their side effects. Because of the potential for severe adverse reactions, taking this supplement may not be worth the money.”

Health at the University of California He says, “Kava has been banned in the UK and within Europe due to liver toxicity. More than 100 cases of liver toxicity associated with the use of kava have been identified, some resulting in liver transplantation and others leading to death. Causes of liver damage. For example, kava depletes glutathione “., is a major antioxidant, within the liver. It also inhibits enzymes involved in the metabolism of several drugs. Several cases of liver toxicity have been seen in people who have previously had liver disease or who have ingested alcohol and kava.”

Sad man sitting on a bed, girlfriend in the background.

Says Dr. Middleton, “The next supplement that may not be worth taking is yohimbe. This supplement has been described as a sexual enhancer. studies Showed that it can cause harmful side effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety, and even seizures in some cases. The potential risks may outweigh any benefits from taking this supplement, and it may not be worth the money or hassle.”

the National Center for Health Integration and Integration He says, “There is very little research in people on the effects of yohimbe as a dietary supplement. But studies have documented the risks of taking it. Yohimbe has been linked to heart attacks and seizures. Because of inaccurate labeling and the potential for dangerous side effects, yohimbe supplements are restricted or banned in many countries.” Yohimbe causes stomach problems, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), anxiety, and high blood pressure, according to a study that compared calls about yohimbe and other substances made to the California Poison Control System between 2000 and 2006. People Who Contact Yohimbe were more likely overall to seek medical care than other callers.Most yohimbe products do not state how much yohimbine they contain.The amount can vary greatly between products, according to a 2015 analysis of 49 brands of dietary supplements classified as containing yohimbe or yohimbine for sale In the U.S. Some of the yohimbine was either synthetic or from a highly processed plant extract. Most supplements did not provide information on known side effects.”

Albin shares, “Multivitamins contain dozens of vitamins and minerals, although no one actually needs even a fraction of that number. In the case of vitamins, they are generally water-soluble. This means that your body will simply pee out what you don’t need.”, And you are wasting money, as with regard to minerals, many of them cause constipation in addition to financial waste.”

John Hopkins Medicine Researchers who study the benefits of multivitamins and found that “multivitamins do not reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline (such as memory loss and slowed thinking) or early death,” say researchers. They also note that in previous studies, taking vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements appeared to be harmful, Especially at higher doses.” Larry Appel, MD. Welch, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research in the Johns Hopkins article on multivitamins, “Grains are not a shortcut to better health and chronic disease prevention. Other nutrition recommendations have much stronger evidence of benefits—eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing intake The saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and sugar you eat.”

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