6 Supplement Ingredients You Should Avoid

Although there are so many vital roles supplements can play in our diets, the industry is not regulated by the FDA and as such, there are many ingredients that can be hazardous to your health. Even though most of them are derived from all-natural products, some of them can really pack a punch.


This ingredient is supposed to promote weight loss, as well as ease nasal congestion and allergies. It contains synephrine and is very similar to ephedra, which was banned by the FDA in 2004. Bitter orange has also been linked with fainting, heart-rhythm disorders, heart attack, stroke, and even death. Although not all of these claims have been legally stated, the FDA has declared bitter orange to be possibly unsafe.


Often used as an alternative medicine to treat common colds, infections, and inflammation, chaparral is also thought by some to help you lose weight and even cure cancer. Reports have been made of liver damage and kidney problems relating to the use of chaparral. The FDA advises people not to take chaparral.


Used to treat the broad spectrum of fungal and other infections, Lyme disease, rosacea, psoriasis, food poisoning, chronic fatigue syndrome as well as aids HIV/AIDS. Colloidal silver has been seen to cause bluish skin, mucous membrane discoloration, neurological problems, and kidney damage. On Oct. 6, 2009, the FDA officially advised consumers about the risk of skin discoloration when using colloidal silver.


Commonly used to treat persistent coughs, sore throats, laryngitis, bronchitis, and asthma. Coltsfoot has now been shown to cause liver damage and may even cause cancer. Although the FDA hasn’t released any official statements about coltsfoot, we don’t recommend you try it.


Said to cure everything from a cough to heavy menstrual periods, to chest pain and ultimately cancer. Comfrey has also had significant reports of liver damage and even developments of cancer from using this supplement. The FDA advised manufacturers to remove all comfrey products from the market in July 2001.


Marketed to treat pain, infections, glaucoma, liver problems, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, and cancer, germanium seemed like it could do no wrong. Then there came the result of kidney damage and even death. Although there hasn’t been any successful litigation against it, the FDA warned in 1993 that it was linked to serious adverse events.

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