The Truth About Nutrition Supplements
8 Ingredients to Avoid
Consumers Union, a consumer advocacy group, warns that the most dangerous supplements on the market can cause serious problems. Steer clear of:
- Aristolochic Acid: Used in some alternative preparations to promote menstruation and immunity, it's a potent carcinogen and may cause kidney failure.
- Bitter Orange: Often used as an ephedra substitute, bitter orange is also a stimulant that can raise blood pressure and may increase the risk of heart trouble, especially when mixed with caffeine.
- Chaparral: Touted as a skin tonic, it may cause liver damage.
- Comfrey: Supposedly useful for ailments ranging from breathing problems to stomach trouble, it reportedly causes liver damage.
- Germander: Used to heal sores and help digestion, it may cause liver damage.
- Kava: A natural sedative, kava, if improperly processed, may cause liver damage.
- Lobelia: Taken for breathing disorders like asthma and bronchitis, it can cause rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, and dizziness.
- Scullcap: Used to calm anxiety and promote sleep, it may damage the liver.
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