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Liver damage from supplements (but more from drugs?)

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by MeSci, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Don't shoot the messenger!

    Article in New York Times:

     
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Silymarin (milk thistle extract) can also cause severe liver damage in some, even thought it is intended to treat liver damage. This is a complex area, and simplistic interpretations don't help. I think falsely adding substances or substituting substances to a health product should be severely treated under law, companies liquidated, individuals imprisoned. I do not think any reflexive banning or similar is a good idea though.
     
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  3. Bob

    Bob

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    In the UK there have been a number of reports of severe liver damage after using Chinese herbal supplements, and it seems to always be because the supplement was contaminated with banned substances. (These are the only cases I've read about in the media.) It's probably wise to buy from a well-known and reputable retailer, and/or buy well-known brands.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  4. Beyond

    Beyond Juice Me Up, Scotty!!!

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    It all depends of what you are taking. Obviously this guy didn´t have luck, or sight to see that the fat burning pills where in fact liver-destructor pills. Bodybuilding and fat burning supplements are among the worst, but many chinese powders have LEAD and what not. There is a guy in the CureZone adrenal fatigue forum that got it in part because of bodybuilding supplements.

    The most toxic and dumb stuff I have swallowed was Yohimbe Plus. It made my eyes bright red and gave me a nice headache with nausea. People told me I looked ill. In other ocassion coupled with beers it gave me a "high", that was pretty cool. It also had other effects that I don´t feel confident to share haha! Later I learned that Yohimbe is in fact pretty dangerous. I think that I had luck with these side effects considering at that time I was popping pills without any research.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
    Bob likes this.
  5. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Have you ever tried pure Yohimbe? I take a low dose (100mg) twice per day and it's been working great with no side effects. Pulse pressure can stay up at a normal level all day usually, constipation and muscle twitching is gone (I was able to stop taking magnesium twice per day) and body temp is closer to normal. It also seems to take the edge off of PEM.

    Doses in supplements are all way too high, from what I've seen (400-450mg, versus 100). Also I stay away from the ones with extra crap added in, especially since I'm not interested in getting erections :wide-eyed: But prior to starting Yohimbe and after taking Strattera for over a year (for pulse pressure problems), my liver results were elevated. After switching from Strattera to Yohimbe, my levels went back to normal, though that might be coincidence.
     
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  6. GhostGum

    GhostGum Senior Member

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    Being typically cynical this comes across as a nice scare article in the FDA's continued push to ban the whole industry rather than regulating it properly. Alex is right, those who do the wrong thing should be heavily prosecuted and how hard is it for the FDA to be doing continual random testing of products and manufacturing processes? Although the endless stream of new products into the market can be problematic, that is why you do research and use things that have been around a long time.

    And where is the information on what has actually happened to these people? What supplements? What circumstances? I wonder how many are very ill-informed people pumping designer body building supplements into their system.

    Prescription drugs still account for many more deaths and complications than supplements by far so where is the FDA then scrutinizing those products and companies? Recent revelations about statins is a prime example and still many doctors pretend like they are perfectly safe, even some patients told the complications from the drug must be in their head; comical.
     
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  7. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    By law, the FDA can't regulate supplements, so I don't think they can do testing and oversight they do for pharmaceuticals.
     
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  8. HowToEscape?

    HowToEscape? Senior Member

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    Drug vs Supplement.

    Let's see:
    Supplement:
    Something said to have a physiologic effect on the body when administered, usually by eating or drinking it (ingestion). I'm not aware of any OTC injectable supplements, though they may well exist.

    Drug:
    "a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body."

    I take an OTC supplement, SAM-e, which helps somewhat with my symptoms. It's also an ingredient in medicine my doc uses for the disease. SAM-e is found in your body, though I don't believe I've ever seen a SAM-e berry, fruit, or vegetable. Nor have I seen a vitamin root, a trace mineral berry or a DHEA tree. I also take other OTC supplements on occasion. Those supplements are not inspected or regulated; I have to take it on faith that the manufacturer is one of the few that actually places what's on the label in the supplement, in the amount advertised, and without lead, steroids, rat feces or other extras.

    In sum, a supplement that does nothing is not a drug and is also safe.
    A supplement that works is a drug.

    ....but if classified as a supplement it is not inspected and may be contaminated with lead, steroids, or animal feces as illustrated below.
    ------------------

    In the US, the difference between a "supplement" and a "drug" is which legal box encloses it. If it is classed as a drug, it is FDA regulated. If it is classed under DSHEA, there is no regulation unless, after it has been on the market, it is found to be both a drug and harmful. The FDA does not have a budget to enforce that, unless a number of people obviously die or become disabled due to the supplement. This article illustrates what you goes on in the unregulated area:

    http://www.newsday.com/news/health/...ment-companies-violate-agency-rules-1.5920525

    Where anything goes, anything will show up.
     
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  9. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Did they happen to mention how many hospitalised for liver disease from alcohol. They should look at reducing this before blamming supplements as they just make urine expensive.
     
  10. GhostGum

    GhostGum Senior Member

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    Is it really this straight forward? I had no idea the FDA had no ability to do random tests, they are actually not allowed to? Weird.

    There really should be some independent body who conducts random tests on products and not just supplements, foods, cosmetics, white goods for toxins ect. With the current ability to genetically trace everything in a mass registry it should only be becoming easier to do as well with technology.
     
  11. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    They band supplements of tryptophan In the past so they must be able to step in somewhere? ?
     
  12. GhostGum

    GhostGum Senior Member

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    That was when things went very ugly which turned out to be from contaminates. I would be surprised if the FDA can not randomly check products for issues or misleading contents but it just appears they are not proactive about it, instead just jump in like in this above story to make the whole industry look bad.

    Maybe it is an expensive proposition but it is a worry if no one is keeping more of an eye on many consumer products.
     
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  13. Kina

    Kina

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    http://www.webmd.com/fda/fda-101-dietary-supplements?page=2

     
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  14. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    i know in australia they have checked the actual contents of supplements. I made an order from iherb, something very legite and they actually tested the tablets to make sure it was what was stated in the bottle and it was fine, but then the bastards tried to charge me $300 for doing the test, i told them to stick it as i didnt aske for the test and nothing illegal was found, they did say that i wouldnt get my supps until i payed for this fee. I told them to keep my $20 bottle of vitamins, i aint paying $300 for some test and i was innocent. ANother example how redsiculus our customs is and how lucky many other countries are.

    Here in australia they wonder why the bikie gangs are running underground drug bussiness, its because they make everything here illegal, too many do gooders are uninformed about what is dangerous and what isnt.

    I will give an example of whats happening here at the moment with the subject of steroids, big fines for personal possession and up and jail sentences. Once upon a time one would go to the doctor and get pharmact grade drugs and be monitored by a doctor if anything bad started to happen then jump on it early, funny thing most docs saw little health issues arising, then the govt closed all this up, so now its underground where people by steroids off bikie gangs probably brewed in buba's bath tub, also theres not ongoing monitoring of people using these drugs or how to use them properly. The govt and do gooders think they are doing the right thing but they just push everything underground as demand is still going up as are many health risks.

    Its not just steroids but many types of drugs, the war on drugs is lost. legalise it all, tax it so then the govt get there money to pay for ongoing health issues of using these substances as well as educate people about there dangers. This for one takes the criminal elemant right out of it and they will all have to get real jobs and pay taxes and secondly it will help improve the health of these people using different substances as they wont be scared to ask for help and can be monitored regular and use clean drugs not brewed up in someones kitchen sink etc etc

    It just makes sense to me, people should be allowed to do whatever they want to their bodies as long as it doesnt harm others eg driving under the influence etc. drugs, vitamins whatever used in moderation and not abused can be done safely. Making all these restrictions isnt doing a dam thing. Working in the health industry for over 20 years and without a doubt alcohol and smoking cause way more health issues then all the other crap combined, way more, but they dont really do a dam about that just the token thing to make it look like they are doing something.

    Wow what a rant but thats how i see it.
     
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