Dietary supplements are now a $40-billion dollar a year industry.  But some  may not be as safe as they should be. 23,000 people a year wind up in an emergency room after taking a supplement. Barry Levy joins us with more with the potential dangers of certain supplements.

If you’re like me you might have a bathroom cabinet full of these…vitamins, minerals and herbs to help supplement your diet., but a Consumer Reports investigation calls out 15 supplement ingredients being sold now that are potentially harmful.

Supplements are easier to get than prescription drugs and they carry an aura of being more natural and safer.
A Consumer Reports survey finds 50 percent of Americans believe that supplement makers test their products for effectiveness. And 38 percent believe that they’ve been tested for safety by the food and drug administration.

“For the most part, supplement makers don’t have to prove that their products are safe. They don’t have to prove that they work as advertised. And they don’t have to prove that packages contain what the labels say that they do,” Jeneen interlandi, Consumer Reports Health Editor

Consumer reports has just released an investigation on supplements.

“Because the regulations are so weak, dietary supplements can be contaminated. They can be ineffective. They can be spiked with illegal or prescription drugs and they can have harmful side effects,” Jeneen Interlandi Consumer Reports

In response, the Council for Responsible Nutrition….representing supplement manufacturers….says that supplements are adequately regulated and the vast majority are safe. However, 15 supplement ingredients have been linked to serious health hazards and should be avoided.

For example, people use yohimbe for obesity, sexual dysfunction and depression….but….it can raise blood pressure and heart rate, cause headaches, panic attacks, seizures, liver and kidney problems, and possibly death.

Yet those 15 supplement ingredients are found in products sold by major retailers such as GNC, Costco, CVS, Walmart and Whole Foods. Consumer Reports believes the best way to protect the public is to have stronger regulation of supplements.

Many supplements can also interact in dangerous ways with prescription drugs. So you tell your doctor what supplements you’re taking now and before you start a new prescription.

See the complete list of dangerous ingredients