This Popular Supplement Can Send You to ER, Experts Say — Eat This Not That

By Ghuman


If you’re looking for a way to boost your energy and health, you may have heard about a popular supplement that promises to do just that. But experts are warning that this supplement can be dangerous and even send you to the emergency room. In this article, we’ll discuss the potential risks associated with this supplement and provide some healthier alternatives. So, if you’re considering taking this supplement, read on to learn more about the potential risks and what you can do to stay safe.

This Popular Supplement Can Send You to ER, Experts Say — Eat This Not That

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to boost your health, you may be tempted to reach for a dietary supplement. But experts are warning that one popular supplement could land you in the emergency room.

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the supplement kratom has been linked to a growing number of ER visits. Kratom is a plant-based supplement that is often used to treat pain, anxiety, and depression. It is also sometimes used as a recreational drug.

The CDC report found that between 2011 and 2017, the number of ER visits related to kratom use increased tenfold. In 2017 alone, there were more than 2,300 ER visits related to kratom use. The majority of these visits were due to side effects such as rapid heart rate, agitation, and high blood pressure.

The CDC report also found that kratom use was associated with a number of other serious health risks, including seizures, liver damage, and even death. The agency is now urging people to avoid using the supplement.

If you’re looking for a safe and effective way to improve your health, experts recommend eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help you get the nutrients you need to stay healthy. And regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.

Supplements are meant to do just that—supplement your diet, so you get all the nutrients you need. But some have harmful effects that can send you to the emergency department, says Susan Farrell, MD, Contributing Editor at Harvard Health. In one 10-year study, “researchers looked at surveillance data from 63 hospital emergency departments to estimate the annual number of ED visits associated with adverse effects from dietary supplements,” she writes. “The authors defined ‘dietary supplements’ as herbal or complementary products, and vitamin or amino acid micronutrients. Read on to see which 4 products in particular sent these people to the emergency department—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

Woman holding packs of pills and measuring tape in hands.

“Patients visiting the ED for symptoms related to supplement use were an average of 32 years old, and women made up more than half of all visits. Just over 10% of these visits resulted in admission to the hospital, especially among adults older than 65,” said Dr. Farrell. “Weight-loss products accounted for one quarter of all single-product ED visits and disproportionately affected women.” 

man holding a glass of water and looking at a pill in his hand while sitting on the couch

“Men were more likely to experience adverse effects from products advertised for sexual enhancement,” said Dr. Farrell. Just last year, the FDA had to issue a warning about these supplements. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use nearly 50 male enhancement or weight loss products that have been found to contain hidden ingredients and may pose a significant health risk. The FDA purchased these products on Amazon and eBay and agency testing found that the products contain active pharmaceutical ingredients not listed on their labels, including some with ingredients found in prescription drugs. These products may cause potentially serious side effects and may interact with medications or dietary supplements a consumer is taking.”

The FDA’s tainted products database can help consumers identify nearly 1,000 of these potentially dangerous products.

RELATED: Scientists Discover Surprising Possible Predictor of Dementia

Man holding a box with supplements.

Dr. Farrell also said body-building supplements sent people to the emergency department. Warns the FDA: “According to CDR Mark S. Miller, Pharm. D., a regulatory review officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), bodybuilding products that contain steroids or steroid-like substances are associated with potentially serious health risks, including liver injury.” “Some of the liver injuries were life-threatening,” CDR Miller says.

RELATED: The #1 Cause of Visceral Fat, According to Science

bodybuilding jar of nutritional supplement powder with pills on grey backdrop

“Energy-boosting products made up another 10% of these visits,” said Dr. Farrell. Adds the FDA: “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that you consult with a health care professional before using any dietary supplement. Many supplements contain ingredients that have strong biological effects, and such products may not be safe in all people.”

RELATED: The #1 Cause of “Deadly” Inflammation, Says Science

woman sitting at home on laptop

“Do the claims for the product seem exaggerated or unrealistic?” asks the agency. “Are there simplistic conclusions being drawn from a complex study to sell a product? While the Web can be a valuable source of accurate, reliable information, it also has a wealth of misinformation that may not be obvious. Learn to distinguish hype from evidence-based science. Nonsensical lingo can sound very convincing. Also, be skeptical about anecdotal information from persons who have no formal training in nutrition or botanicals, or from personal testimonials (e.g. from store employees, friends, or online chat rooms and message boards) about incredible benefits or results obtained from using a product. Question these people on their training and knowledge in nutrition or medicine.” And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.