5 Questions to Ask When Considering Health Supplements

5 Questions to Ask When Considering Health Supplements

Frontline/PBS recently aired an investigation into the safety and use of health care supplements. 

1. Has the product triggered any health warnings or sanctions?

Searching for a product or its maker on the FDA’s website will unearth any safety advisories or sanctions issued against them. The agency also maintains a list of all recent recalls and market withdrawals.

Because the supplement industry is constantly releasing new products, a product may be dangerous even if there are no advisories against it. A few minutes of online research may reveal key concerns about a supplement or its producer; the FDA has tips for searching the Web for information on supplements.

Researching individual ingredients can also be productive. For instance, Consumer Reports compiled a list of the “dirty dozen”: Twelve ingredients linked to serious adverse health effects, but that remain on shelves. The Federal Trade Commission also has a list of substances that have raised safety concerns.

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