Combining supplements could lead to ‘life-threatening consequences’, experts warn

Frankie Foster advises followers not to take diet supplements

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Furthermore, the use of supplements alongside prescribed or over-the-counter medication can lead to harmful effects. In addition, anybody preparing for surgery should be careful of taking too many supplements. This is because taking too many supplements might lead to unwanted side effects before, during, or after surgery. “Be aware that the term natural doesn’t always means safe,” experts at the FDA made clear.

The NHS confirmed that taking too many supplements, or for too long, “could be harmful”.

An expert at Harvard Medical School – Dr Susan Farrell – warned that using supplements “can land you in the emergency department”.

Dr Farrell’s notion is backed by scientific research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the study, it was found that the adverse effects of supplements were responsible for around 23,000 emergency department visits per year.

“That’s a lot for something that is supposed to be good for you,” Dr Farrell remarked.

The 10-year research study looked at surveillance data from 63 hospitals across America.

The literature detailed supplements as herbal or complementary products, and vitamin or amino acid micronutrients.

Patients visiting the emergency departments related to supplement use averaged around 32 years of age.

Troublesome supplements included weight loss pills, those advertised for sexual enhancement, and those meant for bodybuilding.

Unwanted side effects of supplements, as pointed out by Dr Farrell, might include:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Racing or irregular heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Digestive symptoms.

“Staying healthy requires a multifaceted approach to self-care,” said Dr Farrell.

“Being aware and knowledgeable about any supplement – whether it is advertised as natural, herbal, or non-drug – is part of that care.

“Ask a pharmacist, your doctor, or a nurse to review everything you take to ensure that supplements will not cause harmful effects.”

For those who experience troubling side effects from any type of supplement, Dr Farrell advises you to “stop taking it and call your doctor”.

Before taking any type of supplement, medical experts at the NHS advise to speak to your doctor first.

This is to ensure the supplement would be safe for you to use and that it won’t interfere with any prescribed medication that you might be on.

Supplements that are recommended

The Department of Health and Social Care recommends certain supplements for some groups of people who are at risk of deficiency.

This includes folic acid supplementation in early pregnancy (for the first 12 weeks).

This is to help prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, from developing in the growing baby.

Another supplement highly recommended by health experts is vitamin D, especially during the autumn and winter.

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