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"Dirty Dozen" Supplements Named; Industry Responds

Posted: August 5, 2010

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"Some of these ingredients [in the report] have been flagged by the FDA years ago," Shao says. But he also acknowledges that despite this, the ingredients are still readily available.

Like Consumer Reports, he says more enforcement power is needed by the FDA.

Another expert took exception to some parts of the report, saying some of the ingredients Consumer Reports calls dangerous are not when used appropriately. But he agrees with other points. "I agree some should be avoided," says Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council, a nonprofit research and education organization in Austin, Texas. On his list: coltsfoot, comfrey, and yohimbe.

Consumers should always discuss supplement use with their health care provider, Blumenthal says. His organization favors stronger regulations, including the requirement to report adverse events, he says.

Dietary supplements: How to play it safe

In the report, Consumer Reports also identifies 11 supplements "to consider." On that list: calcium, cranberry, fish oil, glucosamine sulfate, lactase, lactobacillus, psyllium, pygeum, SAMe, St. John's wort, and vitamin D.