Warning: Dietary supplements, weight loss products send 23,000 to emergency rooms

<p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>You’ve likely seen friends or family raving about the effects of their favorite weight loss product or dietary supplement on social media. Last year, Americans spent about $15 billion on these dietary supplements, which promise to provide things like mental acuity, focus, increased energy, and weight loss. In reality, dietary supplements also supplemented</span> <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2015/10/14/health-dietary-supplements-cause-23000-er-visits-a-year-says-cdc/”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>23,000 Americans right into the emergency room last year.</span></a></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>According to</span> <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865639239/Dietary-supplements-lead-to-thousands-of-hospitalizations-each-year-study-finds.html?pg=all”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>a new study</span></a> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>released in October by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dietary supplements cause about 23,000 emergency room visits a year, which result in about 2,000 hospitalizations in serious cases. What’s worse, the CDC reported that young adults made up a quarter of the incidents.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>“Cardiac symptoms, such as increased heart rate or irregular heartbeats or chest pain, were common among patients with problems from energy or weight loss supplements,” said Dr. Andrew Geller, lead author of the new CDC study.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Maddy Maxwell, 25, is a Glendale, Utah mom who takes the dietary supplement THRIVE, and she says the two pills, “lifestyle shake,” and “dermafusion technology patch” she takes daily have changed her life.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>”I’ve noticed mental clarity,” said Maxwell. “I’ve been able to focus more on my schoolwork. I’ve noticed my hair and nails have been growing…I just feel great, and my body is really getting what it needs now…As a mother, I am doing a better job. And I’ve loved every bit of it.”</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>But the CDC study found that children are also at risk from sketchy dietary supplements. Already, about</span> <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://www.comar.com/news-room/doctor-invented-custom-plastic-packaging-child-proof-medicine-bottles/”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>67,000 parents call U.S. poison control centers every year</span></a> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>about medicine dosing errors, while more than 1,100 emergency calls are placed every day after a child accidentally gets into medicine. Even adults can struggle with dosages; in one Cornell University study, subjects poured an average of 12% too much or 8% too little liquid medication.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>The CDC study suggests the spread of dietary aids is supplementing that problem, with 20% of the 23,000 emergency room visits involving children who had taken dietary aids designed for adults. Dietary supplements are not regulated like pharmaceuticals, and their makers don’t have to prove they work as advertised or even that they’re safe for consumption. The Food and Drug Administration can only take reactionary steps, banning a supplement that has been deemed unsafe for consumers.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>That’s why the new CDC numbers weren’t surprising to Barbara Crouch, with the Utah Poison Control Center.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>”I think this follows exactly what we see,” she said.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>To keep children safe, experts say dietary supplements, vitamins, and weight loss products should be treated like medicine and kept out of reach of children at all times.</span></p>

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