Serious Health Risks Have Just Been Linked to Weight-Loss Supplements

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The draw to weight-loss supplements can be seriously strong—who wouldn’t want to shed a few pounds by simply popping a pill every morning? However, while the companies behind these diet pills promise quick and easy weight loss, there might be a hidden danger within those little “miracle” pills.

According to a recent study published in Clinical Toxicology, researchers found there were hazardous ingredients hidden within six different supplements, Glam.com reports. Two DMAA-like stimulants—1,3-DMAA and 1,3-DMBA (both of which are banned by the FDA)—were discovered along with two unapproved stimulants in a variety of weight-loss and pre-workout supplements, most notably Game Day, Simply Skinny Pollen and Triple X.

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Most concerning for the authors of this study is the similarity between the two DMAA-like stimulants that were found and Ephedrine, a compound banned in 2004 by the FDA due to severe side effects of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and even sudden death.

While this is scary in itself, researchers were shocked to see these banned and unapproved compounds were either not included on the supplements’ ingredient list or were disguised as harmless extracts, which is clearly not the case.

Sadly, this lack of transparency from supplement companies may have serious health consequences on consumers. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2015 that out of all the emergency room visits that were attributed to supplement usage that year, a disproportionate number of them were due to weight-loss and sports supplements, making many believe that dangerous ingredients and misleading ingredient lists are at fault.

“Most supplement manufacturers are committed to ensuring quality and safety, but there are a few irresponsible and unscrupulous companies out there and their actions are putting consumers at risk,” John Travis, senior research scientist at NSF International and a co-author of the study, said in a statement to Glam.com. “Consumers should be warned about the presence of these four experimental stimulants in supplements. Until these stimulants are eliminated as supplement ingredients, we recommend that consumers avoid supplements labeled as containing 2-aminoisoheptane, 2-amino-6-methylheptane, DMHA or Aconitum kusnezoffii."

Overall, if this proves anything, it’s just another reminder to do your research before stocking up on any form of supplements. However, the healthier, risk-free route to weight loss will always be to simply adopt a healthy nutrition plan and a regular exercise.

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