Don’t Be So Sure That Dietary Supplements Are Safe; The F.D.A. Isn’t

In the first 10 months of 2008 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) received 948 reports of health problems associated with dietary supplements, but not necessarily directly caused by them, according to a report from the federal Government Accountability Office (G.A.O.). Those included 9 deaths, 64 life-threatening illnesses and 234 hospitalizations. The F.D.A. recently estimated that there are more than 50,000 minor and serious health problems a year related to dietary supplements.

For purposes of the G.A.O. report, dietary ingredient means an ingredient that is included in the dietary supplement definition in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act … Read the rest