The People's Chemist

Three Supplement Dangers

A snake bite can kill you fast. Once bitten, it’s only a matter of minutes before breathing becomes difficult. Known to be “hemotoxic,” venom attacks hemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying oxygen. If not treated, suffocation sets in. It’s scary. But, there’s something else just as risky, and it’s more common than a snake bite: tainted nutritional supplements.

Multivitamin Poisons Nervous System

One of the most common supplement contaminants appears to be lead. Lead poisoning attacks the central nervous system and causes permanent learning and behavior disorders.

In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a study to uncover potential risks among supplements. Researchers concluded that, the presence of lead was “far too common.” The Vitamin Shoppe Multivitamin “Especially for Women” was tainted with 10 times the safe amount of lead. The company has since taken action and remedied the danger, but, tens of thousands are still suffering.

Children’s Vitamin Causes Overdose

Overdosing is also a real and present danger. An independent analysis showed that a single dose of select products contained 180-270% more vitamin A than the daily limit set by the Institute of Medicine. One of the guilty parties was Hero Nutritionals, with their product “Yummi Bears,” a supposed multivitamin for kids. Vitamin A overdose leads to include nausea, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, dizziness, and dry skin. Long term, it can cause bone and joint pain. Severe cases may result in liver damage. Clearly, not very yummi.

Cross Contamination

Another discovery hits hard. While most people are taking nutritional supplements to avoid prescription drugs, they are unknowingly exposing themselves every time they swallow a vitamin.

Big Pharma is the largest manufacturer and private label provider for nutritional supplements! As a result cross contamination occurs. Nutrition Research Reviews reported that, “numerous non-hormonal nutritional supplements were found contaminated with non-labeled anabolic steroids.” Other toxic contaminants found are the drugs known as diethylstilbestrol, indomethacin, and warfarin.

Products Void of Active Ingredients

And finally, most people are taking supplements that are void of the active ingredients. For my book, Over-The Counter Natural Cures, I tested the quality of two turmeric supplements (and many others). I was searching for the product with the highest amount of active ingredients, known technically as curcuminoids. One was essentially “pixie dust,” and the other brimming with the lifesaving, anti-cancer compounds. Both were about $8 per month to use. Curmin-95 by Jarrow Labs took the win big time! Those investing in competing products were not obtaining the maximum health benefits of the healing spice.


Like hiking the desert fearful of snakes, supplement users should be weary of the products they swallow. Health never came from blindly swallowing pills, and it never will.

About the Author

My name is Shane “The People’s Chemist” Ellison. I hold a master’s degree in organic chemistry and am the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded Edition (SourceBooks). I’ve been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman’s World, US News and World Report, as well as Women’s Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a medicine and health expert. Start protecting yourself and loved ones with my FREE report, 3 Worst Meds.


The People’s Chemist provides these articles for information only. They are not meant to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and do not replace professional medical advice from a medical doctor. I am not a doctor and would only “play doctor” if I was with my wife. In fact, I have not even read Grey’s Anatomy.

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