Dietary Supplements May Be Harmful For Heart Health Of Young Adults And Children

NDTV Food Desk (with inputs from IANS)  |  Updated: June 06, 2019 11:40 IST

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Dietary Supplements May Be Harmful For Heart Health Of Young Adults And Children

Dietary Supplements Harmful For Heart Health

Our body needs its fill of nutrients to function smoothly. With an ocean of foods available for consumption, we can acquire nutrition from various foods with different nutritive qualities. But, due to lack of awareness and proper knowledge, not everybody can avail optimal level of nourishment through food. Sometimes, due to hormonal or gene issues, the body is unable to absorb some nutrients properly from foods. Whatever may be the reason, nutrition fulfilment remains a problem and people have no other option but to resort to other sources of nutrients. Dietary supplements have become a rage these days. They claim to replenish a particular vitamin, mineral or other nutrients. Vitamin tablets, for instance, are hugely popular to fuel the body with any vitamin that it lacks in. 

Not just for general health, people, even children are taking supplements for weight loss, muscle development or just for energy boost. But, a recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health warns that these dietary supplements can be harmful for heart health among children and young adults. The study claims that supplements sold for weight loss, muscle building and energy boost posed three times more the risk of heart-related ailments as compared to vitamin supplements. Also, supplements that claim to improve sexual function and colon cleanse were two times more dangerous than vitamins. 

(Also Read: Ideal Balanced Diet - What Should You Really Eat?)

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Supplements for weight loss, muscle building and energy boost posed greater risk of heart ailments

For the study, the researchers assessed people aged between 0 and 25 years, consuming dietary supplements. The team noticed the effect of the medicines on the relative risk for severe medical events such as death, disability, and hospitalisation. They found out 977 single-supplement-related adverse events of which, nearly 40% involved severe medical outcomes. 

Lead author Flora Or. said, "The FDA has issued countless warnings about supplements sold for weight loss, muscle or sports performance, sexual function, and energy, and we know these products are widely marketed to and used by young people." 

(Also Read: Eating Nutrient-Rich Foods Over Supplements May Lower Risk Of Death)

Senior author S. Bryn Austin added, "How can we continue to let the manufacturers of these products and the retailers who profit from them play Russian roulette with America's youth? It is well past time for policymakers and retailers to take meaningful action to protect children and consumers of all ages."

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