Dietary Supplement Use Linked to Higher Rates of Liver Damage

Study Links Increased Dietary Supplement Use to Rising Liver Damage Rates

dietary supplement useA new scientific study, published in the journal Hepatology, links dietary supplement use to an increased to a rise in liver damage and failure rates over a 10-year period.

Researchers used data from 839 people who were referred to a Drug Induced Liver Injury Network center with reported hepatotoxicity (toxins in the liver). After investigating the reports, the study’s researchers found that 130 of the referrals (15.5%) were from dietary supplements – 45 from bodybuilding dietary supplements, and 85 from other types of dietary supplements.

The remaining 709 complaints involved liver damage and toxicity caused by medications, not including acetaminophen.

The study reported that, as more Americans dietary supplement use, the rates of reported liver toxicity increased from 7% to 20%. While bodybuilding dietary supplements accounted for 2% of reports of liver damage in 2004-2005, that increased to 8% from 2010 to 2012. Non-bodybuilding dietary supplements were the reported cause of 5% of liver damage reports in 2004-2005, and that increased to 12% in 2010 to 2012.

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III indicates that the primary users of dietary supplements are wealthy, educated white women; the most common dietary supplements in use are multivitamins, minerals, calcium and fish oils. However, the primary demographic for bodybuilding supplements is younger white men.

“While many Americans believe supplements to be safe, government regulations (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994) require less safety evidence to market products than what is required for conventional pharmaceuticals” explains lead author Dr. Victor Navarro, from Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia. “With less stringent oversight for herbals and dietary supplements, there is greater potential for harmful consequences including life-threatening conditions.”

Bodybuilding dietary supplements reportedly caused jaundice more frequently than non-bodybuilding dietary supplements, especially in younger men. However, no fatalities or liver transplants were necessary in those cases. In the case of non-bodybuilding dietary supplements, those cases were 13% more likely to require a liver transplant, while medication-related liver damage led to a liver transplant in only 3% of the cases.

Although the study’s results suggest that increased dietary supplement use in the US has led to an increased risk of liver damage – especially in the recent case of hepatitis caused by the workout supplement OxyElite Pro – Dr. Navarro stated about the study that “our study group is specific to DILIN centers and therefore we cannot conclude that liver injury due to herbals and dietary supplements in on the rise in the U.S.”

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Dietary Supplement Personal Injury Cases

The Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. is a leader in the consumer protection battle against dangerous drug recalls and defective devices. We represent individuals who have been killed or injured by dangerous or defective pharmaceuticals or dietary supplementsIf you or a family member have been injured or killed after using a dangerous drugs such as dietary or weight loss supplements with undeclared ingredients, contact our dangerous drug lawyers as soon as possible so that we can begin taking steps to preserve evidence and your claim immediately. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800

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