Food Supplements Are Dangerous?

Barbara Morris

If there is one thing the traditional medical profession and pharmaceutical industry  generally do not like it’s SUPPLEMENTS. Here are three of their “important” reasons why they don’t:

If you eat a good diet you don’t need to take supplements. Just about everyone knows the typical American diet is loaded with saturated fats, sugar, dyes, refined carbohydrates and chemicals. Should you ask your doctor about a “good diet”? He’s had very little nutrition training in med school and probably eats the same (or worse) diet as most. (Read Doctors need more nutrition education  and Despite growing burden of diet-related disease, medical education does not equip students to provide high quality nutritional care to patients. Read labels on packages of prepared food you eat. There is a reason so many are obese and less than healthy.

Supplements are potentially harmful. Well, I guess that depends on which supplements are taken, the strength and how many are taken at one time. The reality is that most OTC supplements don’t contain enough active ingredients to do very much of anything. Remember, supplements are supposed to provide the MINIMUM daily requirement of vitamins and minerals. If a supplement has been shown helpful for a medical condition in larger than ordinary doses, it’s classified as “medical food” and must be prescribed by a licensed health care professional. Unless you work with a self-taught nutrition-oriented physician or naturopath, you probably won’t be able to get it. Here’s the irony:  If you can get it, it’s expensive because it probably does what it is supposed to do.

Let’s talk about what’s really potentially harmful. You may recall the diabetes drug, Farxiga® advertised extensively on TV. The  smooth voiceover for a Farxiga TV ad rapidly enumerates potentially horrid side effects that are mitigated or obliterated by visuals that show people singing, dancing, eating, kissing, hugging puppies — with no reference to diabetes. One potential side effect quickly mentioned is genital yeast infections in men. Women are prone to vaginal yeast infections, but for men — what does a yeast infection mean?  It means swelling, rash  and foul smelling discharge from the penis; or pain in the skin around the penis. Certain uncircumcised men may have swelling of the penis that makes it difficult to pull back the skin around the tip of the penis. If it happens to a married man or a man in a relationship, good luck explaining it to his wife or significant other.

Supplements may conflict with medications prescribed by physicians. As I mentioned, there are hardly enough active ingredients in popular OTC products to cause harm if taken as directed. Typically cited as harmful is St. John’s Wort and other rarely used herbs. Remember, doctors may tell you supplements are useless, that they are money thrown down the toilet. They must be good for something if they interfere with your medication in ordinary doses.

What started this rant was an article Choking Hazard: Another Reason to Skip Supplements. It is so absurd it is laughable. Cited is concern about older people choking on large tablets. Every day seniors gulp down multiple large prescription tablets and capsules and they do so without incident. It’s a way of life for them. There will always be those of all ages who claim they can’t swallow pills.  I understand that but it’s strange — can they swallow food?

The pharmaceutical  industry has its tentacles around the entire medical profession  – from doctors to pharmacists. Medical school teaches students how to use and prescribe big phama medications and pharmacies provide to patients what doctors prescribe. That’s a pretty neat financial benefit for big pharma and stockholders.

Castigating supplements because of their alleged large size is blatantly biased, shameful and stupid. Think for yourself. Inform yourself and make your own decisions. Don’t be a victim of deceitful “group think” and deliberately created “problems” intended to advance an agenda that may not be in your best interests.


  1. I’m sending to all I know. I know my own kin who take hand fulls of supplements daily. I always say eat right and think right is about all you need.

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