Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Poison Control Report: Supplements

The peer-reviewed scientific journal Clinical Toxicology published the annual report by the American Association of Poison Control Centers for 2009 (2010 is not available yet): there were no deaths from multiple vitamins or any single vitamin, no deaths from herbal medicine, no deaths from any amino acid or dietary mineral supplement and no documented deaths from homeopathic medicines. One death was attributed to an “Unknown dietary supplement or homeopathic agent”, but this cannot be verified as no supporting information is provided. The information is in Table 22B, journal pages 1138–1148. Trawl back through the prior Annual Reports published in the same journal and you will find a similar story year after year.

Conversely, in the US, adverse drug reactions are now the fourth leading cause of death, ahead of pulmonary disease, diabetes, AIDS, pneumonia, accidents and motor vehicle deaths.

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