Herbal and dietary supplements tied to liver damage

Health News | Thu Oct 6, 2016 | 10:52am EDT Herbal and dietary supplements tied to liver damage

By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) – – One in five cases of chemical-induced liver damage come from herbal and dietary supplements, a research review concludes. A decade ago, less than one in 10 cases could be linked to supplements, researchers report in the journal Hepatology. Up to half of U.S. adults consume supplements that contain ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, teas and proteins to improve diet, as well as illegal anabolic steroids, which are synthetic versions of testosterone used to boost athletic performance, the study found. “Overall, liver injury from supplements is rare,” said lead study author Victor Navarro, chair of hepatology at Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia. “However, if overused, or used in combination with other supplements, or used for very prolonged periods or in combination with conventional medications, they may become harmful,” Navarro added by email. Hundreds of prescription medicines are associated with liver damage, and serious side effects in the liver are a common reason that drugs fail in development or get recalled after they go to market. Part of the problem with liver complications is that damage can sometimes take months or years to develop, and patients often don’t notice symptoms until the injury is advanced. As damage progresses, patients may initially notice fatigue, itching, nausea and then go on to experience yellowing skin, fluid accumulation, bleeding and mental confusion. Continue reading “Herbal and dietary supplements tied to liver damage”

In The Know—Learning About Nutritional Supplements

by Living Magazine – www.livingmagazine.net

It only takes cruising the vitamin and supplement aisle of your local grocery store to get confused about what your body may actually need in dietary supplements. Contrary to the barrage of messages we receive regarding the need for supplements, vitamins occur naturally in our diets, and most of us—unless suffering from a deficiency—get all the nutrition we need from the foods we eat. However, at different stages of life and phases of health, there are times when we need supplementation to balance our health. Keep in mind that too much of a good thing can hurt more than help, so be sure to educate yourself before taking supplements. Here are some of the basics. When Do I Need a Supplement? Pregnant women are encouraged to take prenatal vitamins to maintain iron and folic acid levels. Folic acid prevents certain birth defects and iron prevents anemia, common in pregnancy, and keeps energy levels high enough for the demands on the body during pregnancy. If you are over 70, the changes to how your body processes nutrition may warrant the addition of calcium, vitamin D, and B12. If you are at risk for osteoporosis, calcium is vital. Vitamin D deficiencies often affect the elderly because they often don’t get enough natural sunlight. A B12 deficiency is common with the elderly because as the body ages, it can lose its ability to absorb B12. Continue reading “In The Know—Learning About Nutritional Supplements”