BOSTON (CBS) – Millions of people in the U.S. use dietary supplements, but a new report may have you taking a closer look at what is in your medicine cabinet.
Logan Stiner’s family has been taking on the supplement industry after the healthy 18-year old suddenly died from a powdered caffeine supplement.READ MORE: 5-Month Old 'Fenway Baby' Becomes Crowd Favorite At Red Sox Game
“He had no idea what he was doing,” says his mother, Katie Stiner.
A new Consumer Reports’ investigation finds serious health risks from supplements including vitamins, probiotics, and weight loss pills.
Researchers have identified 15 ingredients to always avoid, including kava, red yeast, and caffeine powder.
Lisa Gill, Deputy Content Editor at Consumer Reports outlines some of the risks, “Liver failure, kidney failure requiring kidney transplants, seizures, heart problems.”READ MORE: Man Charged With Child Porn After Allegedly Dressing Like A Woman, Taking Pictures In Wrentham Outlets Bathroom
Unlike prescription drugs, manufacturers don’t have to prove safety and effectiveness for supplements.
The government is doing nothing to ensure that the supplements on store shelves are safe,” says Dr. Pieter Cohen of Harvard Medical School.
In fact, a recent study found more than 23,000 people end up in the E.R. each year because of supplements.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition which represents the supplement industry maintains that “overwhelmingly, dietary supplements are safe and play a valuable role in helping Americans live healthy lifestyles.”
But experts caution patients should speak to their doctor before taking any supplement.MORE NEWS: Boston To Remove Tents At 'Mass And Cass' Homeless Encampments; Public Health Crisis Declared
Consumer Reports recommends consumers look for a United States Pharmacopeia, or USP, label if they must take supplements. That means the product was tested for potency and purity.