While it can be appealing to use dietary supplements to achieve the perfect summer body, a new study confirms that going this route can be detrimental to one’s health- especially for children, teenagers, and young adults.
A recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health sought to determine the relationship between dietary supplements and its effects on those aged between 11 to 25 years old. By looking at 977 cases that were reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between the years of 2004 and 2015, it found that all of the cases resulted in the youth requiring medical attention as a result of the supplements.
In fact, it found that over 40 percent of the cases involved, "trips to an emergency room, hospitalization, disability, or death," the authors wrote. The study explained this was because the supplements either contained dangerous substances not listed in its ingredients or had an unforeseen reaction with other medications the person in question was taking.
The study emphasized that anyone considering taking dietary supplements should only do so after consulting their health practitioner. Even then, the authors of the study advised people to proceed with caution.
“Consumption of dietary supplements sold for weight loss, muscle building, and energy involved increased risks for severe medical events compared with vitamins,” they wrote in the conclusion. “Proactive enforcement of regulations is needed to reduce access and consumption among children, adolescents, and young adults.”
Given the health risks associated with dietary supplements, it may be best to reach one’s fitness goals through a more traditional route, like increasing one’s physical activity or embarking on a new meal plan. In any case, whether a person is interested in taking dietary supplements or beginning a new fitness program, it’s always wise to speak with your doctor before making any big lifestyle changes.