Dietary Supplements Make Up 20% of Drug-Related Liver Injuries

According to a recent study and a New York Times report, dietary supplements containing high concentrations of green tea extract result in up to 20 percent of liver injuries in patients who turn up in hospitals. This new data was analyzed by a national network of liver specialists. 

Dietary supplements are regularly purchased at nutrition stores promising weight loss or build up of muscle mass.  Many who take dietary supplements are young, but the studies show that middle-aged women and men are also often buying these products. 

Americans spend $32 billion a year on dietary supplements. The dietary supplement distribution is by and large unregulated. 

Because of a 1994 federal law, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot prevent the sale of supplements or evaluate or approve them before distribution. As in the case of the case of Hydroxycut supplement, the FDA stepped in only after there were reports of liver injuries on a wide scale.  This occurred in 2009 and resulted in a recall of the company’s products containing the green tea extract. 

Because dietary supplements are not regulated, the products are distributed without any basic quality control standards, which means that there are no announced side effects when sold. 

The herbal supplements containing high levels of the green tea extract had been associated with severe liver injuries, more likely to result in liver transplants. Typically the dietary supplement product contained no announcement or labeling of potential side effects. Consumers of these dietary supplements should be very careful about using these products. Consulting with a physician would always be a good idea before taking dietary supplements.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling liver damage cases caused by dietary supplements, product defect cases and pharmaceutical negligent cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Crystal Lake, Summit, Hinsdale, Western Springs, Burr Ridge, Bridgeview, Oak Lawn, Chicago (Woodlawn, South Shore, Calumet Heights, Chatham), LaGrange and Palos Hills, Ill.

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