Wednesday, February 1

Supplements You Shouldn’t Overuse, Say Experts: Zinc, Iron and More

The supplement and vitamin market in the US has never been more profitable, being worth over $37 billion in 2022—but the FDA still classifies supplements as a subcategory of food, which can lead to safety issues. “This has huge consequences for the whole category of dietary supplements—from vitamins, minerals, probiotics and all sorts of new ingredients,” says Pieter Cohen, MD, internist at Cambridge Health Alliance and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “What it means is that the manufacturer can introduce anything into the market that they believe is safe. The FDA’s job is to identify the products that are causing harm after they’ve been on the market and remove them from store shelves… Because the FDA isn’t vetting these products before they show up on store shelves or on the internet, what happens is that they can pose unpredictable risks.” 

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