Be it weight loss, muscle building or a boost in energy, people today are heavily relying on dietary supplements. A new study suggests that the consumption of these supplements as compared to that of vitamins is linked to the increased health risks in children and young adults.
The study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health also highlighted that dietary supplements increase the three times.
"The FDA has issued countless warnings about supplements sold for weight loss, muscle building or sports performance, sexual function, and energy, and we know these products are widely marketed to and used by young people," said lead author Flora Or.
The researchers analyzed the relative risk for severe medical events such as death, disability, and hospitalization in individuals aged 0 and 25 years that were linked with the use of dietary supplements sold for weight loss, muscle building, or energy compared to vitamins.
Researchers found that there were 977 single-supplement-related adverse event reports for the target age group. Of those, approximately 40% involved severe medical outcomes, including death and hospitalization.
Supplements sold for weight loss, muscle building, and energy were associated with almost three times the risk for severe medical outcomes compared to vitamins.
Supplements sold for sexual function and colon cleanse were associated with approximately two times the risk for severe medical outcomes compared to vitamins.
"How can we continue to let the manufacturers of these products and the retailers who profit from them play Russian roulette with America's youth?" senior author S. Bryn Austin said.
Austin added, "It is well past time for policymakers and retailers to take meaningful action to protect children and consumers of all ages.