Hidden Dangers – The Unseen Threat Lurking in Dietary Supplements

If you’re like most Americans, you see the significant value in taking dietary supplements to ensure you get enough essential nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals. After all, 9 out of 10 Americans simply do not get the FDA’s recommended daily intake of fruits (1-2 cups) and vegetables (2-3 cups).1,2  

Unfortunately, when you purchase a dietary supplement, you might be getting more than what you bargained for -- and not in a good way. The FDA recently surveyed a range of dietary supplements on the market and found almost 50 of them contained hidden pharmaceutical drug residues not listed on the label!3 Even small amounts of these undeclared drug residues can wreak havoc in the body by producing side effects or even negatively interact with medications, and in extreme cases, cause permanent organ damage. What is equally alarming is that these supplements were not sold off the street or in some shady alley, but on well-known online platforms such as eBay and Amazon.   

How could this happen in the first place? Some naïve manufacturers of dietary supplements might be motivated to cut their costs and keep prices competitive by limiting the testing they perform on raw materials or by selecting the cheapest available ingredients on the market. But as we’ve seen, cheaper materials might come with a hidden price and reduced testing may limit the manufacturer’s ability to identify harmful, adulterating substances that shouldn’t be in the product in the first place. Worse yet, an unscrupulous manufacturer looking to add some supposed “potency” to their product may spike their product with undeclared drugs to help their customers feel like the product is “working.” 

The FDA does not regulate dietary supplements to the same level of scrutiny as medical drugs. To give some perspective, the FDA estimates 29,000 different dietary supplements are on the market today with an estimated 1,000 new products that are introduced annually in the U.S.4 That’s a lot of product to keep track of! As a result of limited resources, the FDA does not have a premarket approval process of dietary supplements but instead, surveys and audits the nutritional supplement manufacturers and their products currently on the market to help ensure consumer safety. Thus, there is a potential gap where unethical dietary supplements with drug residues in them can potentially circulate on the market for months (or even longer) before the FDA can address them.   

Manufacturers of dietary supplements are ultimately responsible for ensuring their products meet the FDA’s ethical manufacturing requirements. Consequently, savvy customers have come to place their trust in those companies that deliver well-made, effective, and contaminant-free products. After all, what someone puts inside their body can have a profound effect on their health and wellbeing, for better or worse.   

At Quantum Nutrition Labs (QNL) we take great pride in ensuring our nutritional products are of the highest quality, without added excipients or harmful substances. The raw materials used in our products are tested upon receipt to verify the material is free of unwanted substances. Further, all finished products are tested for purity before being releasing for sale. QNL is so committed to purity, its products are even free of excipients commonly used across the industry, such as magnesium stearate (a highly undesirable excipient), and artificial preservatives such as potassium sorbate. At QNL, you get exactly what you pay for: high quality products without unnecessary additives, excipients, and unnatural preservatives. With a truly great track record of many years, QNL has become a reliable national dietary supplement brand you can rely on, day in and day out. Go Quantum! 

Resources 

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6645a1.htm?s_cid=mm6645a1_w 
  2. https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/vegetables 
  3. https://www.consumerreports.org/dietary-supplements/fda-finds-hidden-drugs-in-weight-loss-sexual-enhancement-dietary-supplements-sold-on-amazon-ebay/  
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK216048/