‘ Adrenal support’ supplements may contain unsafe ingredients | Reuters
( Reuters Health)- Many aadrenal supporta supplements sold online as energy boosters may contain thyroid hormones and steroids that arenat listed on the labels and can cause dangerous side effect, a study suggests.
Researchers purchased the 12 most popular dietary supplements for enhancing metabolism, promoting energy, easing so-called adrenal tirednes, or providing aadrenal support.a The adrenal gland stimulates hormones like cortisol, which helps govern the metabolism and manage stress, and aldosterone, which controls blood pressure.
Lab tests of the supplements found they all contained thyroid hormone and most had at least one steroid hormone.
aPatients should be aware that any supplement that is sold as anatural, a aorganic, a aherbal, a aplant-based, a may not be safe, a told lead author Dr. Halis Kaan Akturk of the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes at the University of Colorado.
aThese words and similar ones give patients a false reassurance, a Akturk, who did such studies while at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, said by email.
Most Americans who take dietary supplements buy them online or in stores without consulting their doctor, and they often will vary depending on product labels or promotional materials on websites to decide what to take, researchers note in Mayo Clinic Proceedings .
Even more worrisome, roughly half of older adults take dietary supplements, often while take prescription medications that might interact poorly with supplements and cause serious or even fatal side effects.
Taking too much thyroid hormone can lead to life-threating heart problems, bone injury, excessive weight loss, tremors and unrest, Akturk said.
Every supplement in such studies contained a small amount of a thyroid hormone known as triiodothyronine( T3 ).
In addition, seven of the supplements contained at least one adrenal or steroid hormone. The most commonly detected hormone was pregnenolone, which was in five supplements .
People who accidentally take adrenal or steroid hormone may experience symptoms like weight gain, hair loss, depression, acne, and stretching marks as well as a potentially life-threating shutdown of the adrenal glands, Akturk said.
None of the products tested mentioned any thyroid or steroid hormones on their labels or on ingredient lists included with packaging materials, the study found.
The study wasnat a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how hormones hidden in dietary supplements might cause health problems.
Itas also not clear what dosage of these hormones, over what period of time, might lead to side effects, told Dr. Pieter Cohen, a researcher at Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School in Boston who wasnat involved in the study.
aThere is no question that if you take too much hormones they can have serious adverse effects, a Cohen said by email.
But the amounts in the supplements tested under the study might be too small to cause problems, Cohen said. Because the exact effect isnat clear, patients should avoid these products, Cohen advised.
aMy recommendation is to stick to the vitamin and mineral supplements that a physician recommends, a Cohen told. aIf someone is feeling generally fatigued or low energy but doesnat yet feel the need to see a physician, I would recommend trying to eat healthier, get additional exercising and get some extra sleep as the next best step rather than looking for a answer in a bottle of supplements.a
SOURCE: mayocl.in/ 2Hv9uhs Mayo Clinic Proceedings, online March 1, 2018.
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