The latest issue of Consumer Reports examines how safe and effective are supplements. And guess what? Supplements did not fair too well. Overall, the verdict was a no go: Not safe and not effective.

The problem is that supplements are not regulated by the FDA. For some unknown reason, these products are considered dietary. What this means is that there is absolutely no guarantee that these supplements do what they claim to do and even contain what they claim to contain. In other words, if you take St Johns Wort for depression, then the amount of the active ingredient may or may not be the amount advertised.

Sure the industry claims that these products are natural and safe. There are quite a few natural substances which can kill you or make you really sick. Just because something is natural therefore doesn’t mean it’s safe. Also, when was the last time you saw pills growing on plants? In other words, the ingredients are fashioned into pills, which as far as I know don’t occur in nature. There are many, many ER visits directly caused by supplements.

Yes supplements can and do cause harm including to your liver, kidneys and heart among other areas. Why then won’t the FDA regulate these products? I suspect it is from industry pressure. The supplement industry argues that millions of Americans take supplements-but millions of us smoke as well. So the fact that many of us takes something doesn’t mean its safe or effective.

Except for persons with certain conditions, taking supplements is not necessary, possibly harmful and questionably effective. Better to safe your money.