Study Finds Growing Risk of Liver Damage from SupplementsSeptember 19, 2014 — Liver injuries caused by herbal and dietary supplements increased from 7% to 20% over a 10-year period, according to a study published in Hepatology.

The study suggests that liver injuries are on the rise — especially liver injuries caused by non-bodybuilding supplements, which are becoming more common in middle-aged women. These types of injuries are more likely to result in death or require liver transplantation.

According to lead author Dr. Victor Navarro:

“While many Americans believe supplements to be safe, government regulations require less safety evidence to market products than what is required for conventional pharmaceuticals. With less stringent oversight for herbals and dietary supplements, there is greater potential for harmful consequences including life-threatening conditions.”

The conclusions of the study were based on data from 839 patients with liver damage between 2004 and 2013. The sample included 45 cases of liver injury due to bodybuilding supplements and 85 cases attributed to non-bodybuilding supplements.

Supplements Linked to Liver Damage

In recent years, several outbreaks of liver damage have been linked to weight-loss supplements, including:

  • Green Tea Extract: Although the beverage has been used safely for centuries, potent extracts of toxic chemicals in green tea have been promoted for weight-loss. Liver damage has been linked to SlimQuick and other products.
  • OxyElite Pro: At least 70 people were injured in an outbreak of liver damage linked to aegeline, an ingredient in this weight-loss supplement, in 2013. The manufacturer is now facing lawsuits from nearly 50 people who were injured.

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