Contact us today to schedule a free initial confidential consultation: (302) 777-1000

Dietary Supplement Dangers

Dietary supplements may offer the prospect of a healthier, stronger, more youthful you, but the reality may just be the opposite.  A supplement may do you more harm than good.

Federal regulation of dietary supplements is far more lax than pharmaceuticals.  While drug makers must show the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a new drug is safe and effective for its intended use before it can be approved for sale, a dietary supplement maker doesn’t have to show anything to anyone.

Under federal law, dietary supplements need not be registered with the FDA.  It’s up to the manufacturers to make sure the product is safe and that labels are truthful and not misleading.  Manufacturers are also entrusted to submit to the FDA any adverse event reports they receive.

The FDA and Dietary Supplements

With this hands off approach to regulation, the general public has become guinea pigs for dietary supplements.  An example is the Healthy Life Chemistry By Purity First B-50, marketed as a vitamin B dietary supplement. One thing the FDA can do is take action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market. Last July it warned consumers not to use these supplements because of 29 reports of adverse reactions.

After laboratory analysis of the supplement, the FDA also found a nasty surprise for consumers: two potentially harmful anabolic steroids (one a controlled substance), not listed as ingredients, were part of the supplement.  According to the FDA, anabolic steroid use may cause acute liver injury. Some of the incidents reported to the FDA resulted in hospitalization, but there were no reports of death or acute liver failure.

The FDA states anabolic steroid use may cause other serious long-term consequences, including adverse effects on blood lipid levels, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, masculinization of women, shrinkage of the testicles, breast enlargement, infertility in males and short stature in children.

The FDA asked the product’s manufacturer, Mira Health Products Ltd. in Farmingdale, New York, to recall the product and warn consumers of potential health effects.  It refused.

Without any further action by the FDA, it’s up to the legal system to hold Mira accountable.  Earlier this month a product consumer in New York filed a lawsuit against Mira in state court alleging negligence and recklessness, failure to warn consumers and defective design.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff, Manya DuHuffmann, suffered skin rashes, fatigue, severe muscle cramping, unusual hair growth and hair loss, deepening of her voice and increased blood lipid levels and liver enzyme levels. Even now, after discontinuing use, she is still allegedly experiencing pain, disability, emotional distress and economic loss.

This is an instance where if federal law and a federal agency can’t or won’t prevent harm to a consumer, a personal injury attorney can seek damages for his client and hopefully bring about positive change. Perhaps a verdict for the plaintiff may lead to changes in the product or stop its sales entirely.

Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Hood, LLC

If you or a loved one may have suffered serious side effects due to a dietary supplement, (302) 777-1000. There is no charge or obligation for your first visit. Our office is open Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., but we will meet with you evenings or weekends upon request. We will travel to your home or the hospital if necessary.

The Law Office of Michael J. Hood represents accident & injury victims throughout Delaware and Pennsylvania including individuals in New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County in Delaware. Also Delaware county, Chester county and Philadelphia county in PA.