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Advertisement after advertisement recommends the use of dietary supplements. While they can be beneficial to your health, they also come with risks you should know and understand before use.

A new study, by St. Michael’s Hospital found, dietary supplements accounted for more than half of the Class 1 drugs recalled by the FDA from 2004 through 2012. Meaning they contained substances that could cause serious adverse events, in some cases proving fatal. In other words, these products are full of unapproved ingredients including but not limited to steroids and other dangerous ingredients.

The mass of products recalled were for weight loss, sexual enhancement and bodybuilding, said Dr. Ziv Harel, lead author. And, nearly one-quarter of the products were made outside of the U.S.

Dietary supplements unlike pharmaceutical products don’t require FDA approval before going to market. Dietary supplements are defined by the agency as, “a product taken by mouth that contains a “dietary ingredient” such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and more.

An estimated 65,000 dietary supplements are currently on the market and consumed by some 150 million Americans.

The study was published in the JAMA Internal Medicine. The FDA has a helpful post titled “Dietary Supplements: What you need to know.”

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