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5 Supplements to Avoid

We are constantly bombarded with supplements that we should be taking and buying and while some of them are good there are some that you should just try and avoid all together. CNN (with Health.com) gives us a helpful list of supplements that may do more harm than good:

  • Cascara: This is a natural laxative -- not a safe way to shed pounds.
  • Dandelion: It's a natural diuretic, so you lose only water weight.
  • Ephedra: The Food and Drug Administration banned it in 2004; now, court challenges hope to put it back on the shelf [GASP]. Ephedra increases the risk of heart problems and stroke.
  • Garcinia: There are possible links to liver damage.
  • Hoodia: There's been lots of hype about hoodia gordonni, a cactuslike South African plant with appetite-suppressing chemicals.

    But that hoodia isn't available right now, says University of California, Los Angeles, expert and Health Advisory Board member David Heber, M.D., Ph.D. He says the hoodia products in stores or online probably contain other hoodia types that don't work -- or none at all. The British company Phytopharm, which has a global patent on hoodia for weight loss, says real products are years away. Bottom line: The available hoodia products may be safe, but they're useless.

  • Usnic acid: Found in some bodybuilders' formulas, it's been linked to severe liver damage.

Fit's Tip: Check the labels and avoid proprietary blends, which is a way that makers avoid revealing their contents.

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Join The Conversation
lil-miss-bella lil-miss-bella 8 years
I bought 2 bottles of hoodia a while ago, I'm a little scared to take them though, was hoodia really tested?
Fancy04 Fancy04 8 years
Good to read things like this.
ccsugar ccsugar 8 years
Ok I'm going to get shit for this, but I don't think ephedra is THAT bad, I think people just abuse it, and you shouldn't take it if you have any heart conditions. I knew people who FOLLOWED THE DIRECTIONS, took it and lost weight, with no side effects.
mandiesoh mandiesoh 8 years
i agree running bunny. i dont use any cos its just too complicated. and seems to me its full of chemicals too
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
I went to high school with an anorexic girl who used ephedra and died of a heart attack right after she graduated. That's nasty, nasty stuff.
Running-Bunny Running-Bunny 8 years
OR don't use supplements....I am glad this came out because no matter what there are people out there who will use supplements no matter what.
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