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While nearly half of Americans consume health and dietary supplements with the apparent belief that they’re safe, new research confirms their link to liver damage that can sometimes be fatal, according to a report recently presented by Victor Navarro, MD, Chairman of Hepatology at Einstein Medical Center. Liver damage from these supplements has become increasingly recognized by investigators, said Dr. Navarro, a member of a national research group studying liver injury caused by prescription drugs and dietary supplements.“The supplements often contain ingredients that aren’t listed on the label, or vary in composition and concentration from batch to batch,” he said. “Consumers should be aware that the FDA doesn’t regulate these supplements in the same manner as prescription drugs, and some of them may not be safe even though they’re readily available in your local health food store and other trusted outlets.” The researchers are attempting to isolate the particular ingredients responsible for the liver damage and who might be at risk.Bodybuilding supplements were most likely of all the supplements to cause liver injury, the study found. But fatal complications and the need for liver transplants were linked to other health and dietary supplements.
Dr. Navarro presented his findings on Nov. 4 at a Presidential Plenary Session at the 64th annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in Washington, D.C.