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What Doctors Don't Tell You

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July 2020 (Vol. 5 Issue 5)

Death toll from vitamins and herbs: zero
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Death toll from vitamins and herbs: zero image

Nobody has died from taking vitamins, or minerals, or amino acids, or herbs, according to the latest annual safety records—and yet supplements remain the target of health regulators who want to control their supply and use. By comparison, around 550,000 Americans die each year after taking a prescription drug.

Zero deaths from any dietary supplement—including calcium, magnesium, chromium, zinc, colloidal silver, selenium, iron or a multi-vitamin—were recorded by the US National Poison Data System in 2014, the latest data that is available.

There were also no deaths from any amino acid or herbal supplement, including blue cohosh, Echinacea, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava, St John’s wort and valerian, yohimbe, and any Asian or Ayurvedic medicines.

The data system also recorded no deaths from glucosamine or chondroitin, or from any homeopathic remedy.

Prescription medicine isn’t quite so safe, however. Around 150,000 Americans die each year from an adverse reaction to a drug properly prescribed and taken, and a further 350,000 die from a drug incorrectly administered, either because of error or from a deliberate overdose.


(Source: Clinical Toxicology, 2015; 10: 962-1147)

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