‘Supplements And Safety’ Explores What’s In Your Supplements

It is estimated that half of all Americans take a health supplement every day, from fish oil to multivitamins. The $30 billion vitamin and supplement industry says these products can make consumers healthier.

An investigation into the hidden dangers of vitamins and supplements, a multibillion-dollar industry with limited FDA oversight. On Tues., Jan. 19, FRONTLINE, The New York Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation examine the marketing and regulating of supplements, and cases of contamination and serious health problems. You can watch the full episode here.

A new documentary, “Supplements and Safety,” pulls back the curtain on some of America’s most popular supplements, and it suggests that many people who buy them may not be getting what they are paying for. The program, airing on the PBS investigative series “Frontline” on Tuesday night, is a collaboration between “Frontline,” The New York Times and The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The program examines the widespread use of potent vitamins, herbs, fish oil and fat-burning supplements. Millions of Americans use these products safely every year. But researchers have found that in many cases they can cause unexpected side effects. And because dietary supplements are largely unregulated by the federal government, adulteration and contamination are common, experts say.

The Frontline documentary investigates large outbreaks of disease tied to tainted vitamins and fat-burning supplements, including one case in which a workout supplement was linked to more than 70 cases of liver damage. The company whose products were at the center of that outbreak, USPlabs, is among 117 companies and individuals that the Justice Department filed criminal and civil enforcement actions against last year.

via NY Times