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Special Reports June 2014 Issue

How Safe Are So-Called “Dietary Supplements”?

Unproven claims and unlabeled ingredients can put you at risk.

If you turn to herbal or botanical treatments or other alternative products marketed as “dietary supplements” to counter chronic conditions or boost your well-being, recent headlines might make you think twice before reaching for that pill bottle. Just in the past 12 months, regulators have warned of dangers from unlabeled pharmaceutical ingredients in an arthritis product and thyroid hormones in “energy-boosting” pills. Medical experts have reported an alarming increase in liver damage linked to weight-loss and “fat-burning” products.

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