5 Supplements That Are “Worthless,” Say Physicians

Millions of people turn to supplements to help with weight loss, hair growth, acne, stronger nails, overall health and more. But whether we should take them is a different story. While there are some benefits, medical and health experts say, there are also major risks. Kelly Kay MiddletonMD/MPH, Atlanta-based Orthopedic surgeon “As a physician, I have extensive experience in health, fitness and wellness. Before taking any supplement, it is essential to research the supplement and discuss its use with your physician. Supplements can be beneficial when used properly. However, some potential It’s not worth taking the extra money or risk because of the side effects or the lack of evidence for their effectiveness.”

Supplements are huge business and IBIS World reports, “Vitamin and supplement industry market size measured by revenue to reach $39.8 billion in 2023.” Although the market is growing rapidly, not everyone is impressed with the supplements and warns of dangerous risks. “Unfortunately, my industry is full of trainers selling supplements that our clients don’t need.” Grace Albin, an ACE-certified fitness instructor reveals to us. “This is not only financially wasteful, but can do more harm than good to some. Various supplement manufacturers contact me every week, offering me high commissions to engage in aggressive sales tactics. But I would never recommend my followers to buy these products.”

“You should only take supplements if you’re deficient in that specific vitamin or mineral,” Albin insists, “and if you can’t make up for that deficiency by eating foods rich in the missing nutrients. Everyone should have an annual physical that reviews their doctor’s blood. Work And let them know what levels are high or low. A few years ago my D3 and iron showed I was low, so I only take those two.” Eat this, not that! Health spoke to experts who share what to know about them and what to avoid before taking them.


Dr. Tommy Mitchell, a board certified family physician Holistic wellness strategies “Before diving into the world of vitamins and supplements, one should understand one’s specific needs and research the various options available. Before taking any vitamin, people should be aware of possible side effects and ask their doctor or pharmacist if they have any doubts. Or questions to supplement, consider timing – for example, some vitamins should be taken with food to maximize absorption.

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And, although many vitamins are available over the counter, there are times when a prescription is required for a specific vitamin for optimal benefits. It’s important to carefully consider dosages – taking too much of a particular vitamin can have more negative effects on the body than its intended benefits. It is important to understand one’s health goals and individual condition before adding a stack of vitamins.”

Vitamin supplements

Dr. Mitchell states, “With so many vitamins and supplements available today, it can be challenging to decide which ones are worth spending the money on and which ones aren’t. But many factors, such as improper manufacturing or storage, mean some health-giving vitamins to your body.” Most vitamins from an unknown source, especially those sold at convenience stores or gas stations, lack the energy needed for good long-term health benefits and are a waste of money.

Additionally, some vitamins are naturally present in any balanced diet, making them unnecessary purchases for those who already eat a lot of fresh produce and protein. Therefore, it is imperative that anyone buying vitamins or supplements knows how to cut corners with their product and how you can avoid this by looking for trusted brands.

A young woman vomiting by the bathroom sink

Dr. According to Middleton, “Garcinia cambogia extract is not worth taking. This supplement has been touted as a weight loss and appetite suppressant, but there is little evidence to support these claims. Garcinia cambogia extract can cause adverse side effects. Nausea, indigestion Side effects such as discomfort, and in some cases liver damage, are not worth the money or potential risk of taking this supplement.

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those National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Several studies have investigated the effects of Garcinia cambogia on weight loss in humans. Less research has been done on other uses of Garcinia cambogia. Several dozen cases of liver toxicity have been reported in people taking products labeled as containing Garcinia cambogia. A 2020 review of 11 short-term studies in humans found no significant effect of Garcinia cambogia products on weight loss. Most of the reported cases were labeled as products containing a combination of ingredients, but some products were labeled as containing only garcinia cambogia.”

Kava kava supplement capsules on brown wooden plate
Shutterstock / Irina Imago

Dr. Middleton explains, “Kava is another supplement that’s not worth taking. This supplement has traditionally been used to reduce anxiety and stress and improve sleep quality. Studies Long-term use of this herb has been shown to cause liver damage. It can interact with many common medications and increase their side effects. Given the potential for severe adverse reactions, taking this supplement is not worth the money.”

UCLA Health “Kava is banned in the UK and Europe due to liver toxicity. More than 100 cases of liver toxicity associated with kava use have been identified, some leading to liver transplants and some to death. There are many. The causes of liver damage, one of the main Glutathione, an antioxidant, degrades kava in the liver. It also inhibits enzymes involved in the metabolism of many drugs. Most cases of liver toxicity have occurred in people with previous liver disease or who have used alcohol in addition to kava.”

Sad man sitting on a bed, girlfriend in the background.

Dr. Middleton says, “The next supplement not worth taking is yohimbe. This supplement is touted as a sexual enhancer. Studies It has been shown to cause adverse side effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety and in some cases seizures. The potential risks of taking this supplement may outweigh any benefits, and it’s not worth the money or hassle.”

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those National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says, “There is very little research in humans on the effects of yohimbe as a dietary supplement. But studies have documented the potential risks of taking it. Yohimbe has been linked to heart attacks and seizures due to mislabeling and the potential for serious side effects. , yohimbe supplements are restricted or banned in many countries. Yohimbe caused stomach upset, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), anxiety, and high blood pressure, according to a study comparing yohimbe and other substances to the California Poison Control System in 2000 and 2006. . People who talk about yohimbe are generally more likely than other callers to need medical attention. Most yohimbe products don’t say how much yohimbine they contain. A 2015 analysis of 49 brands found that amounts can vary widely among products. Yohimbe or yohimbine for sale in the United States Some supplements labeled as yohimbine are synthetic or highly processed plant extracts. Many supplements do not provide information on known side effects.

Albin shares, “Multivitamins have dozens of vitamins and minerals, but no one needs that many. As for vitamins, they’re usually water-soluble. That means your body is excreting urine you don’t need, and you’re wasting money.” Did. For minerals, most of them are constipating in addition to financial waste.”

John Hopkins Medicine According to researchers studying the benefits of multivitamins, “multivitamins do not reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline (such as memory loss and slow thinking), or early death. In previous studies they found that vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements, especially at high doses, Seems harmless.” Larry Apple, MD., John Hopkins, director of the Johns Hopkins Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, says in his article on multivitamins, “Pills are not a shortcut to better health and prevention of chronic disease. Other nutritional recommendations have stronger evidence of benefit—eating a healthy diet.” , maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and sugar you eat.”


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