Supplement that caused liver failure!

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I have written before about the lack of regulation in the supplement industry and statements like this about a ‘muscle building and weight loss’ product that has been linked to liver failure in more than just a few people and even one death,  should give you cause for concern – “….. manufacturers of dietary supplements are not required to provide proof of safety and effectiveness prior to marketing……….” US Food & Drug Administration website – see Reference. They are however supposed to provide proof of safety before being unleashed on the public. Please note, ‘supposed’ to and the fact that violations can be found months and months after the fact.

You should be aware that the specific product referred to above is called Oxy Elite Pro or Versa 1 and has been recalled and bucket loads of it destroyed. There were ingredients in that which had not been tested for safety and so now some members of the public have been irreversibly damaged. So does this mean that one should be sworn off all supplements? I don’t believe this is the case because the efficacy of many supplements and vitamins have been shown with enough high quality research, that there is much to gain for those who need them. So who are those that need them?

Check out this ABC interview with colleague Anthony Power, a nutritionist we recommend. He makes some really good points and is well worth a listen- it can be found here

I use an authoritive resource called and the guide they produced. These guys research a lot of supplements, vitamins and vitamin like compounds that are produced and recommend them to varying degrees of confidence based on the quality of the resarch. This resource allows me to quickly assess the value of stated claims because they have looked at all the research out there and rated it based on the gold standards of what is considered quality research. So, I have an opinion based on very solid science. Unfortunately not everyone has access to this information so if you have a question I will be happy to answer it. The supplement industry is a multi billion dollar business so it is not surprising that where there is that kind of money there is much dubious marketing.

I have come to the conclusion after reading the summary of the research as put together by that multi vitamins for example are probably a complete waste of time. They do however list their solid reasons for saying that and then putting in perspective and considered judgement on vitamins and minerals should be supplemented in most people. As I have always said folks it is important to keep abreast of new information and smart information at that. This is a practice that is getting harder and harder to do as the plethora of “information” via the internet and then the dumbing down of the population thanks to tabloid journalism is something that surrounds us in 2014.


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