Dietary Supplement Abuse

We live in a world where our kids are encouraged to find and build their identity around physical characteristics, including appearance and performance. It should come as no surprise that more and more kids are turning to dietary supplements to lose weight, shrink their waistlines, or build muscle. New research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health reports that teens who use these supplements could be putting themselves at risk of harm and even death. Researchers say there are two ways that dietary supplements can cause harm. First, some supplements contain dangerous ingredients that are not listed on the label. And second, users were combining supplements with other supplements or even prescription drugs, creating combinations that cause harm. Previous studies report negative health issues including chronic diarrhea, dehydration, stroke, seizures, heart problems, and kidney and liver damage. Parents, be aware, and help your kids make good choices.