Are Dietary Supplements Actually Safer Than the Food We Eat?

November 26th, 2015

SupplementsIt was recently reported that a study done by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) stated that supplements caused 23,000 visits to emergencies rooms last year.

If you were not aware of the trend by pharma companies and organizations like the CDC that work closely with them, to sway you into believing synthetic pharmaceutical drugs are safe and dietary supplements are not, you might think 23,000 is a lot of people, even assuming all 23,000 visits were correctly attributable to supplements and not something else.  Let’s put that number in perspective.

The figure quoted referred only to emergency room visits and not hospitalizations.  Furthermore, the study didn’t report how many of the 23,000 visits were serious enough to require hospitalization.  I believe we can be fairly certain that only a percentage of the 23,000 people ended up being hospitalized.

But even if all 23,000 were hospitalized (which is clearly NOT the case), by comparison 375,000 people were hospitalized for food poisoning last year, 5,000 of whom died (as reported by the CDC).  Yet, a report in 2010 from the American Association of Poison control Centers National Poison Data System revealed that there were “ZERO” deaths linked to dietary supplements in 2010.

This means that over 16 times more people had issues with the food they ate than the supplements they took with the food issues resulting  in 5,000 deaths and the supplements resulting in ”ZERO” deaths.

It is estimated that over half of the population in the U.S. takes some kind of dietary supplement.  If each of these people just took two supplement pills a day, that would result in 120,000 BILLION supplement doses a year with “ZERO” deaths.  This is truly impressive.  The food we eat is NOT as safe as the supplements we take!

Further more an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) stated that 107,000 people in the U.S. were killed by prescription drugs in 2000. (JAMA 2000 Vol 284 #4).

When popular conventional medicine websites publish this kind of data about dietary supplements without putting it into perspective, they are doing their readers a disservice and makes one wonder whose well-being they are really trying to protect?


Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.