Ask Leah! The Ingles Dietitian

Sponsored: Caution with supplements

Sponsored: Caution with supplements

Often we hear that different vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements may help with everything from our skin elasticity to gut health and from joint pain  to the symptoms of the cold or flu.

We may take supplements trusting that since they're natural they won't harm us -- but this may not be the case. 

Vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements can act just like prescription medications in our body and cause side-effects. They may also interfere with actual prescription medicines we take and minimize their effect or increase the effect. ALWAYS let your physician and pharmacist know about any supplements you are taking! 

Here are some examples of popular supplements and their side effects:

  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin - often taken for osteoarthritis - may interact with the  blood thinner (anticoagulant) drug, Coumadin (warfarin) 
  • Licorice Root - sometimes used for digestive problems - can increase blood pressure and decrease potassium.
  • Kava - often used for anxiety and insomnia - has been linked to liver injury.

For more information on supplements:

Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

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