Food supplements very popular, but not always healthy: poison information center

Pills (Photo: MorgueFile / Wikimedia Commons)Pills (Photo: MorgueFile / Wikimedia Commons)

Food supplements, for example for more energy or slimming supplements, are increasingly popular in the Netherlands. But they are by far not always healthy and some even contain forbidden substances, the national poisoning information center NVIC warned in its annual report for 2016. In some cases the information on the labels don't match the substances actually in the supplements, ANP reports. 

The most risky supplements are those taken for sports and slimming. "Often illegal substances are found that can cause serious health problems", the NVIC warns. Supplements taken prior to sports can, "in some cases, lead to life-threatening situations". 

The NVIC received a total of 740 poisoning reports last year. A third involved young children who took an inappropriate supplement, such as melatonin. About 500 were about relaxing supplements, including 64 about people who took hemp oil. Nausea, sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, accelerated heart rate and hallucinations were some of the reported side effects. 

Earlier this year Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA already warned against libido boosters and slimming pills. Over 60 percent of the supplements the NVWA tested contained hazardous supplements such as sildenafil, sibutramine and amphetamine-like substances like synephrine and caffeine. 


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