Supplements to Stay Away From


Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, FACEP, FUHM, FACMT, Co-Medical Director of the National Capital Poison Center, says, "Tejocote is a kind of Hawthorn; its root is a weight-loss supplement. Tejocote plant itself is little harmful, however tejocote root as a dietary supplement can cause GI upset, chest pain, and other symptoms. Some tejocote root supplements contain harmful compounds, including oleander."

Antler velvet

Dr Johnson-Arbor "The term "velvet elk" refers to regrowing deer antlers. Velvet elk antler, often called "elk antler velvet" or "deer velvet," is a nutritional supplement. It boosts immune system, athletic performance, and sexual function. Prions in deer or elk antlers make this supplement unsafe. CJD is a rare, fatal brain disease caused by prions. Humans who utilise velvet elk antler supplements can obtain prions."


Johnson-Arbor says, "Apoaequorin is a bioluminescent jellyfish protein that improves memory by boosting brain calcium activity. There's no evidence that this protein is absorbed after digestion or can enter the brain."


Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jacob Hascalovici said, "Calcium supplements, often advertised as bone-healthy, have been related to heart attack risk. As scientists learn more about calcium supplementation, it may be better to get it through food than supplements. Even if you're worried about osteoporosis, make sure calcium supplementation is right for you."


Dr. Hascalovici: "Ginkgo biloba helps memory and blood flow naturally. Ginkgo biloba can interact with several common medications, including mood, diabetic, and pain treatments. Epileptics should avoid ginkgo biloba, which might cause seizures."


Hascalovici, "Vitamin A can be overdosed on beta-carotene. In one trial, beta-carotene supplementation increased men's risk of lung cancer. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and other bright foods provide beta-carotene and vitamin A."

Poison Control Helps with Supplement Side Effects

Johnson-Arbor recommends, "Unwanted or unexpected symptoms after taking vitamins or supplements? Call poison control. Poison control can be reached at or 1-800-222-1222. Both are 24/7, free, and confidential."

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