Analysis: Dietary supplements increasingly linked to liver injuries

In a front page article, the New York Times reported that an analysis by the Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network, which was established by the National Institutes of Health, indicated that “dietary supplements account for nearly 20 percent of drug-related liver injuries that turn up in hospitals, up from 7 percent a decade ago.” The findings “included only the most severe cases of liver damage referred to a representative group of hospitals around the country, and the investigators said they were undercounting the actual number of cases.”

Some of these patients ultimately need a liver transplant or will die due to liver failure. The article discusses the loosely regulated supplement industry in the US.

Long-time readers of this blog know that I recommend you not take a dietary supplement that has not been evaluated by an independent-testing lab such as ConsumerLab or USP. Or, at the very least, don’t begin taking one without checking with your pharmacist or physician first.


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2 Responses to Analysis: Dietary supplements increasingly linked to liver injuries

  1. Joy Del Grosso says:

    Information is vague. What dietary supplements? I know that niacin taken in excess can cause
    Liver enzymes to be elevated. This is important information. Can you elaborate? Joy

  2. Dr. Walt says:


    Click on the source article in the New York Times. The particular supplements are listed in the article.

    Dr. Walt

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