The vitamin and supplement industry pulls in billions each year as health-conscious Americans look to improve their well-being. However, Dr. Mikhail Varshavski, also known as Dr. Mike, said there is evidence that consuming these products may not be so beneficial.
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“I partnered with the Osteopathic Association to conduct a poll,” he told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday. “We found 86 percent of people are taking supplements and only about a quarter of those people actually need to.”
Although there are thousands of vitamins and supplements on the market, the industry is not regulated and sometimes people can take too much, according to Dr. Mike, and he added that supplements sent 23,000 people to emergency rooms last year.
“People are wasting their money and they are being targeted by marketers who are preying on their insecurities to get them a better sex drive, more muscle, faster weight loss. None of these things are proven, [and] at times [are] even harmful,” he said. “I think that’s incredibly dangerous.”
Consumer Reports conducted research in order to provide transparency on the vitamin and supplement industry. It found customers were able to purchase products with reassurance that they were safe.
“They sent rogue agents as consumers to go in and purchase some of these supplements knowing that there’s some indications that you should not be taking them,” Dr. Mike said. “And they asked the employees, both pharmacists and sales people, can I take this green tea extract? Can I take this? And they were like, 'Of course it’s safe.'”
Dr. Mike added that if you are considering taking a supplement, check with your doctor first.
“Make sure it doesn’t interact with any of your medications so you can do it safely and not be harming your health,” he said.
The global dietary supplements market was valued at $132.8 billion in 2016 and expected to exceed more than $220 billion by 2022, according to Zion Market Research.