Perhaps the L.A. Times was inspired by our June 29 Dispatch detailing the false belief that all-natural means safe when they decided to cover the new Consumer Reports assessment of several dietary supplements thought to pose substantial health risks. The new report pointed out that many popular exercise, weight loss, and sexual enhancement supplements contain toxic ingredients, and calls for the FDA to ban such substances.
Whenever we consider taking medication or advise others to do so, we always think about the benefits versus the risks, advises ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. In the case of these supplements and the so-called toxic chemicals that they possess, there s no reason to take them because there s no benefit. Thus the benefit-to-risk ratio is zero by definition.