Dietary supplements are hugely popular; 68% of Americans take them at least once per week, according to a recent Consumer Reports (CR) survey. But, the organization said, people may not always be getting what they think they are. When CR tested samples of two botanicals, turmeric and echinacea, its experts discovered issues with the purity and potency. More than a third of them included elevated levels of lead and bacteria, as well as low levels of key active compounds, CR said.
CR’s survey also reveals a disconnect between how much trust Americans place in the safety and effectiveness of supplements versus what is supported by studies and research. Unlike prescription and over-the-counter drugs, manufacturers are not required to demonstrate to the government that their products are safe and effective before they are sold. But nearly half (48%) erroneously believe they are tested by FDA; 38% believe they are safer than prescription or OTC drugs.
Read the full report at Consumer Reports.