Narrator: This is Science Today. Taking dietary supplements has become increasingly popular. Even though most of these products are beneficial, Christine Haller, a toxicologist at the University of California, San Francisco, says all supplements should still be taken with care.
Haller: Even if the product itself is what it's stated to be on the label, you can't guarantee there aren't contaminants or other active ingredients in the product because this is a self-regulated industry - there is no watchdog agency that's evaluating the manufacture or the product's safety.
Narrator: Haller says consumers should be especially wary of products used for weight control or to boost athletic performance since some of these products contain stimulants which may be harmful. Haller: In an unregulated industry, there's really no way, except for anecdotal reports, to find out what's dangerous and what isn't. The FDA only intervenes when numerous adverse effects had been reported.
Narrator: To play it safe, Haller recommends letting your doctor know exactly what you're taking. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.