Poison Control Center Report
Proves Supplements Very Safe

By Arnold Gore

The American Association of Poison Control Centers has posted their annual report for 2005, the last year reported on their website _www.aapcc.org_ It shows again that dietary supplements are very safe. The total number of deaths loosely associated with dietary supplements was 27. Of these the highest concentration is for minerals including Potassium 4, Magnesium 2 and Sodium 2. These minerals are often used in the treatment and prevention of Heart Disease.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics of the Center for Disease Control, HEART DISEASE was the leading cause of death in 2004, the last year on their website _ responsible for over 654,000 deaths. Some of these patients used supplements and supplements cannot guarantee that everyone can be saved.
Melatonin, a hormone related to sleep appeared to be associated with 4 deaths. This is the first mention of Melatonin since 2001. There have been numerous studies in the medline database referring to studies published in Medical Journals that indicate Melatonin has some anti-oxidant properties and has been used successfully in treatment of cancer, epilepsy seizures associated with the sleep cycle and some psychiatric disorders. Thousands died from these conditions and Supplements are not a guarantee of survival. The remaining numbers are low single digit numbers, widely distributed so as to indicate that all of these numbers are probably random statistical reporting errors without any significance.
These consistently low numbers are in marked contrast to the record of Adverse Events attributable to prescription drugs. The Journal of the American Medical Association of April 15,1998;295(5):1200-1205 reported that there were 106,000 deaths attributable to prescription drugs. These were not overdoses or medical errors, giving the wrong drug to the wrong patient, but drugs properly prescribed and taken as directed. Unfortunately drugs have not gotten any safer. In the April 12,2003 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine,2003;348:1556-64, researchers from Harvard related hospitals and the Harvard School of Public Health, performed a prospective study of outpatients who received at least 1 prescription drug. Of 661 patients replying to the follow up survey (55% of the sample), 25% had adverse drug reactions. Of these 13% were considered serious. Very often frightened patients use dietary supplements precisely because they are more natural and safer than prescription drugs. This year the format of the Poison Control Report includes a brief narrative description of some of the deaths 1261 deaths brought to the attention of the American Association of Poison Control Centers for 2005. This was 2.14% of the deaths. From the samples given I was not able to corroborate most of the 27 incidents associated with supplements. Only 2 incidents were described the 1 ephedra, and 1 Ferrous Sulfate-an iron supplement, but that case was classified a suicide attempt, but the others might not have been selected to be described in the report.



This Site Served by TheHostPros