by Andrew W. Saul
(OMNS, Jan 12, 2016) Not only are there no deaths from vitamins, but there are also no deaths from supplements, minerals, amino acids and herbs. The most recent (2014) information collected by the U.S. National Poison Data System, and published in the journal Clinical Toxicology (1), shows no deaths whatsoever from dietary supplements across the board.
No deaths from minerals
There were zero deaths from any dietary mineral supplement. This means there were no fatalities from calcium, magnesium, chromium, zinc, colloidal silver, selenium, iron, or multimineral supplements. Reported in the “Electrolyte and Mineral” category was a fatality from the medical use of “Sodium and sodium salts” and another fatality from non-supplemental iron, which was clearly and specifically excluded from the supplement category.
No deaths from any other nutritional supplement
Additionally, there were zero deaths from any amino acid or single-ingredient herbal product. This means no deaths at all from blue cohosh, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava, St. John’s wort, valerian, yohimbe, Asian medicines, ayurvedic medicines, or any other botanical. There were zero deaths from creatine, blue-green algae, glucosamine, chondroitin, or melatonin. There were zero deaths from any homeopathic remedy.
But when in doubt, blame a supplement. Any supplement.
There was one death attributed to a “Multi-Botanical Without Ma Huang or Citrus Aurantium.” It is interesting that they knew what was not in it but did not know what was in it. This is hearsay at best, and scaremongering at worst. There was one death alleged from some “Unknown Dietary Supplement or Homeopathic Agent.” This, too, indicates complete lack of certainly as to what may or may not have been involved. One fatality was attributed to “Energy Products: Unknown.” First of all, energy drinks or “products” are not nutritional supplements. But more importantly, how can an accusation be based on the unknown? Equally unscientific are the two deaths attributed to “Energy Products: Other.” Well, what products were they? These are no more than vague, unsubstantiated allegations. Claiming causation without even knowing what substance or ingredient to accuse is baseless.
The truth: no man, woman or child died from any nutritional supplement. Period.
Mowry JB, Spyker DA, Brooks DE et al. (2015) 2014 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 32nd Annual Report, Clinical Toxicology, 53:10, 962-1147.
The lengthy, full text article is also available for free download here
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Editorial Review Board:
Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Jeffrey A. Ruterbusch, DO (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)