One of the biggest gaps in healthcare oversight is the lack of attention paid to supplements and the claims made by their manufacturers. This excellent (and fair) overview from Vice provides useful insights on how supplement sales sharks use gaps in the law to sell their frequently unproven goods to a public that is perpetually in search of anything that will keep them from having to actually work to improve themselves.
Dietary supplements are a massive industry in the US. A whopping 150 million Americans use them every year, turning alternative medicine into a $34 billion industry. However, critics note that supplements are largely unregulated, leading to potentially dangerous health risks to unknowing consumers: Indeed, according to a 2015 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, injuries caused by dietary supplements lead to over 20,000 emergency room visits in the US per year—many of them related to cardiovascular issues, as was the case with Penney.
Dietary supplements do not require FDA approval before they’re sold to consumers; as a report from Consumer Reports found earlier this year, this means that basically anyone can create and market herbal diet pills—regardless of whether or not those pills contain harmful ingredients.
VICE: The Hidden Dangers Of ‘Herbal’ Diet Pills. http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwwtTihS4