Liver damage attributed to dietary and herbal supplements has skyrocketed over the past decade, the Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network, or DILIN, says in a new study.
In a separate study, calcium supplements were found to benefit those with colon cancer.
Both studies were reported by The Natural Standard.
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The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases created the DILIN to gather and study cases of liver damage caused by over-the-counter drugs, prescribed drugs, as well as herbal and dietary supplements.
In the recent study, The Standard reported that 839 consecutive patients treated at eight DILIN centers with liver damage attributed to drugs or dietary supplements were studied between 2004 and 2013. Of the 839, 15.5 percent of all liver injuries, or 130 cases, were found to be caused by dietary and herbal supplements. Officials discovered that of the 130 cases, 45 could be linked to supplements often used in bodybuilding. Eighty-five were found to be caused by non-bodybuilding supplements.
During the period of the study, liver injuries attributed to use of dietary supplements jumped from 7 percent to 20 percent. Supplements used by bodybuilders were connected to jaundice found in young men, but the use did not cause any fatalities or lead to liver transplants.
The supplements not connected to bodybuilding training were used for the most part by women in middle-age, and led to death more frequently in comparison to liver injuries caused by drugs. Liver transplants also were more frequent when compared to liver injuries caused by drugs.
Researchers indicated there was a significant increase in liver injuries attributed to the use of herbal dietary supplements over the past decade – notably in people who took supplements for reasons other than bodybuilding.
In another study reported by The Standard, it was found that using calcium supplements could cut the risk of developing colon cancer.
Calcium is the mineral most abundant in our bodies and performs a number of vital functions. Nearly 100 percent of body calcium is found in the teeth and bones, where it works to support these structures. The other one percent of body calcium is found throughout our bodies in blood, muscles, and intracellular fluid.
Calcium is vital for the contraction of muscles and blood vessel relaxation and constriction. It also is needed for secretion of enzymes and hormones, as well as nervous system signaling. A constant calcium level is in body tissues and fluid, needed to ensure these function properly.
In the study, researchers performed a literature search through December 2013, looking for studies that reviewed the impacts of calcium intake on colon cancer risks.
Researchers said that with each 300 milligram hike in total daily calcium intake, colon cancer risk went down by around eight percent. When calcium supplements were consumed, officials found every 300 milligram hike was connected to a 9 percent reduction in colon cancer risk.
Researchers said that adding calcium to the diet, and as supplements, could decrease your risk of developing colon cancer.