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Lifestyle Supplements – a risk worth taking ?

lifestyle supplements
To take or not to take – that is the question


Eighty per cent of people who make a New Year’s Resolution fail by February.  As Easter looms most of us with good intentions cast an eye at all the chocolate on offer!

However, for some the attraction of being healthier, fitter and often thinner becomes an all encompassing quest.  We all want to be fitter, healthier and slimmer –  but at what cost?

A ‘Quick Fix’ Or Something More Sinister?

Sadly the old adage of move more and eat less seems to be going out of fashion. Many people are turned to ‘quick fix’ solutions like powders and tablets. These are there not only to help in the battle of the bulge but also as an attempt to feel fitter and healthier.  Dietary supplements are no longer the preserve of the sick or extreme bodybuilders. Many of us take vitamins and supplements to support our health and lifestyle.

However reported issues of people suffering adverse reactions to over the counter tablets, skin agents or lotions are on the rise. At times these products can be defective, carry improper or insufficient warnings or even include off label ingredients.  The effects of defective products can be extremely serious including liver problems, strokes, fertility issues.

Green Tea Supplements

One product featured in the news at the moment is that of the Green Tea supplement which is advertised as a weight loss aid. see the link here.  This has lead to reports of liver problems and even of two alleged deaths.  Other deaths and illnesses have been reported from people suffering unexpected consequences from combining different products .  See the article here . Several deaths have also been reported from the drug DNP a diet pill  – the article is here

It is clear that this is not an issue of one product in particular causing problems. Instead it seems widespread throughout the industry.  It is important to consider carefully any lifestyle supplement, in the same way we would carefully consider consuming any other drug.  The attempt to be healthier is a good quest but should not be life threatening or life endangering.

Lifestyle Supplements – Natural Doesn’t Always Mean Good – Do You Know What They Contain?

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has recently issued a warning about a skin treatment cream. It is described as ‘natural’ and is called Yiganerjing Cream and is advertised as a Chinese product for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.  Yiganerjing Cream is not a licensed medicine but was found to contain two anti fungals and steroids which were not listed on the ingredients.  Whilst this product has now been withdrawn from many online websites, many people who bought it may still be using it unaware of its contents.

The MHRA has issued guidance for checking whether a ‘natural’ i.e. non-traditional medicine is from a reputable source. They urge that if you are unsure about the safety of a medicine claiming to be “natural” or “herbal” that you check for a Marketing Authorisation (MA) or Product Licence (PL) number or Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) number or logo.

Guidance is available here

Are Lifestyle Supplement Products Reputable – Do You Know Where They Come From?

Making the news recently is the case of a thirty year old man from Cheltenham found guilty of and imprisoned for illegally importing and distributing medicines.  The MHRA investigators seized 80,000 doses of drugs for slimming, erectile dysfunction and steroids. They had an estimated street value of almost £40,000.  These medications were imported illegally from abroad. They were then sold on through the internet and social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.  Officers from the MHRA are currently leading a #fakemeds online campaign to raise awareness.  These fake drugs may be useless for their intended purpose. At worse they could be dangerous.

The article is here

Precautions To Take – What Can You Practically Do?

Here we set out some commons sense guidelines for taking supplements:

  • Do I need to take the supplement? Could the same aim be met by following a ‘normal’ diet or just spending a little more time on my goal?
  • Do I have reliable information about what it is I am taking?
  • Should I speak with a doctor before using this product?
  • Do I know the potential side effects? Are they worth the potential good effects?
  • Do I know the instructions for following the supplement?
  • Do I know the contraindications?
  • Am I buying the supplement from a reliable source?
  • Is there a label of ingredients?
  • Are the products accredited with a Marketing Authorisation (MA) number, Product Licence (PL) number or a Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) number or logo?

After you have got medical attention following problems from a lifestyle supplement? – What Next?

Next it is time to consider obtaining expert legal help and advice.

Corries Solicitors have a dedicated team of specialist product liability solicitors. We are experts in issues resulting from the use of faulty products. This team of enthusiastic and highly trained specialists have a proven track record dealing with high profile litigation. We have been successful with claims for PIP faulty breast implants, faulty metal on metal hips and other failed medical products. Corries understand that at times there may be a reluctance to talk about problems resulting from lifestyle supplements. We know there may be embarrassment about the desired goal or the problem to be solved.

We are a team who will understand your situation and guide you through the process of making a claim.  Our team appreciate that claims involving lifestyle issues can be distressing. We assure you of our total care and discretion at all times.

No solicitor offers more than we do, we offer a personal service, we are open and straightforward with all of our clients.  We always get you the best compensation we can.

We offer a ‘No Win, No Fee’ service, CONTACT US TODAY – Call us now on  0800 655 6550

The article about failed new year resolutions is here


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