In a recent American Medical Association newsletter under the Leading the News headline were these three news links on the results of studies on energy supplements such as the ones reported on recently in The Sun Times.

ABC News (7/24) reports on its website that “calls to poison control centers in the US” caused by “exposures to dietary supplements rose by nearly 50 percent between 2005 and 2012,” according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology. The study said that “a majority of those calls involved children,” and the authors support increased FDA regulation “for certain supplements that were associated with high amounts of toxicity.”

This is the article in its entirety. A new study found calls to poison control centers in the U.S. due to exposures to dietary supplements rose by nearly 50 percent between 2005 and 2012, and that a majority of those calls involved children being exposed to supplements.
The report, published Friday in the Journal of Medical Toxicology, called for an increase in regulation by the Food and Drug Administration for certain supplements that were associated with high amounts of toxicity.
Researchers combed through all calls that were made to poison control centers in the U.S. related to dietary supplement exposure between 2000 to 2012, and also found that the majority of supplement exposure calls (70 percent) involved children 6 years old and under.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ Chief Women’s Health Correspondent shared some tips on “Good Morning America” today to help keep your children safe from accidental exposures to dietary supplements, advising parents to treat supplements like prescription medicines, and keep them far away from children.
She adds that you should never assume that just because something is “natural” that it is safe.
Ashton recommends keeping a poison control center phone number handy in your home, and if you do suspect your child has accidentally ingested supplements, to never induce vomiting without speaking to poison control authorities first.

        CBS News (7/24, Welch) reports, “Seventy percent of the calls involved children younger than 6 years old,” and the majority of cases “were unintentional, occurring when children swallowed supplements they found at home.” Additionally, approximately “4.5 percent of the time — more than 12,300 cases — serious medical complications occurred.”
        NBC News (7/24, Charles) reports “researchers singled out yohimbe tree bark extract as the latest in a long list of dangerous substances that children are accidentally ingesting.” It is noted as being particularly dangerous because it “had the largest proportion of serious outcome and has been found to cause heart beat rhythm changes and kidney failure in children.” Yohimbe is most often used “to treat erectile dysfunction in men and low libido in women, even though there is scant evidence that it works.” The FDA “has received reports of seizures and kidney failure associated with yohimbe consumption.”

        CNN (7/24, Knight) reports that “ma huang, yohimbe, homeopathic agents and energy drinks” were found to be the “most dangerous supplements.”

These stories seem to support the recent stories Jacque Martin has been reporting on in The Sun Times regarding a student who was given an energy product without knowledge or consent from the student’s parents.