Health and Herbal Supplements “Supersafe” Compared to Prescription Drugs

Are you more likely to die from taking common medication than from taking health supplements?

Based on a report by the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl), a UK-based organization that supports natural healthcare, the answer would be a resounding “Yes!”

The non-governmental organization collected data in Europe and reported that compared to taking health and herbal supplements, you are

Health and Herbal Supplements "Supersafe" Compared to Prescription Drugs797,940 times more likely to die from smoking, 293,006 times more likely to die from preventable medical injuries in a UK hospital or from being in active military service in Iraq or Afghanistan, and 62,000 times more likely to die from taking pharmaceutical drugs.

Smoking, military service in Iraq and preventable medical injuries in UK hospitals have been classified as ‘dangerous,’ with a 1 in 1,000 risk of death; while herbal medicines and food supplements are in the ‘supersafe’ category, with less than 1 in 10 million risk of death. In fact, you’re more likely to die from being struck by lightning or drowning in your own bathtub.

In the US, 69% of adults take health supplements. According to the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, of the 60 billion doses of nutritional supplements taken each year by Americans, there is not one recorded death.

According to Dr. Robert Verkerk, scientific director of ANH-Intl, their report “puts some real perspective on the actual risk of death posed by food supplements and herbal remedies at a time when governments are clamping down because they tell us they’re dangerous.”

Health and Herbal Supplements "Supersafe" Compared to Prescription DrugsWith statistics showing health supplements to be safe, why all the warnings on the dangers of health and herbal supplements? The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set overly-strict requirements for supplement manufacturers to prove the safety of their product ingredients, asserting their danger and the need to protect consumers. On the other hand, pharmaceutical drugs are quickly approved with less stringent testing. This is in spite of the recorded 125,000 deaths per year in the US brought about by the intake of prescribed drugs. The US Poison Data System lists analgesics, sedatives, hypnotics, and antipsychotics as the drugs that are most likely to cause death. These are followed by cardiovascular drugs, opioids, acetaminophen combinations and antidepressants. Not far down the list are other familiar drugs such as muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs, hormones, antacids, anticoagulants, and antihistamines.

Prescription drugs are now a growing lethal threat, probably overtaking illegal drug overdose. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the number of deaths from pain reliever overdose to be greater than the number of deaths from heroin and cocaine combined.

Many are still not aware of the ever-present risk in taking drugs, even in prescribed dosages. Knowing how dangerous pharmaceutical drugs are, take responsibility for your health in order to avoid having to take them. Keep healthy by eating the right foods, getting enough exercise, reducing exposure to harmful chemicals in our environment and managing stress.

If the need for you to take any kind of drug arises, know the risks and weigh them against the benefits. Awareness is the key to deciding what’s best for your body and your health.