In a recent small study, it was determined that bodybuilding and weight loss products are the types of dietary supplements that are most likely to cause liver injuries. The study, funded by the United States Drug – Induced Liver Injury Network, reviewed 109 cases of patients who appeared to have suffered liver injuries and tried to determine the causative effect. Each of the patients were known to have taken a dietary or herbal supplement for bodybuilding or weight loss. For this study group, most of the patients were white males and generally overweight.
Significantly, these types of supplements are used by an estimated 40% of the United States population. And these types of supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So for many of these products, little is known about the potential side effects.
The results of this small study are scheduled to be released at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in San Diego this week. The early information on the study results have indicated that bodybuilding and weight-loss products are actually the types of dietary supplements most likely to cause liver injury. Although the study does not definitively prove that the supplements actually cause liver damage, these types of results may provide enough information to the government to target this industry regulatory oversight. We should be quick to point out that the information and conclusions presented at this conference would not necessarily be considered authoritative until properly published in a peer-reviewed journal.