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Supplements stay on shelves despite presence of drugs

Supplements, ranging from herbal concoctions to vitamin and mineral replacement therapies, are big business. You can tell that just by walking through the right aisle of any grocery store or pharmacy in the country.

However, a lot of people question if they're really getting what they pay for when they buy them. There have been numerous investigations in the past that have examined the quality, composition and claims of herbal and dietary supplements. As it turns out, people may actually be getting more than they expect in their over-the-counter supplements -- many were contaminated with drugs of one kind or another.

Government studies between 2007-2016 detected almost 800 different supplements available for purchase that were contaminated with all manner of other drugs -- including amphetamines. And that may only be a drop in the bucket. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that there are around 85,000 different supplements for sale in the United States.

The FDA is actually unable to order the recall of supplements the way that many people might think. Instead, if it detects a tainted product, they can issue a public warning or suggest a recall of the products. However, in most cases, products end up remaining on the shelves since manufacturers decline the recalls.

Researchers looking into the records available to the public from FDA studies, however, were able to note some similarities between the majority of the tainted supplements. The products were mostly promising weight loss, help with male sexuality or muscle enhancement capability. This knowledge might help consumers know which supplements to avoid.

Contamination increases the danger of supplements -- which is considerable. It's estimated that around 23,000 people each year end up at a hospital due to problems caused by supplements. Around 10 percent of them end up admitted.

If you are injured due to a defective or contaminated drug, it's important to understand your legal rights. The damage to your life can be considerable, so do what you can to protect yourself.

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