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Taking Natural Health Products - How Risky Is It?

posted on 12 July 2012 | posted in Health Articles


Despite the fact that European legislation is increasingly restrictive on what we can say about food supplements and also what we can buy to keep ourselves healthy (along with the most important thing - good food), we can now legitimately show that food supplements are the safest substances to which we are exposed to on a regular basis.

How risky is it? Well the Alliance of Natural Health consulted an independent expert in risk assessment, Ron Law based in New Zealand, to look at the figures for the UK. Where possible the data was taken from UK government and official sources. The results are very interesting. Whilst the data only includes risk of death from acute causes and not from chronic long-term exposure of any substance. However it does pose the question whether the amount of time and clamping down and heavy handedness with legislation is really proportionate to the risks. This Bubble Chart really illustrates the point well.

Alliance for Natural Health site eight key points from the relative risk data.Smoking still appears to be the single riskiest activity for a UK citizen.
  1. You're 797,940 times more likely to die from smoking than from taking a food supplement!
  2. A UK resident is 293,006 times more likely to die from a preventable medical injury than from taking a food supplement. For herbal medicines it's still 36,625 times more likely!
  3. Time as a patient in hospital poses a similar risk of death to active military service men and women in Iraq or Afghanistan!
  4. The risk of death from taking a pharmaceutical medicine in the UK is 62,000 times higher than that of taking food supplements.
  5. Your are almost twice as likely to die from taking a pharmaceutical drug than the risk of death from a motorcycle accident on UK roads
  6. The bar chart shows that both food supplements and herbal remedies can be regarded as 'supersafe', which means that they pose no threat as the risk of dying from being exposed to them is less than 1 in 10,000,000 people.
  7. Contrasting this, preventable medical injuries in UK hospitals are in the 'Dangerous" category. The risk of dying in hospital is greater than 1 in 1,000 and is comparable to smoking and dying in military active duty.
  8. People who live in the UK are about as likely to be killed on the London Underground or be hit by lightening than to die from taking nutritional supplements or herbs.
If you have an interest in preserving the right to be responsible for your own health, please tell others about this information and share this article. The more people know the truth about the safety of natural supplements and herbal remedies the harder it will be for claims to be believed that natural medicine is a danger to the public.