Supplements Lead to 20000 ER Visits

By: Annamaria Pagani


This article is written by Anahad O'Connor on October 14, 2015. The source of this article is the New York Times, which is easily accessible to the public community. A study was conducted that concluded that some dietary supplements led to injuries that caused 20,000 people to go to the ER. Some critics claimed that there was too little of regulation on these supplements to ensure the consumer's safety. However, the makers of the supplements stated that those injuries found were not a very big percentage of the major injuries that brought people into the ER. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted this study for a period of 10 years. The study ended up finding that most of the people visiting the ER from these supplements were younger people. The supplements that caused about half of the trouble were ones that helped with weight loss or energy. This could be a possibility because these types of supplements are altered in such a way to make them toxic for the body. They do not have to be approved by the FDA, which clearly has caused many problems.

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Anahad O'Connor is an author for the Science and Health and Wellness blog for the New York Times. After graduating from Yale with a degree in psychology and a focus in neuroscience and children's studies, O'Connor began writing for the New York Times in 2003. He has also written four books. Two of his books, "Never Shower in a Thunderstorm" and Lose It! The Personalized Weight Loss Revolution," both became bestsellers. I believe that O'Connor is a very credible author. The New York Times does not just hire any person. They have very high standards for their authors. The New York Times is a source that publishes articles that are internationally influenced and it is distributed throughout the world. They have a reputation of being a very credible source. Although the New York Times can sometimes have a liberal side to it, they pride themselves on having authors that see both sides of issues. When it comes to the article itself, the information is coming from scientific evidence. There are many facts about the study and credible administrations that are stated within the article. Some of the administrations mentioned are The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study that is incorporated into the article was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The article states different statistics that help readers visualize and better understand what the point of the study is. The conclusion of the study is very easy to follow and straightforward. However, there are a couple things that are unclear. They did not get into specifics about which weight loss and energy supplements were being used for the patients in the ER. There could have been one specific brand causing the problem. Another thing that was unclear is the medical history of these patients being admitted. They could have already had health problems that effected their reaction to the supplements. Other than that, the study was very informative and really stressed the fact that the FDA needs to have stricter regulations.

Works Cited

O'Connor, A. (2015, October 14). Dietary Supplements Lead to 20,000 E.R. Visits Yearly, Study Finds. Retrieved April 01, 2016, from