Can A Headline Hurt You?

Can A Headline Hurt You?

Here’s one that was recently put forth by Reuters yet another news company that, like the New York Times, feels compelled to masquerade as the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Herbal and dietary supplements tied to liver damage”

The headline paints all supplements with a broad stroke . “Watch out” it says. Those supplements in your kitchen or medicine cabinet might ruin your liver. And, how do people react to such a shocking revelation? Most won’t read the whole story. They’ll just stop taking them…all.

Let’s look at the article closely.

Ms. Rappaport reports on a study by Dr. Navarro published in the Journal Hepatology. She points out that up to half of all Americans take some sort of vitamin or supplement and that 1 in 5 cases of liver disease results from taking supplements. Sounds like scary odds to me.

She goes on to say that most of the liver damage caused by supplements falls into 2 categories; steroids (like the ones athletes use to bulk up) and weight loss remedies. There’s no link between vitamins, health supplements and liver damage.

In fact, buried in the story she quotes Dr. Navarro as saying; “Overall, liver injury from supplements is rare.” So what’s the beef and, why isn’t the headline instead:

“Most Supplements Are Found To Be Safe.”

It’s because there’s no sensationalism, no fear causation and no money in printing such a drab headline.

And, if Ms. Rappaport really wanted to be totally truthful, she would have pointed out that two of the biggest culprits of liver damage are alcohol and acetaminophen (Tylenol).

That’s right. Tylenol can damage your liver, especially if you take too much of it, as can happen when taking multiple medications for pain, colds, flu or sinus problems. 

The bottom line is only take medications (vitamins and supplements) that you truly need. And, before you take anything for a long time, discuss it with your doctor and make sure the source is reliable.

Please let us know as well, if you’re taking a vitamin or supplement.  If you’ve been having trouble with inflammation in your gums or contemplating surgery such as implants, we might make some supplement recommendation.

Most important of all, find the cause of the problem you are trying resolve with the vitamins supplements and all medications. Relieving the cause might reduce your reliance on a pill, as will a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables.

To Everyone’s Good Health and Wellness,


P.S.  Update:  The October 27, Mouth-Body Wellness seminar has sold out.  There are 2 dates in November available.  Go to: