Supplement Safety

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, October 14, 2009

No Deaths From Vitamins or Minerals

Poison Control Statistics Prove Supplements’ Safety

(OMNS, October 14, 2009) There was not even one death caused by a vitamin or dietary mineral in 2007, according to the most recent statistics available from the U.S. National Poison Data System. The 132-page annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers published in the journal Clinical Toxicology shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins; zero deaths from any of the B vitamins; zero deaths from vitamins A, C, D, or E; and zero deaths from any other vitamin. (1)

Additionally, there were no deaths whatsoever from any amino acid or herbal product. This means no deaths at all from blue cohosh, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava, St. John’s wort , valerian, yohimbe, Asian medicines, ayurvedic medicines, or any other botanical. There were zero deaths from creatine, blue-green algae, glucosamine, chondroitin, melatonin, or any homeopathic remedies.

Furthermore, there were zero deaths in 2007 from any dietary mineral supplement. This means there were no fatalities from calcium, chromium, zinc, colloidal silver, selenium, iron, or multimineral supplements. There was one death from chronic overdose of magnesium hydroxide, commonly known as the laxative/antacid milk of magnesia, and it was inappropriately listed in the “dietary supplement” reporting category. Nutritional supplements do not contain magnesium hydroxide.

No man, woman or child died from nutritional supplements. Period.

Over half of the U.S. population takes daily nutritional supplements. Even if each of those people took only one single tablet daily, that makes 154,000,000 individual doses per day, for a total of over 56 billion doses annually. Since many persons take more than just one vitamin or mineral tablet, the numbers are considerably higher, and the safety of nutritional supplements is all the more remarkable.

61 poison centers provide coast-to-coast data for the U.S. National Poison Data System, which is then reviewed by 29 medical and clinical toxicologists. In 2007, NPDS reported 1,597 fatalities from drugs and other ingested materials. Not one death was due to a vitamin or dietary mineral supplement.

If nutritional supplements are allegedly so “dangerous,” as the FDA and the news media so often claim, then where are the bodies?


  1. Bronstein AC, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR Jr, Green JL, Rumack BH, Heard SE; American Association of Poison Control Centers. 2007 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 25th Annual Report. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2008 Dec;46(10):927-1057. Full text article available for free download at Vitamins statistics are found in Table 22B, journal pages 1027-1028. Minerals are in the same table, page 1024.