Feature: Revealing the hidden dangers of dietary supplements – Science /AAAS

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News from Feature: Revealing the hidden dangers of dietary supplements – Science /AAAS:

Internist and amateur detective Pieter Cohen is outraged that some of the supplements on the market are unsafe.

Pieter Cohen’s brush with death came at a most inconvenient time: just as he was about to nail another menacing ingredient in a dietary supplement.

Hiking last August in New Hampshire with his wife and three children, Cohen, an internist at Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts, stumbled and fell. A rock punctured his left calf. “It was a little cut, but deep,” recalls his wife, Lauren Budding. By the next day, bacteria were coursing through Cohen’s bloodstream. The leg turned red and swelled. His blood pressure dropped precipitously. Cohen was rushed to a community hospital and soon after by ambulance to a trauma unit in Boston.

Doctors worked feverishly to stabilize him and stop the spread of infection. Over the next few days, the threat of death ebbed, though the risk that he would never walk normally remained. Cohen, meanwhile, fretted about the same matters he usually did: consumers, including his patients, who might be swallowing dietary supplements spiked with drugs. Bedbound and in searing pain, he asked fo……………. continues on Feature: Revealing the hidden dangers of dietary supplements – Science /AAAS

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