Clean Eating
Clean Eating

Unhealthy Ingredients in Diet Supplements to Avoid

by Rowan Marley 3 years ago in diet / list

These are some seriously unhealthy ingredients in diet supplements to avoid.

Unhealthy Ingredients in Diet Supplements to Avoid

If you've gone to a dietician, you've probably been warned against diet supplements. However, you probably already know that there are healthy and unhealthy ingredients in diet supplements out there. That also means there are tons of unhealthy ingredients in diet supplements to avoid — if you value your health.

Healthy diet supplements often involve boosts of protein, green tea, and vitamins. In other words, these supplements are often found in food and are made to help encourage overall health and wellness rather than weight loss in most cases.

Unhealthy ingredients in diet supplements are way more common, and they're often are focused on weight loss. In some cases, they're just bad for your wallet and give you the jitters. In other cases, they can end up with a trip to the hospital - or even the morgue.

You might wonder how unhealthy or fraudulent diet supplements even make it onto the market. After all, the FDA was made to test out medicines and food, and they wouldn't just turn a blind eye to this stuff, right?

Well, not quite. The fact is that diet supplements aren't regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is why many dangerous dietary supplements are on the market - and why no one actually seems to notice.

So, if you take diet pills or other similar dietary supplements, make sure your supplementation is healthy by taking a look at our list of unhealthy ingredients diet supplements to avoid.


When it comes to unhealthy ingredients in diet supplements, we might as well start off with one of the few that has been actively banned by the FDA. Ephedra has been linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

Because of multiple deaths, many dietary supplements that had ephedra or ephedra-like ingredients have been investigated and later banned by the FDA. Similarly bad ingredients in diet pills include Phen-phen and Bitter Orange.


Also known as larrea divaricata, larreastat, and Cresote Bush, many people use chaparral supplements as a way to bolster health during bouts of cancer. It's also been known to soothe rashes, and is an active ingredient in many weight loss diet pills. It sounds great, right?

There's a reason why chaparral ended up on this list of unhealthy diet supplements: multiple deaths have been linked to the use of chaparral.

Symptoms experienced by chaparral users include jaundice and kidney failure. Due to the damage chaparral can unleash on people's livers and kidneys, the FDA advises against using this supplement.


This dandelion-like plant is a favorite among herbalists who use remedies. It's known to reduce symptoms of bronchitis and alleviate coughing. However, it's also a chart topper on many lists of unhealthy ingredients in diet supplements to avoid.

As good as it may be for cough relief, Coltsfoot also causes liver and kidney damage. At least one person has been hospitalized from using Coltsfoot in the past, so you might not want to eat this herb.


Comfrey, when rubbed on certain body parts, gives you a soothing, gentle warmth that can help ease pain and joint issues. It's also been used to help treat menstrual cramps and also smells decently good.

However, you shouldn't eat it. Comfrey, when ingested, causes liver damage, kidney damage, and also could be a potential cancer-causer. In terms of unhealthy diet supplements, this one's bad...but only if you actually eat it.

As a result, it's one of the more unhealthy ingredients in diet supplements to avoid — but it also could have some benefits if you're just rubbing ointment with it on yourself.


Aconite is a plant that goes by a number of different names, including monkshood and wolfsbane. Sellers claim that this dietary supplement could potentially help users with issues arising from gout, inflammation, and joint pain—and to a point, that may be true.

However, aconite is called wolfsbane for a reason; it can kill large dogs. In fact, humans who ingest this often will experience nausea, dizziness, heart palpitations, and in larger doses, can easily die as well.

If you notice aconite as an ingredient to your health supplement, you're looking at one of the most dangerous and unhealthy diet supplements currently being sold.

Kava Kava

This is one of those unhealthy ingredients in diet supplements that should be obvious. People who ingest tea involving kava kava do so in order to alleviate stress. Yes, this is a mind-altering supplement that gives you a "sleepy, content" buzz.

However, that's not always good. Too much kava can cause you to fall asleep at the wheel. It also has been linked to liver damage and kidney damage, making it one of the more dangerous supplements on the market.

Obviously, this is one of those unhealthy ingredients diet supplements to avoid — if you don't want kidney damage.

Country Mallow

Country Mallow, also known as "silky white mallow," is a pretty common ingredient in a number of weight loss pills. Supplement makers also say that it's great for asthma, bronchitis, and nasal congestion.

Much like most other plants on this list, Country Mallow proves that you don't have to be "unnatural" in order to be one of the most unhealthy diet supplements. This plant's ingestion can lead to organ damage, organ failure, sleep disturbances, and death.

Scarily, Country Mallow is still legal, making it one of the most unhealthy ingredients in diet supplements to avoid that's widely available on the market. After all, those diet tips will only be worth it if you're still alive after the fact.

Rowan Marley
Rowan Marley
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Rowan Marley

Rowan Marley is a 20-year-old sports enthusiast who hails from Brooklyn. When he's not hitting up a local Zumba class, he's drinking organic smoothies. That's just how he rolls.

See all posts by Rowan Marley