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Dietary supplements are bad for kids

If you want a perfect beach body by the official start of summer, you might want to think twice about heading to the pharmacy to achieve that goal.

New research shows that dietary supplements, while a popular choice for people looking to build up muscle, lose weight, or get an energy boost, can be very dangerous — especially for children, teenagers, and young adults. A study, published on Wednesday in the Journal of Adolescent Health, took a look at reports to the Food and Drug Administration that related to dietary supplements and vitamins.

977 cases involving adolescents and vitamins or supplements were reported to the FDA between 2004 and 2015, NBC News reported, all of which resulted in a medical visit of some kind. About 40 percent of the reported cases involved "trips to an emergency room, hospitalization, disability, or death."

The study's authors suggest that two things might have gone wrong in these cases: Either the supplements contained dangerous ingredients that weren't listed on the package, or they may have been consumed in combination with other types of medications, which could cause a harmful interaction.

The number of cases the study saw are just "a very small fraction of a very big problem in public health," said Flora Or, the study's lead author. Because the study relied on cases reported to the FDA, it's likely that many more cases went unreported because the connection to dietary supplements wasn't made.

The study's authors advise that it's best to take supplements, like any medication, with the advice of a doctor. Read more at NBC News.