a consumer reports an incident where it is believed that ingestion
of a substance may have caused an undesirable side effect, it is
referred to as an adverse event report (AER). Each AER serves to
signal the possibility of toxicity or contamination. If a significant
number of AERs are reported about a particular substance, manufacturers
or government regulators may choose to recall a product or ingredient
that is believed to be unsafe.
risk of an adverse event, particularly a serious one, resulting
from a dietary supplement taken within recommended dosages is extremely
low. Only about 100 AERs are reported every year, many unsubstantiated
as legitimate. In contrast, over 600,000 are reported each year
for prescription drugs that are serious enough to result in a trip
to the hospital. Nonetheless, keeping track of adverse events associated
with dietary supplements is desirable.