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Supplements You Should Give Up in 2022, Say Dietitians

Many supplements do not provide their touted benefits, and may actually have a negative impact on health.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Supplements can be an integral source of nutrients helping individuals avoid deficiencies, and some may even help offset illness, improve athletic performance, and reduce the risk of disease.

While this describes the beneficial supplement on the market, there are many supplements available that do not provide much benefits, and, in fact, may actually have a negative impact on health.

The supplement industry is massive, and while there are regulations and guidelines for manufacturers to follow, there is not much rigorous oversight for each product produced. For that reason, it is important to use discretion when choosing supplements and speak with your physician about possible interactions with medications and health concerns.

Read on to learn about four popular supplements that dietitians believe aren't worth taking, and for more on how to eat healthy, don't miss 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

Apple cider vinegar

apple cider vinegar
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Also known as ACV, this condiment turned supplement burst onto the scene a few years ago with claims of weight loss and lowering blood sugar and cholesterol. While there is a body of research that evaluates these claims, and there have been some positive results, much of the research conducted is considered to be low quality.

Anecdotally, there are many people who find ACV to be a beneficial supplement, and use it daily; however, current research does not support the health benefits often attributed to ACV.

The good news is there likely isn't much downside to taking this supplement as long as it is consumed at a concentration of 20% or less and you are following portion sizes listed on and the supplement facts and nutrition panels. Consumed in higher amounts, however, apple cider vinegar could lead to tooth erosion, skin irritation, and low potassium levels.

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Green tea supplements

green tea supplements
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While there are positive attributes associated with drinking green tea, like antioxidants, there are many health claims made by green tea supplement manufacturers that are not supported by current research. Green tea supplements often make claims related to aiding in weight loss and reducing cancer risk, but current scientific studies do not support these claims to the extent they are often made.

For instance, while we do know antioxidants can reduce free radicals in the body, and therefore may reduce cancer risk, the research related to green tea supplements reducing cancer risk is currently inconclusive, and The National Cancer Institute does not recommend for or against green tea when used in efforts to reduce cancer risk. This means while there is likely little downside to enjoying green tea and green tea supplements, it also may not live up to the hype it claims.

Additionally, green tea extracts have not been shown to lead to significant weight loss in overweight and obese adults; however, it does not appear to produce any negative side effects either.

READ MORE: What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Green Tea

Vitamin A supplements

vitamin a supplement
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This fat-soluble, antioxidant vitamin is a necessary micronutrient and plays a significant role in eye health. While it is important to consume adequate amounts of this nutrient, taking a vitamin A supplement may actually be harmful, especially when consumed in conjunction with a diet adequate in vitamin A and a multivitamin that also contains vitamin A.

Luckily, vitamin A is easily found in common foods, like fortified cereals, dairy products, and fruits and vegetables, and most people will consume adequate amounts through dietary sources. Consuming too much vitamin A can cause birth defects in pregnant women and is also documented to lead to nausea, headaches, coma, and even death. While there may be certain conditions where a vitamin A supplement is appropriate, like for those with cystic fibrosis, it is best to speak with your physician before taking a vitamin A supplement due to its concerning side effects when consuming in too high amounts.

Raspberry ketones

Woman holding berries and pills on grey background
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These naturally occurring compounds contribute to the aroma of fruits such as raspberries, cranberries, and blackberries, and are thought to reduce appetite and contribute to weight loss. Because the number of raspberry ketones found in fruit is quite low, manufacturers have made synthetics forms in a lab to produce concentrated supplements that tout weight loss benefits.

Some rodent studies do suggest supplementing raspberry ketones may reduce appetite and lessen weight gain compared to the animals that were not given the supplement; however, the amount of raspberry ketones administered in these studies is far more than one would get from food or a supplement. Because few studies have been conducted in humans, much less at the amounts that seem to provide weight loss benefit, you may be better off skipping the raspberry ketone supplements.

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Kelsey Hampton, MS, CSSD, RDN, LD
Kelsey is a Texas-based dietitian and professor who specializes in sports nutrition. Read more about Kelsey