December 7, 2021

Buying Supplements On the Internet Can be Risky

Dietary supplements are very popular in this country. However, Center for Science in the Public Interest is warning consumers that buying these products over the internet can be risky. First, many "testimonials" from "customers" are fake. The same "person" is usually used repeatedly by different companies, writing the same thing about different products. Second, free samples are offered if you give the company your credit card number. But the time frame for canceling the charge is too short for you to decide if the product works for you. These companies will hype scientific studies that "prove" their product is effective as advertised. But these studies are usually worthless, not adhering to the usual rigor applied to credible nutritional and medical studies. For instance, one … [Read more...]

Dietary Supplements Aren’t FDA Approved

For those trying to make good on New Year's resolutions to lose weight with the help of dietary supplements, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has some advice: beware. The FDA doesn’t evaluate supplements before they enter the market. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe. Unfortunately, not all of them do. In fact, many of these products contain undeclared ingredients that pose health hazards for those with certain medical conditions and interfere with prescription medications. Others have been found to contain banned drugs such as sibutramine, an ingredient in an FDA-approved drug called Meridia, which was removed from the market in October 2010 after being linked to  heart problems and strokes. The FDA has received dozens of reports … [Read more...]

After Deaths, FDA Mulls Action on Powdered Caffeine

After two young men died from taking powdered pure caffeine, the U.S. Food ad Drug Administration (FDA) issued a consumer advisory and is now mulling further action, according to Michael Landa, Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Eighteen-year-old, Logan James Stiner, a high school senior, athlete and prom king died days before his graduation in May after taking  powdered pure caffeine. James Wade Sweatt, 24, a newly married, recent graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham,  downloaded a conversion chart to try to calculate the proper dose but slipped into a coma after using powdered pure caffeine and later died. Both young men purchased the caffeine online where it is marketed like an energy-boosting dietary supplement rather than a stimulant. … [Read more...]

FDA Warns of Dietary Supplements with Live Yeast in Immunocompromised Persons

The FDA is warning those who are immunocompromised against taking dietary supplements that contain live bacteria or yeast and is warning healthcare providers about the use of these products in susceptible patients. A premature infant who was given ABC Dophilus Powder as part of an in-hospital treatment developed gastrointestinal mucormycosis caused by the mold Rhizopus oryzae and died. Rhizopus oryzae mold was found in an unopened container of the ABC Dophilus Powder. The FDA has sent a letter to healthcare providers around the country regarding this issue. That product was recalled on November 14, 2014 by the FDA for the mold. After the infant's death, FDA is telling healthcare providers that dietary supplements are not regulated as drugs by the FDA. They are not subject to FDA's … [Read more...]

Mixing Dietary Supplements and Meds Is a Danger

The Food and Drug Administration, in one of its Consumer Updates, reminds you that mixing medications and dietary supplements can endanger your heath. Robert Mozersky , a medical officer at the FDA said, "Some dietary supplements may increase the effect of your medication, and other dietary supplements may decrease it." Dietary supplements can change metabolism, absorption, and excretion of a medication and affect how it works. Mozerky added, "you may be getting either too much or too little of a medication you need." One example of a supplement that interacts with prescription medications is St. John's Wort. That supplement, which is often taken for depression, can make meds for HIV/AIDS, heart disease, depression, birth control pills, and treatments for organ transplants less … [Read more...]

Green Coffee Bean Supplement Maker Settles FTC Charges

The Federal Trade Commission has settled with Applied Food Sciences, Inc. on charges that it used the results of a flawed study to market baseless weight-loss claims about its green coffee extract. The FTC stated that the study was "so hopelessly flawed that no reliable conclusions could be drawn from it." The flawed study was promoted on the Dr. Oz Show. The settlement requires the company to pay $3.5 million and to have scientific substantiation for any future weight-loss claims it makes, including at least "two adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials." The company made the false claims to retailers, who repeated the claims to consumers. Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection said in a statement, "Applied Food Sciences knew or should have known … [Read more...]

FDA: Dietary Supplements Don’t Treat Concussions

Despite claims by some manufacturers, dietary supplements do not treat concussions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants consumers to know. Especially, parents of kids involved in football, soccer and other fall sports. A concussion is a traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by a blow to the head, or by violent shaking of the head or upper body. TBIs are serious medical conditions that require proper diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring by a health care professional, says the FDA, which is warning consumers to avoid dietary supplements that claim to prevent, treat, or more quickly heal concussions. "We're very concerned that false assurances of faster recovery will convince athletes of all ages, coaches and even parents that someone suffering from a concussion is ready … [Read more...]

FDA Issues Warning About Weight Loss Product Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen

Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen, a product marketed for weight loss and body shaping, contains one or more harmful pharmaceutical ingredients not listed on the label and should not be taken by consumers,  the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning.  The FDA has tested Zi Xiu Bee Pollen products from various distributors in the United States and all of them contain undeclared  sibutramine or phenolphthalein which have both been banned for their harmful side effects. The FDA has received dozens of reports of adverse effects associated with the use of this product including heart palpitations, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, chest pain, diarrhea, anxiety, insomnia,  suicidal thoughts, and seizure. Consumers who have experienced negative side effects while taking this … [Read more...]

StemAlive Capsules Recalled for Undeclared Milk

Stemvida International Corporation of Ontario, CA is recalling StemAlive capsules sold in 90-count bottles because they contains undeclared milk. People with an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk should not consume this product as they run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction. The product was packaged in a white plastic bottle with white lid. The brand name StemVida International appears on the white and gold label. It was distributed to the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. No illnesses have been reported to date. The lot number and expiration date is printed in black ink at the bottom of the label. The products under recall have the following lot numbers and expiration dates: … [Read more...]

FDA Commissioner’s Take on Caffeine in Food and Supplements

How much caffeine should be allowed in food, beverages and supplements? In August 2013, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an independent nonprofit organization, held a public workshop on that topic at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA). Today the IOM issued a 164-page summary about the workshop. The report does not make recommendations, but describes the risks associated with caffeine consumption and explores safe levels of consumption. The workshop was prompted by the sudden boom in caffeine-added products including gum, candy, snacks, energy drinks, supplements and bottled water. A safe level of caffeine has never been determined for those products. The only time the FDA has approved the use of added caffeine was for cola. That was in the 1950s. "In the … [Read more...]

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