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Some health supplements may be tainted with questionable substances

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  1. #1
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    Post Some health supplements may be tainted with questionable substances

    Some health supplements may be tainted with questionable substances
    By Darla Carter

    That supplement bottle promising to slim you down quickly, turn you into a stud or help you get buff without effort may be packing more than you bargained for.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent out alerts about nearly 300 tainted supplements since December 2007, and at least 190 of them have fallen into these three categories: weight loss, body building and sexual enhancement.

    Though marketed as dietary supplements, some actually contain the same active ingredients as prescription drugs, new chemicals whose safety is unknown or other problematic substances, the FDA recently reported.

    In testing, the FDA has found weight-loss products, such as Slimming Beauty and Solo Slim, that contained sibutramine, the active ingredient in a drug called Meridia that was recently withdrawn from the market because of increased heart attack and stroke risks.

    * Safety tips for supplement users

    It also turned up body building products, such as Tren Xtreme, containing anabolic steroids or steroid analogs that carry the risk of acute liver injury and increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death.

    In the sexual enhancement category, FDA has found products, such as Vigor-25 and Magic Power Coffee, with the same or similar active ingredient as erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra that could be dangerous to people who have cardiovascular disease.

    “These ingredients, generally undeclared in the labeling, can pose considerable dangers to consumers who may take these products without knowing that the ingredients are present, that the ingredients may be associated with serious side effects, or that they may interact in dangerous ways with other products consumers may be taking,” the FDA said in a Dec. 15 letter to supplement manufacturers.

    The idea of getting a prescription drug ingredient — potentially for less money — might sound attractive to some members of the public, but “you don't know what other kind of contaminants might be in it, and you don't know what amount, so the bargain you think you're getting isn't a bargain at all,” said Dr. Angela Sandlin, pharmacy director at Baptist Hospital Northeast in La Grange. “You're not getting a good deal. It might look like it or sound like it, and it might make you feel good in the short run, but it's going to cause you a problem in the long run.”

    Even products labeled as “natural” can have “just as many side effects and risks as if it were made in a lab — sometimes more so,” Sandlin said.

    Tainted supplements have been associated with serious health problems, such as strokes, acute liver injury, kidney failure, blood clots and death, according to the FDA.

    “The labeling of these tainted products may claim that they are ‘alternatives' to FDA-approved drugs, or ‘legal' alternatives to anabolic steroids,” FDA official Michael Levy said in a news release. But “consumers should avoid products marketed as supplements that claim to have effects similar to prescription drugs. Consumers should also be wary of products with labeling only in a foreign language or that are marketed through mass e-mails.”
    Quality controls

    Dietary supplements don't have to be approved by the FDA before marketing, but manufacturers and distributors are supposed to have proper manufacturing and quality assurance controls in place to ensure the quality of their products, according to the FDA. Criminal prosecution is possible as well as warning letters and product seizures.

    * Safety tips for supplement users

    In the FDA's recent letter, it asked firms to “understand and investigate their full supply chain and review their manufacturing and quality assurance activities to ensure the lawfulness, quality and safety of their products.”

    The letter also asked members of the industry to inform the FDA about any ingredients or finished products that might be tainted and to also report the manufacturers or distributors who market these products.

    Several associations representing the supplement industry joined FDA representatives on a recent conference call about the problem and pledged to support the FDA's efforts.

    The groups included the American Herbal Products Association, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the Natural Products Association and the United Natural Products Alliance. In a news release, they said they want to help “rid the market of illegal products that both pose a danger to consumers and tarnish the reputation of the legitimate supplement industry.”

    Meanwhile, the FDA has created an RSS feed to help better inform the public about tainted products. The public can subscribe to the electronic feed to be notified when the FDA puts out notices about tainted supplements.
    Talk to your doctor

    If you decide to take a supplement, don't forget to tell your health care provider, who might be able to help you avoid some problems, Sandlin said.

    “A lot of folks … forget to tell us about dietary supplements and over-the-counter drugs,” she said.

    Also, don't assume that if a prescription drug is too expensive for you that there isn't another way to cut costs besides taking a supplement, Sandlin said.

    For example, “if there isn't a generic, say, ‘What are my other choices?' ” she said. “Sometimes we can help you choose a product that might be in the (same) family. …. Get your pharmacist and your physician to help you kind of pursue that.”

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  2. #2
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    this doesn't scare me at all.....i honestly think there's more shit in out tap water than we know madison a few days ago, the water commission reported that chromium hex is present in samples right now.....that, along with all the prescription drugs that people flush and the estrogen that's in our wonder we're becoming a pussified nation
    please know and follow the laws of your country regarding aas

  3. #3
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    Yes, it may be some health supplement containes questionable substance, but we should have to go under physician guidance before applying these.

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