Tainted Vitamins: Protect Yourself - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Tainted Vitamins: Protect Yourself

Posted: Updated:

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - The FDA recently issued a recall after steroids were found in one brand of supplements. However, there are some things you can do to keep you and your family safe.

The choices are endless.

"I think for consumers , it is really a challenge," Kenneth Spaeth, MD, MPH, Director of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, North Shore-LIJ Health System, told Ivanhoe.

It's a challenge to find vitamins and supplements that work and won't hurt you.

"I think that's how you really empower yourself," Lynn Fuchs, consumer, told Ivanhoe.

"I would rather pay the extra dollar in case there's a problem," Marc Bendeth, consumer, told Ivanhoe.

Dr. Kenneth Spaeth recently noticed a problem. About 20 of his patients, who were taking the same brand and type of supplements, were all getting sick. Some men lost their libido. Some women's voices became deeper and they grew facial hair.

"They didn't know what was happening to them," Dr. Spaeth said.

Dr. Spaeth said he suspected that three Healthy Life Chemistry Supplements—B-50, multi-mineral, and vitamin c—all had contaminants and the signs were consistent with the presence of steroids. His suspicions led to a national recall.

Howard Chasser owns a health food store and says that you need to be careful.

"There are some bad players out there like any other industry," Chasser said.

Chasser offered three safety tips: first, choose a well-known brand. There are brands that contract the manufacturing process out, but many companies that do this have significantly less control over the quality of their products.

Also, do your research. If the bottle said "manufactured for," then you can start by calling the contractor for information on raw materials used.

"Ask questions," Chasser said, and also be critical. If the claims on the bottle sound too good to be true, Chasser said, they probably are.

"There's no magic pill," Chasser explained.

Dr. Spaeth advised to always check with your doctor before taking any vitamin or supplement.

You can find out more about the vitamin recall at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm363374.htm.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

BACKGROUND: The FDA announced that most of the vitamins marketed by Purity First Health First Products Inc. are subject to voluntary recall for containing anabolic steroids.  The Long Island owner, Candice Tripp, who ran Purity First for years, was asked by the FDA to voluntarily recall her Healthy Life Chemistry B-50 vitamins in the 100-capsule container from the market.  Now, the voluntary recall has expanded to include her 200-capsule multi-mineral product and the 200-capsule containers of vitamin C.  The FDA isolated two anabolic steroids in the B-50 vitamins, dimethazine and methasterone.  Methasterone can cause physiological harm and is also a Class III controlled substance, meaning it carries a moderate risk of physical or psychological dependence. (Source: http://www.newsday.com/news/health/recall-of-purity-first-vitamins-widens-1.5821131)

DOCTOR SPAETH:  Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, director of occupational and environmental medicine at the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, linked the vitamins to the illnesses in February 2013.  He notified the FDA and local health authorities.  He diagnosed anabolic steroid-related symptoms in 20 patients.  The additional nine were reported as adverse events to the FDA.  Women reported a loss of menstrual periods, hair loss and lowering of their voices.  Men reported a loss of libido and low testosterone.  Patients ranged from 12 to 75.  "It's time to have a broader discussion about the safety and quality of supplements," Dr. Spaeth was quoted as saying.  An earlier study found that dietary supplements account for more than half of the FDA's major recalls between 2004 and 2012.  (Source:http://www.newsday.com/news/health/recall-of-purity-first-vitamins-widens-1.5821131

WAYS TO STAY SAFE:  Howard Chasser, owner of Jandi's Natural Market, says one way to stay safe is to search the consumerlabs.com website because they do 3rd party independent testing.  The Natural Products Association website also has good consumer dietary supplement information.  Also, he says to ask questions like:

  1. Is the product manufactured by or for the brand?
  2. Is the company that manufactures the product GMP certified?  If they are, it means that they adhere to quality manufacturing processes established and enforced by the FDA.
  3. Do they do raw materials testing?  Could you get me a copy of a raw materials testing sheet for the product I am interested in?
  4. Do they do finished product testing?  Could you get me a copy of a finished products testing sheet for the product I am interested in?
  5. Does it sound too good to be true?  If so, it almost always is.  Dietary supplement companies are not allowed to make unsubstantiated claims for their products.  The FTC and FDA have enforcement powers given to them by the enactment of DSHEA (The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994) by congress to go after companies that break the law. (Source: Howard Chasser)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Howard Chasser
Owner of Jandi's Natural Market
(516) 536-5535
howard@jandis.com

  • Medical News HeadlinesMedical News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Growing Stem Cells In Space?

    Growing Stem Cells In Space?

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:15:09 GMT
    Hemorrhagic stroke is responsible for more than 30 percent of all stroke deaths. It happens when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain.more>>
    Hemorrhagic stroke is responsible for more than 30 percent of all stroke deaths. It happens when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain.more>>
  • New Laser Treatment Stops Some Epileptic Seizures

    New Laser Treatment Stops Some Epileptic Seizures

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:00:21 GMT
    More than two million adults in the United States have epilepsy and 150,000 more will develop the condition each year. Usually, medication can control seizures, but about 30 percent of patients do not respond. Now, patients have a new treatment option that uses lasers to stop the seizures.
    more>>
    More than two million adults in the United States have epilepsy and 150,000 more will develop the condition each year. Usually, medication can control seizures, but about 30 percent of patients do not respond. Now, patients have a new treatment option that uses lasers to stop the seizures.

    more>>
  • Heating Up Breast Cancer

    Heating Up Breast Cancer

    Monday, April 21 2014 6:15 PM EDT2014-04-21 22:15:09 GMT
    Two years ago, doctors told Lisa Ridgeway she had triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive disease with no cure. Lisa had surgery, radiation, and chemo, but her cancer came back two more times. Now she’s trying something new.
    more>>
    Two years ago, doctors told Lisa Ridgeway she had triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive disease with no cure. Lisa had surgery, radiation, and chemo, but her cancer came back two more times. Now she’s trying something new.

    more>>
  • Migraine Relief: Stopping Pain & Relieving Pressure

    Migraine Relief: Stopping Pain & Relieving Pressure

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:15:06 GMT
    Meredith Messerli is thankful she can study without pain. The college freshman spent two years of her life battling severe migraines.more>>
    Meredith Messerli is thankful she can study without pain. The college freshman spent two years of her life battling severe migraines.more>>
  • Hope For Lanie: Curing SMA

    Hope For Lanie: Curing SMA

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:15:09 GMT
    SMA attacks the body's motor neurons and causes paralysis. There is no cure, but for the first time doctors are studying an experimental therapy that targets more than just symptoms.more>>
    SMA attacks the body's motor neurons and causes paralysis. There is no cure for SMA but for the first time doctors are studying an experimental therapy that targets more than just symptoms, it targets mutated SMN genes, which are responsible for SMA.more>>
  • Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:15:09 GMT
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
  • Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Friday, April 11 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-11 21:15:07 GMT
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a rare type of melanoma that targets the eye. It can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a type of melanoma that targets the eye. It affects about 2,000 people a year in the United States. Although rare – it can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
  • Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Thursday, April 10 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-10 21:15:09 GMT
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
  • Pedaling For A Cure

    Pedaling For A Cure

    Wednesday, April 9 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-09 21:15:09 GMT
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
  • Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-08 21:15:13 GMT
    CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Eric Robinson alive after he went into cardiac arrest. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
    A year ago, while jamming with his son's band, Eric Robinson went into cardiac arrest. CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Robinson alive. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.