HEALTH

New Chapter recalls 90-count Probiotic Elderberry dietary supplement

BY Michael Johnsen

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — New Chapter on Wednesday voluntarily recalled a limited number of packages of its 90-count Probiotic Elderberry dietary supplement because it may contain an undeclared allergen – soy. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product, the company stated.  

The one lot of affected New Chapter Probiotic Elderberry was distributed nationwide. It reached consumers through retail stores, mail order and direct delivery.

The affected product is packaged in a 90-count amber glass jar with an outer cardboard carton marked with Lot No. 01230049332, with an expiration date of Jan. 31, 2015 and the UPC No. 7-27783-00123-8.

This voluntary recall is limited only to packages of New Chapter Probiotic Elderberry bearing the above UPC, expiration date and lot number, the company noted.

 

 

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FDA advises against use of three adulterated drug products

BY Michael Johnsen

BETHESDA, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday advised consumers not to purchase or use three separate sexual enhancement products that are being promoted as dietary supplements because they contain undeclared and unapproved prescription-only ingredients. 

The three products include Libido Sexual Enhancer, a product promoted and sold for sexual enhancement on various web sites, including www.vegasredpleasure.com; Rock-It Man, a product promoted and sold for sexual enhancement on www.shopinprivate.com and in some retail stores; and Stiff Days, a product also promoted and sold both online and in stores. 

FDA laboratory analyses of the three medicines confirmed that they contain ingredients such as sildenafil, the active ingredient in the FDA-approved prescription drug Viagra, used to treat Erectile Dysfunction. "This undeclared ingredient may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin, and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates," the agency advised. 

 

 

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Study: Lower levels of vitamin D linked to greater cancer risk in smokers

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Lower levels of vitamin D may predispose smokers to developing tobacco-related cancer, according to research published last week by Clinical Chemistry, the journal of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry. Consequently, study authors suggested that vitamin D blood tests and supplements have the potential to improve smokers’ health.

“Our analyses show that the association between lower concentrations of plasma vitamin D and higher risk of cancer may be driven by tobacco-related cancer as a group, which has not been shown before,” stated author Børge Nordestgaard. “This is important for future studies investigating the association between plasma vitamin D and risk of cancer.”

The data also indicate that tobacco smoke chemicals may influence vitamin D metabolism and function, while vitamin D may conversely modify the carcinogenicity of tobacco smoke chemicals, Nordestgaard noted. If further research confirms this, it would be consistent with previous studies demonstrating the anti-tumorigenic effects of vitamin D derivatives, as well as the correlation of vitamin D deficiency with favorable cancer-forming conditions and increased susceptibility to tobacco smoke carcinogens. Interestingly, though, low vitamin D levels were not connected with risk of other cancer types.

Cigarette smoking accounts for more U.S. deaths annually than HIV, illegal drugs, alcohol, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined. It is the primary causal factor for at least 30% of all cancer deaths, and can lead to multiple kinds of cancer, including bladder, cervical, esophageal, head and neck, kidney, liver, lung, pancreatic and stomach, as well as myeloid leukemia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the healthcare expenditures and productivity losses due to smoking cost the economy approximately $193 billion per year.


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