CVS Sued Over Claims Its Algae Supplement Improves Memory

CVS Sued Over Claims Its Algae Supplement Improves Memory

Drugstore giant CVS is being sued for marketing and advertising its algae-based Algal-900 DHA supplements as proven memory enhancers, when the science used to prop up that claim is allegedly bogus. [More]

(Frontline)

7 Things You Need To Know From Frontline’s Investigation On Supplements & Safety

They look like drugs, they’re regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, but Frontline‘s new investigation found that supplements are very, very different. [More]

(PepOmint)

If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, you may first turn to melatonin, a synthetic version of the hormone that regulates our sleep/wake cycles. It might seem like a mild and natural alternative to sleeping pills, but there are potential problems. The hormone can interact with other medications and have side effects like next-day grogginess, and since it’s regulated as a supplement, its potency may vary. You also may need a much lower dose than what’s in the bottle: as little as .1 mg works for some people. [Consumer Reports]

Supplement-Maker Who Diluted Products With Other Powders Sentenced To 40 Months In Prison

Supplement-Maker Who Diluted Products With Other Powders Sentenced To 40 Months In Prison

When you buy a food product or a dietary supplement, you should be confident that the product’s ingredients are listed on the label, and that you’re getting what you paid for. Federal prosecutors say that one dietary supplement wholesaler in New Jersey spent four years selling products diluted with products like maltodextrin or rice flour, increasing profits but defrauding customers. The company’s owner now must forfeit $1 million in profits and has been sentenced to 40 months in prison and one year of supervised release. [More]

Court Shuts Down Iowa Supplement Company Distribution Over Misbranding, Unfounded Safety Promises

Court Shuts Down Iowa Supplement Company Distribution Over Misbranding, Unfounded Safety Promises

There are about 200 fewer adulterated dietary supplements on the market today after a district court ordered an Iowa company and its owners to stop production of products over allegations the company sold potentially unsafe dietary supplements and falsely advertised them as treatments for diseases ranging from colds to cancer. [More]

Marketers Of Memory Supplement Must Pay $1.4M To Settle Deceptive Advertising Charges

Marketers Of Memory Supplement Must Pay $1.4M To Settle Deceptive Advertising Charges

Using fake news stories and trumped-up, unsubstantiated claims, the marketers of a supplement that claimed to be the answer to memory loss problems sold nearly $100 million worth of the stuff in just a few years. Now they have to fork over $1.4 million to federal and state authorities for making these deceptive statements, and face millions more in penalties if they fail to comply. [More]

FTC: ‘Clinically Proven’ Menopause And Weight Loss Supplement Helps With Neither

FTC: ‘Clinically Proven’ Menopause And Weight Loss Supplement Helps With Neither

American consumers have spent $65 million on Amberen, a supplement meant to ease the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. These symptoms can include hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, and weight gain. Did Amberen help with these symptoms, as promised? No, the Federal Trade Commission says: it mostly helped to lighten customers’ bank accounts, and has filed a complaint against the company that sells it. [More]

The supplements pictured aren't part of this lawsuit that we know of. (HealthGauge)

Ad Watchdog: Dietary Supplement Claimed To Prevent Cancer

Government regulation of the nutritional supplement industry is not perfect, but the Food and Drug Administration does impose a very important rule on them: products sold as supplements rather than drugs can’t advertise themselves as able to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any diseases. Once they do that, they’re drugs. Yet one supplement’s marketing caught the attention of two industry self-regulation bodies before the FDA: a supplement called “Big C” that totally does not promise to prevent cancer. [More]

These are four of the 16 supplements the FDA has targeted in its latest crackdown of dietary supplements with potentially dangerous ingredients.

FDA Continues Crackdown On Dietary Supplement Ingredients, Notifies Makers Of 16 Products To Stop Sales

A week after the Food & Drug Administration heeded calls for action by scientists and health advocates by demanding that dietary supplement makers stop selling products with a speed-like ingredient, the agency sent another warning to 14 manufacturers asking them to cease the sale of several products with another possibly harmful stimulant. [More]

FDA Warns Makers Of Diet Supplements Containing Speed-Like Ingredient

These are four of the eight products cited in the FDA warning letters.

Following calls for action from scientists and consumer health advocates, the FDA has sent warning letters to a handful of diet supplement makers demanding that they cease selling products that contain a speed-like ingredient. [More]

Even though GNC products were ultimately found to abide by federal rules and industry standards, the company has agreed to DNA barcode testing on its ingredients, along with requiring its suppliers to test for common allergens.

GNC Agrees To DNA, Allergen Testing Of Herbal Supplements

Earlier this year, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent cease-and-desist letters to several major retailers, including Target, Walgreens, and GNC, after genetic testing of store-brand herbal supplements found that many of these products did not contain the herbal ingredients they purported to include, and that some contained potentially dangerous allergens. Today, GNC and Schneiderman announced an agreement that will apply stricter testing standards — more rigorous than those required by the federal government — to the company’s supplements. [More]

The FTC received a court order to put an end to allegedly deceptive weight-loss products.

FTC Stops Company From Charging $210 For Pills That “Burn Fat Without Diet Or Exercise”

Consumers who buy into a product that promises to let you lose weight while continuing to sit on the couch eating bonbons will likely lose more money than they will pounds. Such was the case for the customers of a dietary supplement company being shut down at the request of the Federal Trade Commission for making unsubstantiated health claims and signing consumers up for monthly charges without their knowledge. [More]

FTC: Marketers Deceived Consumers About BrainStrong Supplement’s Memory Improvement Claims

FTC: Marketers Deceived Consumers About BrainStrong Supplement’s Memory Improvement Claims

When a supplement sounds too good to be true, it mostly likely is. And deceiving consumers about a product’s wondrous powers isn’t looked upon lightly by federal regulators. The marketers of BrainStrong Adult dietary supplement found that out the hard way. [More]

Another Study Shows That Glucosamine Supplements Aren’t Very Helpful

Another Study Shows That Glucosamine Supplements Aren’t Very Helpful

If we can prevent or decrease the pain of arthritis with a relatively inexpensive supplement, why shouldn’t we? Americans spent an estimated $813 million on glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements for ourselves and for our pets in 2012, despite the lack of evidence that it is at all helpful to prevent or alleviate arthritis. Now another study shows that the supplements don’t really help, and may actually do the opposite of what they’re supposed to. [More]

(afagen)

Doctors Plead: Quit Wasting Your Money On Vitamin Supplements Already

Every year, Americans spend $28 billion on potions that we imbue with magical powers. We mean, of course, vitamin pills and supplements. We take them by the handful even though study after study has showed us that for people who have a deficiency, vitamin pills don’t do very much good, and may harm our health in the long run. Yes, harm. [More]

(HealthGauge)

Should You Take Glucosamine And Chondroitin? Meh

Americans are buying a lot of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, which are intended to help ease the pain of or prevent symptoms from arthritis. The problem is that there’s no proof that the pills do any good…and tests from our lab-coated cousins down the hall at Consumer Reports showed that many brands don’t even contain the whole dose claimed on the label. [More]

(Carbon Arc)

No, A Dietary Supplement Probably Doesn’t Prevent Gray Hair

One of the fun things about working in the media is definitely reading the odd press releases and story pitches that cross my inbox every day. Our colleagues over at Consumer Reports received a pitch in their mailbox about a dietary supplement that’s supposed to “prevent and reverse” gray hair. Wait, that’s a thing? Not only is it a thing, but someone was pushing it as a great Mother’s Day gift. [More]

(nathanmac87)

Feds: 20% Of Weight Loss, Immune System Supplements Making False Claims

It’s not just that the federal government doesn’t want the marketers of dietary supplements to just make up what their products can do for consumers, according to a new study on the prevalence of weight loss and immune system supplement, the Department of Health and Human Services warns that it could actually be harmful to our health to buy in to the hype. The agency just released a new report saying that around 20% of 127 different supplements it investigated made false and illegal claims to cure or treat diseases. [More]