HEALTH

FDA warns about excess selenium in Total Body products

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced that it has found hazardous levels of selenium in samples of certain flavors of the dietary supplement products “Total Body Formula” and “Total Body Mega Formula.”

The FDA has received 43 reports of persons from nine states who experienced serious adverse reactions using these products.

On March 27, the FDA warned consumers not to purchase or use “Total Body Formula” in flavors Tropical Orange and Peach Nectar and “Total Body Mega Formula” in the Orange/Tangerine flavor of these products after receiving reports of adverse reactions in users in Florida and Tennessee. The adverse reactions generally occurred after five to 10 days of daily ingestion of the product, and included significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain, deformed fingernails and fatigue. 

Selenium, a naturally occurring mineral, is needed only in very small amounts for good health. Selenium can boost the immune system. Generally, normal consumption of food and water provides adequate selenium to support good health. Excessive intake of selenium is known to cause symptoms to include significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain, fatigue, loss of finger nails and blistering skin. 

Presently, FDA has 43 reports of adverse reactions including cases from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. 

Analyses of samples of the products by FDA laboratories have now found most of the samples contain extremely high levels of selenium—up to 40,800 micrograms per recommended serving, or more than 200 times the amount of selenium per serving (200 micrograms) indicated on the labels of the products. 

The FDA continues to investigate the matter to determine how excessive amounts of selenium were added to the products. 

Total Body Essential Nutrition, the distributor of the “Total Body Formula” and “Total Body Mega Formula” products, has voluntarily recalled the affected products. According to the company, the products were distributed nationwide. 

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Study shows most physicians practice healthy behaviors

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON According to a recent study released by the Council for Responsible Nutrition Tuesday—the “Life…supplemented” Healthcare Professionals Impact Study—the majority of physicians engage in healthy behaviors, with three of the top shared healthy behaviors being: trying to eat a balanced diet (82 percent), exercising regularly (73 percent) and taking vitamins and other supplements (72 percent).

Nurses tend to follow a similar wellness checklist, CRN stated, with 87 percent of nurses saying they try to eat a balanced diet and 89 percent taking supplements.

“It’s encouraging that for the most part, doctors and nurses practice the healthy behaviors that they preach, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising and taking supplements,” stated Donnica Moore, president of the Sapphire Women’s Health Group and a consultant to the “Life…supplemented” consumer wellness campaign.

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Duracell hearing aid battery receives commendation from Arthritis Foundation

BY Michael Johnsen

BETHEL, Conn. Duracell on Wednesday announced that the Arthritis Foundation has recognized the Duracell EasyTab hearing aid battery with the Foundation’s first-ever hearing aid battery commendation for ease-of-use.

The official commendation seal, which identifies products that make living with arthritis simpler, will now appear on Duracell EasyTab packaging.

“For people with arthritis, seemingly simple daily tasks can sometimes mean severe pain and increased frustration,” stated Scott Walters, group vice president, corporate relations, Arthritis Foundation. “Through our ease-of-use commendation, we hope to help people with arthritis find products that improve their daily lives and perform essential tasks, such as changing their hearing aid battery.”

“Duracell has a long history of developing products that help make everyday life simpler,” stated Rachel Calomeni, brand manager, North America, Duracell. “Our Duracell EasyTab battery is a great example of a product designed specifically with the consumer in mind. Recognition by the Arthritis Foundation is an important commendation because it speaks directly to EasyTab’s ability to meet the needs of those who rely on our product every day.”

The Duracell EasyTab hearing aid battery features the longest tab of any hearing aid battery on the market today, Duracell stated, making it easy to remove from the packaging, hold and insert. Additional design benefits include compact, but simple-to-open packaging and color-coded batteries to make distinguishing size easier.

The Arthritis Foundation commendation comes on the heels of a new online hearing health campaign from Duracell launched at the AARP convention in December 2007. The EasyTab “We Hear You” campaign was created as more mature adults turn to the Internet to seek information about their health.

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