CONSUMERLAB.COM TESTS CANCER-PREVENTION SUPPLEMENTS; SEVERAL CONTAMINATED WITH LEAD OR LOW IN INGREDIENT
— Report Available for Green Tea, Selenium, and Lycopene Supplements —
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK — APRIL 26, 2006 ConsumerLab.com announced results today from its new Product Review of Supplements for Cancer Prevention covering 22 products. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. Intake of certain foods and nutrients has been associated with reduced risk of cancer. Many of these are anti-oxidants, scavenging free radicals that can damage cells in the body. Supplements containing three popular ingredients — green tea, lycopene or selenium — were purchased and tested. Additional ingredients associated with cancer prevention such as folate, garlic, isoflavones, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E are reviewed in earlier reports from ConsumerLab.com.
Sales of green tea supplements — the most popular of those tested — climbed 45% to $160 million in the US in 2004 according to Nutrition Business Journal. Unfortunately, problems were detected in three out of the four green tea products chosen for testing. Two products were contaminated with lead — with 3.3 to 4.5 micrograms per daily serving, far in excess of the State California limit of 0.5 mcg. Another product contained only 71% of its claimed level of EGCG, a key compound in green tea.
One of the selenium supplements chosen also failed testing, containing only 38% of its ingredient, while four others passed. All five lycopene supplements selected for testing passed.
"This is an area where consumers really need to be sure of the products they choose," said Tod Cooperman, MD, President of ConsumerLab.com. "You won't know if your supplement lacks active ingredients since you can't 'feel' a preventive therapy; and contamination is compounded when a supplement is used daily for years."
In addition to the fourteen products selected by ConsumerLab.com, the report includes results for eight products tested through the Voluntary Certification Program. Four other products are also listed as similar to products that passed testing but sold under different brand names.
Products covered include those from Bluebonnet, Canadian Sun, Country Life, GNC, Food Science of Vermont, Futurebiotics, Herbal Select, Jarrow, KAL, Life Extension, Metabolic Maintenance, Nature's Answer, Nature's Bounty, Pharmanex, Puritan's Pride, Schiff, Vitamin World, and Whole Foods.
The new report is available at http://www.consumerlab.com/results/cancer_supplements_green_tea_lycopene_selenium.asp. The report provides results for each product, ingredient comparisons, extensive information about how to buy and use these supplements, and potential side effects. Reviews of other popular types of supplements are also available at www.consumerlab.com. New reviews to be released in coming weeks cover garlic and other cholesterol lowerers (policosanol and sterols) ginseng, probiotics, and CoQ10 supplements. The paperback ConsumerLab.com's Guide to Buying Vitamins and Supplements: What's Really in the Bottle? is available in bookstores, online, or through 800-431-1579.
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. ConsumerLab.com is affiliated with PharmacyChecker.com, an evaluator of online pharmacies, and MedicareDrugPlans.com, which reviews and rates Medicare Part D plans. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online. For group subscriptions or product testing contact Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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