WHITE PLAINS, NY — June 10, 2003 — (Updated August 8) — ConsumerLab.com today reported finding problems among the calcium products recently tested in its Product Review of Calcium Supplements. Amounts of lead in excess of the State of California's "no significant risk level" were found in one product — "Coral Calcium Supreme by Robert Barefoot" a product widely promoted in infomercials for extraordinary health benefits and costing roughly 30 times that of the least expensive product to pass the review. Simultaneous with ConsumerLab.com's release today, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged the promoters of this product with by claiming, falsely and without substantiation, that Coral Calcium Supreme can treat or cure cancer and other diseases. Last month, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, an industry trade group, urged the government to prohibit the egregious claims used to market this product. Another product failed to pass the review because it could not fully break apart to release its contents.
Calcium is critical to the development of strong bones and teeth and the prevention of osteoporosis. It may also reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and symptoms of PMS. However, many adults and children do not get the recommended daily amount of calcium. According to Nutrition Business Journal, $775 million worth of calcium supplements were sold in the U.S. in 2001.
Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of ConsumerLab.com commented, "We have received many questions from consumers about coral calcium. Coral calcium is not inherently better or worse than other types of calcium. But it is sadly ironic that the most advertised brand also had the most lead."
The Calcium Product Review can be found at www.consumerlab.com/results/calcium.asp and includes results for 25 calcium supplements, including fifteen reviewed and ten others that recently passed the same evaluation through CL's Voluntary Certification Program. The review also provides information about choosing and using calcium supplements. CL's Reviews of other popular types of supplements are also available online. Soon to be released are new reviews of Cholesterol-Lowerers (Sterols, Policosanol and Guggulsterones), Muscular Enhancers (Creatine, HMB, and Glutamine), and Asian & American Ginseng. ConsumerLab.com's Guide to Buying Vitamins and Supplements is scheduled for print publication this summer.
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 White Plains, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. ConsumerLab.com is affiliated with of PharmacyChecker.com (www.pharmacychecker.com), an evaluator of online pharmacies. Subscription to Consumerlab.com is available online. For group subscriptions, Technical Reports, or product testing contact Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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