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CONSUMERS WARNED OF LEAD IN SOME TURMERIC SUPPLEMENTS
— Highest Lead Level Ever Reported by ConsumerLab.com; Lack of Active Compound Also a Problem —

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — FEBRUARY 6, 2008 — Turmeric supplements have become popular in recent years but ConsumerLab.com warned today that some products contain high amounts of lead. Recent tests found a popular brand to contain 18.7 mcg of lead in a daily serving — the highest amount ever reported by ConsumerLab.com. A daily serving of another brand was contaminated with 8.3 mcg of lead. These amounts are well above those to which people are normally exposed and should be avoided. The State of California, for example, requires supplements with more than 0.5 mcg of lead to carry a warning label. Lead-contaminated products should be particularly avoided by children — who can experience lead toxicity with only 6 mcg per day — and pregnant women.

Interest in turmeric's anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities has propelled sales from just $8 million in 2002 to $32 million in 2006 according to Nutrition Business Journal. Sales growth last year continued to be strong according to SPINSscan. Recent research has focused on compounds in turmeric called curcuminoids and, more specifically, curcumin, which gives turmeric its yellow color. Two products failed to pass ConsumerLab.com's tests because they provided only 11.5% and 49.5%, respectively, of expected curcuminoids. A fifth product did not specify the part of the plant used — a FDA labeling requirement. ConsumerLab.com purchased the supplements from stores, catalogues, and online retailers. All deficiencies were confirmed in a second independent laboratory.

"Consumers should be very careful to select a turmeric product that is not contaminated and provides the expected amount of active compounds," said Tod Cooperman, MD, President of ConsumerLab.com.

The ConsumerLab.com report is available at www.consumerlab.com/results/turmeric_curcumin.asp. It includes findings for nine products selected by ConsumerLab.com as well as four that passed ConsumerLab.com's Voluntary Certification Program. Also listed is a product similar to one that passed but sold under a different brand name. Brands included are Ageless Cures, Douglas Laboratories, Himalaya, New Chapter, NOW, NSI (Nutraceutical Sciences Institute), Physician Formulas, Physiologics, Pure Encapsulations, Puritan's Pride, Solgar, The Vitamin Shoppe, Vibrant Health, and Vitamin World. The report also provides information clinical study findings, dosage, and potential cautions.

ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Reviews of popular types of vitamins, supplements, and generic drugs are available at www.consumerlab.com. New Product Reviews to be released in coming months include Fish/Marine Oils (EPA and DHA), Iron, and Vitamin C. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online. 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.

For further information, contact Tod Cooperman, MD, at tod.cooperman@consumerlab.com.



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