WHITE PLAINS, NY — January 21, 2003 — ConsumerLab.com's Product Review of Probiotic Supplements (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, and others) revealed that one third of the products tested contained less than 1% of the expected number of viable bacteria — with several products containing one-ten thousandth of the amount expected. Probiotics are commonly used to treat or prevent diarrhea due to various causes and have many other potential uses. Probiotics are one of the fastest growing supplement categories, with sales increasing over 14% in the past 52 weeks in natural products supermarkets and more than 3.5 million units sold nationally in natural and mainstream retail channels according to market research firms SPINS and ACNeilsen.

Twenty-five probiotic products were purchased and tested by ConsumerLab.com: 19 general use products, 3 products marketed for children, and 3 yogurts. Only 16 of the 25 products were found to contain the generally recommended 1 billion organisms or greater per daily serving. ConsumerLab.com also found that products claiming to contain specific numbers of bacteria were much more likely to have sufficient counts than products only indicating bacterial amounts as of the "time of manufacture" or not indicating any amount.

"The odds are nearly one out of three that a probiotic product has too few live bacteria to be effective," said Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of ConsumerLab.com. "Our findings can help consumers find products with an effective dose."

A listing of all the products found to contain one billion or more live probiotic bacteria are now available to ConsumerLab.com subscribers at www.consumerlab.com along with additional information on buying and using probiotics. Also available are results from 39 other ConsumerLab.com reviews of popular vitamins, supplements, and nutrition products. Additional reviews scheduled for release in coming months include saw palmetto, vitamin C, calcium, and two supplements used for memory enhancement — Ginkgo biloba and huperzine A. ConsumerLab.com's Guide to Buying Vitamins and Supplements is scheduled for print publication this year.

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. Subscription to Consumerlab.com is available online. Those interested in group subscriptions, Technical Reports, or having products tested should contact Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at lisa.sabin@consumerlab.com.

Copyright ConsumerLab.com, LLC, 2003. All rights reserved.

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