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WHITE PLAINS, NY — April 3, 2002 — announced today that more than one in five products failed its recent Product Review of Weight Loss, Slimming and Diabetes-Management Supplements. The review looked at evidence for and against the use of popular ingredients used for these purposes and included laboratory testing of eighteen dietary supplements containing chromium (used to aid sugar metabolism in diabetes and weight loss), CLA (conjugated linoleic acid — used to increase lean body mass), and/or pyruvate (used to increase fat metabolism).

The reasons that four of eighteen products did not pass's evaluation were:
  • One product contained only 5% of the labeled amount of chromium. Such a reduction in chromium should be of concern to anyone relying on the product for its potential effect on insulin and blood sugar levels.
  • Another chromium product was found to contain a very small amount of a toxic form of chromium — chromium (VI). Chromium (VI) or "hexavalent" chromium is an industrial by-product and potential carcinogen (brought to national attention in the movie Erin Brokavich). The amount found in the product would not be expected to be harmful but is not desirable. Chromium (VI) was not detected in the other chromium products passing the review.
  • A product whose name included the words "Pyruvate 1000" and claimed "1000 mg of pyruvate complex" was considered potentially misleading as it was found to have only 240 mg of pyruvate.
  • Another product contained only 85% of its claimed amount of pyruvate.

"This review is a microcosm of the problems has found with other supplements, said Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of "Two products had less than what they claimed. Another was contaminated. And a third, due to vague language, could easily lead a consumer to expect four times the amount of active ingredient actually in the product. If a consumer is going to try a supplement, they should be able to get what they expect — nothing less and nothing more."

The complete list of products that passed the review, as well as ConsumerTips™ on buying and using these types of supplements are now available to's online subscribers at General findings and examples of approved products are also available free from the Web site. Similar information is available online from's Product Reviews for other vitamins, minerals, herbal and non-herbal supplements, and nutrition bars, powders and drinks. Other Product Reviews scheduled for release in coming months include magnesium supplements, Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids from evening primrose, flaxseed, and borage oils, potassium supplements, and the iodine (potassium iodide) used as prophylaxis in nuclear accidents.'s Guide to Buying the Best Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements is scheduled for publication later this year. To further assist consumers, licenses its flask-shaped CL Seal of Approved Quality (see The CL Seal) to manufacturers for use on products that have passed its evaluations. 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's Product Reviews is available online. Parties interested in purchasing comprehensive Product Review Technical Reports, licensing content, or requesting testing of additional products may contact Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at

Copyright, LLC, 2002. All rights reserved.

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