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CL Answer

Can chocolate and cocoa powder cause eczema?

Does chocolate and cocoa cause eczema? Find out more, including information about nickel and nickel allergies.

Itching 1400

CL Answer

What are trace minerals and do I need them?

Trace minerals include boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, zinc, and others. Find out what they do, how much of each trace mineral you should be getting, and who's most likely to be deficient in these minerals.

Trace Minerals - What are they and do you need them?

CL Answer

The distributor of my cacao powder says it checks for "metal fragments" in its products. Is this adequate to check for heavy metals, like cadmium and lead, that you've found in cocoas and chocolates?

Find out if tests such as foreign metal detection can show if cocoa powders and chocolate products are contaminated with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead. See amounts of these toxic heavy metals were found in cocoa and chocolate products tested by

Product Review

Dark Chocolates, Cocoa & Cacao Powders, Nibs, and Supplements Review -- Sources of Flavanols

Is Your Chocolate or Cocoa Healthful or Toxic? Find the Best Dark Chocolate, Cocoa Powder and Cocoa Supplements Based On Our Tests.

CL Answer

Which supplements are best for seasonal allergies?

Find out which supplements are best for allergies and can help reduce seasonal allergy symptoms, including bromelain, curcumin, vitamin D, and CLA.

Supplements for Seasonal Allergies -- Woman Outside Sneezing

Clinical Update


Tip for Nickel Sensitive Folks

Nickel can trigger an allergic dermatitis in some people, such as from consuming chocolate that is high in nickel. A CL member asked us if supplements can reduce nickel absorption. The answer is yes. Find out how in the Nickel section of our Cocoa/Chocolate Review.

CL Answer

Bee pollen: Purported health benefits and possible side effects

Bee pollen is promoted for numerous health conditions, including supporting immune health and boosting energy. Find out if it works and if it's safe.

A wooden spoon holding bee pollen granules over a table

CL Answer

Are some probiotics dangerous? I've heard that Bacillus subtilis, a soil-based probiotic, can cause infections.

Find out if soil-based probiotic supplements are safe to take. Information about side effects, allergic reactions, infections and more.

Are probiotics safe? -- probiotic capsules and bottle

CL Answer

Which supplements help with arthritis?

Learn more about supplements for joint health, including products such as Wobenzym and Zyflamend and ingredients such as collagen, curcumin, glucosamine and chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), SAMe, and others.

Supplements for Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis -- Women With Arthritic Hands

CL Answer

Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?

Find out the daily value of vitamin C, along with possible side effects of excessive vitamin C intake. ConsumerLab explores the topic of proper vitamin C supplement usage, and why taking too much can be harmful.

Bottles of vitamin C pills

Clinical Update


PEA for Seasonal Allergies?

Does palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) reduce the severity of seasonal allergy symptoms? Find out what a recent study showed in our article about PEA,  which includes comparisons of popular PEA supplements.

Also see: Which supplements are best for seasonal allergies?

Clinical Update


Quercetin for Seasonal Allergies?

Did quercetin improve nasal and eye symptoms among people with seasonal allergies in recent study? Find out in the Seasonal Allergy section of our Quercetin Supplements Review.

Clinical Update


Sulfa Allergy to NAC?

Can people with a sulfa allergy (an allergy to sulfonamide drugs) use NAC, which contains sulfur? Find out in the Concerns and Cautions section of our N-Acetylcysteine Supplements Review.

Clinical Update


Vitamin D and Allergy?

Recent analyses of data from thousands of individuals across the U.S. show an association between serum vitamin D levels and certain allergies. The association was found in children and adolescents for 11 different allergens, but no association was found in older individuals. See the Vitamin D Product Review for the types of allergies and level of vitamin D at which risk was reduced. More >>

Clinical Update


Vitamin D and Allergy

Vitamin D is known to modulate the immune system. Having sufficient levels is associated with reduced risk of allergy and asthma. A recent study showed that giving vitamin D to pregnant women and their infants resulted in fewer infants being allergic to house dust mites and needing to see a doctor for asthma. For details, see "Allergy," as well as "Asthma," in the What It Does section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Clinical Update


Vitamin D for Allergies?

If you already take an antihistamine for allergies, will adding vitamin D provide further benefit? Find out what a recent study showed in the What It Does: Allergies section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for vitamin D among products.

Clinical Update


High Allergy Risk & Vaccination

Can people with high allergy risk get safely vaccinated? See what the data is showing.

Clinical Update


Astaxanthin & Seafood Allergy

A member asked if people with seafood allergies can take astaxanthin supplements. Find out in the Concerns and Cautions section of our Astaxanthin Supplements Review.

Clinical Update


Bee Pollen for Allergies?

Can taking bee pollen reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies? Find out in our article about bee pollen.

Clinical Update


Curcumin and Allergy Tests

Does taking curcumin interfere with a test to detect allergies? Find out in the Concerns and Cautions section of our Curcumin and Turmeric Supplements & Spices Review.

Also, see our article about supplements that may interfere with laboratory tests.

Clinical Update


Caution With Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle is promoted to reduce seasonal allergies and is a common ingredient in prostate supplements. Rarely, however, it may cause breast changes in both men and women, as was recently reported. Get the details in our updated article about Supplements for Seasonal Allergies. Also see the Concerns and Cautions section of our Prostate Supplements Review.

Clinical Update


Fish Oil During Pregnancy Reduces Allergy in Infants

Last year we reported important findings from a study of fish oil given to pregnant women. A further analysis of that study shows another benefit of daily fish oil for pregnant women -- their babies have nearly a 40% lower risk of egg allergies. A lower risk of eczema was also found, although this association did not hold after adjusting the data for certain factors. See the update to the Fish Oil Supplements Review, which includes details on this study, the type and amount of fish oil taken, and our latest product tests.

Clinical Update


Fish Collagen Allergy

Be aware that some people may be allergic to fish collagen even if they don't respond to common fish allergy tests, according to a recent study. Get the details in the Concerns and Cautions section of the Collagen Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for collagen supplements for skin and for joints.

Clinical Update


Curcumin for Allergy

A recent pilot study suggests that curcumin can significantly reduce symptoms of seasonal allergy. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Turmeric/Curcumin Supplements Review >>

Clinical Update


Preventing Eczema with Probiotics

Allergy experts recently concluded that, when there is a family history of allergy, probiotics (taken by the mother or child) can reduce the risk of the child having eczema. For more information about this and other uses of probiotics — as well as our test reviews of products, see the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Clinical Update


Probiotic for Allergy

A recent study showed that taking a probiotic during allergy season reduced symptoms more than did a placebo — although not by much. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Clinical Update


Probiotic Helps a Little with Allergy

Among people already taking a daily antihistamine, adding a daily probiotic provided a small, additional benefit -- particularly with ocular (eye) symptoms, according to a new study.  For more information about the probiotic used, and our tests of probiotic supplements, see the updated Probiotic Supplements Review >>   

Clinical Update


Non-animal Whey

How do “non-animal” whey protein products such as V-Whey and Mooless compare to regular whey protein, and are they suitable for people sensitive to lactose or with milk allergies? Find out in our Protein Powders Review.

Also see our Top Picks among protein powders.

Clinical Update


Vitamin B-12 Allergy

Rarely, vitamin B-12 supplementation can cause an allergic reaction, as highlighted by a recent case. Be aware of the risks of B-12 as explained in our B Vitamin Supplements Review, which includes our Top Picks for vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins.

Clinical Update


Fenugreek Allergy

Can fenugreek cause an allergic reaction? Yes, although it's rare. See who is most susceptible in the Side Effects section of our article about the health benefits and safety of fenugreek.

Clinical Update


Flaxseed Allergy

Although uncommon, allergic reactions to flaxseed are increasing, possibly due to flaxseed in food products. Get the details in the Concerns and Cautions section of our Flaxseed Review. Also see our Top Picks for whole and ground flaxseed.

Clinical Update


Protein Powder Allergy?

It is possible to be allergic to a protein powder, and some potential allergens need not be disclosed as allergens on labels. Learn more in the Cautions and Concerns section of our Protein Powders & Shakes Review.

Clinical Update


Allergy to Metamucil

Asthma and allergic reactions to psyllium fiber supplements, including Metamucil, have been reported, although not common. Get the details in the Concerns and Cautions section of our Psyllium Review, which includes our Top Picks for psyllium.

Clinical Update


Sunscreen Allergy

Although uncommon, sunscreens can cause allergic skin reactions upon exposure to sunlight. Get the details about a recently reported case, and find out who is most likely to be affected, in our article about the best sunscreen based on safety and efficacy.

Recalls & Warnings

April 09, 2019

Dangerous Levels of Lead and Nickel Found in Kratom Products

On April 3, 2019, the FDA released the results of its tests that found dangerous levels of lead and nickel in certain kratom products. The agency tested 30 products sold on websites such as and by retailers such as Gaia Ethnobotanicals, Sunstone Organics LLC and Happy Hippo LLC.

Recalls & Warnings

July 06, 2022

FDA Warns Kratom Companies for Arthritis, Pain Relief Claims & More

On January 30, 2022, the FDA issued warning letters to four sellers of kratom products because they were promoted to treat pain relief, opioid withdrawal, blood sugar control, anxiety, and to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Recalls & Warnings

July 12, 2023

FDA Warns Company for Promoting Kratom Products for Pain, Mood, and More

On July 3, 2023, the FDA issued a warning letter to Sunshine Trading Company, Inc.

Recalls & Warnings

December 14, 2023

FDA Warns Seller of Novid NASAL SPRAY for Allergy, Virus, and Cold Claims

On December 7, 2023, the FDA issued a warning to Novid Group, Inc. following an inspection of the company’s website, which found statements about the company’s novid NASAL SPRAY product to be drug claims.

Recalls & Warnings

January 26, 2023

Allergy Bee Nasal Swabs Contaminated With Illness-Causing Bacteria

On January 18, 2023, the FDA issued a warning letter to Buzzagogo, LLC, after the company’s Allergy Bee Gone for Kids nasal swab products were found to be contaminated with bacteria that have the potential to cause life-threatening illness.

Recalls & Warnings

June 30, 2022

FDA Warns Seller of Vision and Allergy Supplements

On May 26, 2022, the FDA issued a warning letter to Golden Lab LLC following an inspection of the website, which found statements about the company’s DoctoRx’s Optimal Formula Ocular Pressure & Optic Nerve Support Formula Ocular Health Capsule, DoctoRx’s Optimal Formula ...

Recalls & Warnings

September 14, 2023

FDA Warns CVS, Walgreens, Similasan & Others for Eye Drop Violations

On September 11, 2023, the FDA issued Warning Letters to the following eight sellers of homeopathic and other types of eye drops regarding the products noted in italics due to a variety of violations of FDA regulations, most notably that they were marked with claims suggesting that they could cure, ...

News Release

May 26, 2017 Tests Reveal the Best Calcium Supplements

White Plains, New York, May 26, 2017 — Most people know that calcium is important for building and maintaining strong bones, but with so many different forms, dosages and ingredient combinations available on the market, choosing a calcium supplement can be difficult. To help, ConsumerLab.

Recalls & Warnings

June 08, 2022

Allergy Bee Nasal Swabs Recalled Due to Potential Contamination With Yeast, Mold & Bacteria

On June 7, 2022, Buzzagogo, Inc. issued a nationwide recall of one lot of Allergy Bee Gone for Kids Nasal Swab Remedy after FDA testing revealed elevated levels of yeast and mold. The agency also warned the recalled swabs may contain the bacteria Bacillus cereus.

Recalls & Warnings

August 16, 2023

FDA Warns Sun Ten Laboratories for Manufacturing Violations, Drug Claims

On April 7, 2023, the FDA issued a warning letter to STPCA Inc. dba Sun Ten Laboratories because products were found to be adulterated because they were prepared, packed, or held under conditions that do not meet Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP).

Recalls & Warnings

June 14, 2023

Havasu Beet Root Powder Recalled Due to Allergen Risk

On June 12, 2023, Supplement Manufacturing Partner Inc. issued a recall of one lot of Havasu Nutrition’s Beet Root Powder + due to undeclared milk. The recall was initiated following a report of an allergic reaction from a consumer with a milk allergy.

Recalls & Warnings

June 13, 2022

Homeopathic Nasal Spray SnoreStop Recalled Due to Microbial Contamination

On June 9, 2022, Green Pharmaceuticals Inc issued a voluntary nationwide recall of one lot of its SnoreStop NasoSpray, a homeopathic nasal spray promoted to reduce snoring, due to the presence of Providencia rettgeri, a bacterium that can cause severe illness in some people.

Recalls & Warnings

July 25, 2022

Nature’s Sunshine Protein Powder Recalled

On July 22, 2022, Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc. issued a recall of two AIVIA Whey Protein Powder Herbs meal replacement products due to undeclared milk.

Recalls & Warnings

October 01, 2019

Lead and Arsenic Found in Multi Mineral & Vitamin Supplement

On September 30, 2019, Cellect Products Inc. and Oglethorpe Ltd. issued a recall of one lot of Cellect®, Essentials Factor® Multi Mineral & Vitamin Supplement Unflavored Powder Mix because it was found to contain unsafe levels of lead and arsenic.

Recalls & Warnings

June 22, 2021

Living Free Vitamins, Joint, Nerve and Other Supplements Recalled

On June 21, 2021, Bea Lydecker's Naturals, Inc. issued a recall of six Living Free brand supplements because the labels do not declare soy lecithin.

Recalls & Warnings

June 25, 2019

Kratom Is Dangerous and Not Proven to Treat Addiction, FDA Warns Marketers

On June 25, 2019, the FDA issued warning letter to two marketers and distributors of kratom products, listed below, for illegally selling unapproved, misbranded kratom-containing drug products with unproven claims about their ability to treat or cure opioid addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Recalls & Warnings

November 27, 2018

High Levels of Lead Found in Kratom Products

Some kratom products contain levels of lead and nickel that are not considered safe for human consumption, according to tests conducted by the FDA.

Recalls & Warnings

April 12, 2019

CDC: Kratom Linked to 91 Deaths

Kratom may have played a role in twice as many deaths as has been previously estimated, according to a report issued today by the Center of Disease Control (CDC).

Recalls & Warnings

December 08, 2020

Dark Chocolate Recalled Due to Allergen Risk

On December 1, 2020, Maribel's Sweets issued a recall of Cacao Market Cylinder Dark Chocolate Pearls because they contain undeclared milk.

Recalls & Warnings

October 03, 2020

Some "Dairy-Free" Dark Chocolate Found to Contain Undeclared Milk

On October 1, 2020, the FDA announced findings from a study it conducted from 2018 to 2019 that showed that some dark chocolate products claiming to be "dairy-free" or "milk-free" contain undeclared milk.

Recalls & Warnings

May 10, 2021

Collagen & Biotin Supplement Recalled Due to Allergen Risk

On May 6, 2021, Bloommy, Inc. issued a recall of Bloommy Biotin Collagen Keratin Capsules for Skin, Joint, and Hair due to the presence of a fish allergen for the collagen-based ingredient.

Recalls & Warnings

January 31, 2021

Protein and Fiber Bars Recalled Due to Allergen Risk

On January 28, 2021, think! and Interpac Technologies, Inc. issued a voluntary recall of think! Protein + Fiber Oatmeal: Farmer's Market Berry Crumble due to the potential presence of tree nuts, including almonds and pecans.

Recalls & Warnings

November 29, 2019

FDA Warns Seller of "All Natural" Treatment for Opioid Withdrawal, Migraines & More

On November 18, 2019, the FDA issued a warning letter to EPH Technologies, Inc., following a review of the company's websites, which found statements made about some of the company's products, including Detoxoplex, Sinople, and Migrenz, to be drug claims.

Recalls & Warnings

June 05, 2018

FDA Warns Seller of Colloidal Silver

On May 17, 2018, the FDA issued a warning letter to Silver Armor, Inc.

Recalls & Warnings

July 05, 2017

CLIF Bars Recalled Due to Allergen Risk

On July 5, 2017, CLIF Bar & Company issued a voluntary recall of CLIF BUILDER'S Bar Chocolate Mint, CLIF Kid Zbar Protein Chocolate Mint, and CLIF Kid Zbar Protein Chocolate Chip flavors due to the potential presence of peanuts and tree nuts, including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, ...

Recalls & Warnings

September 05, 2013

Seller of Herbal Supplements and "Tonics" Warned For Manufacturing Violations and Drug Claims

On May 24, 2013, the FDA issued a warning letter to Sundial Herbal Products following a facility inspection which found the company's products, including Woman Back Tonic, Koromantee, Wood and Root Tonic, Arthritis, Asthma, Diabetics, Sundial Ashanti Weight Loss Energy Lifter, Appetite Suppresser, ...

Recalls & Warnings

January 11, 2013

Consumers May Be Eligible For Cold, Allergy and Weight Loss Supplement Refunds

On January 7, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that consumers who purchased the Iovate Health dietary supplements Accelis, nanoSLIM, Cold MD, Germ MD, or Allergy MD between January 2006 and July 2010 may qualify for a refund.

Recalls & Warnings

July 15, 2010

Supplement Company Pays $5.5 Million to Settle False Advertising Claims

On July 14, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as part of its ongoing efforts to stop bogus health claims, announced that it is requiring a major marketer of dietary supplements to pay $5.

Recalls & Warnings

February 09, 2011

Allergy Alert Issued for "Essentials" and "RightFoods" Brand Products

On February 7, 2011, BioSan Laboratories issued a voluntary recall (posted on the FDA website) for its products sold under the Essentials and RightFoods brands, as well as the Therapeutix Cardio Strength and Innate Cardio Response brands. These products may contain undeclared soy flour.

Recalls & Warnings

May 10, 2013

Protein Extract Recalled for Undeclared Allergens

On May 6, 2013, Pure Herbs Ltd. issued a voluntary recall of Protein Extract because it contains undeclared milk and soy allergens.

Recalls & Warnings

March 22, 2016

NOW Foods Recalls Ginkgo & Other Supplements

On March 18, 2016, NOW Foods issued a recall of the following dietary supplements due to errors on the labels: 

Recalls & Warnings

March 28, 2014

Nutrition Bars Recalled Due to Allergen Risk

On March 27, 2014, Clif Bar & Company issued a voluntary recall of a small number of 15-count boxes of Chocolate Chunk LUNA Bars because they contain undeclared macadamia nut butter.

Recalls & Warnings

March 21, 2014

Homeopathic Products Recalled Due to Allergy Risk

On March 20, 2014, Terra-Medica, Inc. issued a voluntary recall of 56 lots of homeopathic products including, Pleo-FORT, Pleo-QUENT, Pleo-NOT, Pleo-STOLO, Pleo-NOTA-QUENT, and Pleo-EX.

Recalls & Warnings

December 26, 2010

Four Probiotic Products in Canada May Pose Serious Health Risks to Those with Milk or Soy Allergies

On December 24, 2010, Health Canada (the Canadian health ministry) advised consumers with milk or soy allergies that four probiotic natural health products are being voluntarily recalled from the market because they are labelled as not containing dairy (milk) and/or soy but may contain trace ...