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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 can help with arthritis?

Learn more about collagen supplements for joint health, including evidence from clinical studies on arthritis and muscle strength and safety.

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

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

Is soy in supplements good or bad for you?

Find out about the health benefits and/or safety concerns related to soy constituents (including soy isoflavones, soy protein, soy lecithin, and soybean oil), and learn how you can avoid soy in supplements if necessary.

Scoop of soy protein isolate placed among soybeans

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

CL Answer

Should I be concerned about supplements that contain Polysorbate 80? Is it safe?

Find out if polysorbate 80 is a safe ingredient in supplements.

Is Polysorbate 80 Safe? -- woman looking at supplement label

CL Answer

I developed a rash soon after starting a probiotic. Is it possible to be allergic to probiotics?

Find out if probiotics can cause allergic reactions, including skin rashes, and why.

Young Woman Scratching Forearm

CL Answer

Have you tested vitamin K supplements with MenaQ7? Is this a good source of vitamin K if I need to avoid soy?

Information about MenaQ7, a MK-7 form of vitamin K2, including test results for a supplement containing MenaQ7.

Doctor's Best Vitamin K Bottle Against White Background

CL Answer

What is EpiCor? Does it really "boost" the immune system and prevent colds?

EpiCor supplement info, including evidence from clinical studies on immune function and cold/flu prevention, safety, and price.

Woman with Cold Holding Pill Bottle

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


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 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.

News Release

5/26/2017 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


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


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


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


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


Terry Naturally and EuroMedica B Vitamins Recalled Due to Allergen Risk

On April 21, 2023, EuroPharma, Inc. issued a voluntary recall of 4 lots of its Terry Naturally BioActive Vitamin B 60 count and 3 lots of its EuroMedica Active B Complex 60 count products due to undeclared milk. No illnesses have been reported to date.

Recalls & Warnings


High Impact Plant Protein Powder Recalled

On December 15, 2022, THGH Partners LLC issued a recall of one lot of its High Impact Plant Protein due to the presence of undeclared milk.

Recalls & Warnings


Nature’s Energy Children’s Colostrum Recalled Due to Undeclared Milk

On May 18, 2023, Nature’s Energy issued a recall of six lots of Children’s Chewable Colostrum products due to undeclared milk.

Recalls & Warnings


Prune & Senna Softgels Recalled Due to Undeclared Peanuts

On March 26, 2022, Indiana Botanic Gardens Inc. issued a voluntary recall of one lot of Botanic Choice brand Prune & Senna Softgels because the product contained undeclared peanuts.

Recalls & Warnings


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Whole Food's 365 Everyday Value Whey Protein Recalled

On May 7, 2021, Arizona Nutritional Supplements issued a recall of 365 Everyday Value Whey Protein Powder Natural Vanilla Flavor because it contains undeclared soy. Containers of 365 Everyday Value Whey Protein Powder Natural Vanilla Flavor were mistakenly packaged with Soy Protein Powder.

Recalls & Warnings


CytoSport's Evolve Protein Shakes Recalled

On May 1, 2021, CytoSport, Inc., recalled certain lots of Evolve Protein Shakes because they have the potential to be contaminated with soy protein.

Recalls & Warnings


FDA Warns Seller of Colloidal Silver

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

Recalls & Warnings


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


Seller of Meal Replacement, Protein Drinks, Cranberry and More Warned for Manufacturing Violations

On July 6, 2017, the FDA issued a warning letter to Professional Botanicals, Inc.

Recalls & Warnings


Seller of Supplements for Pain and Allergies Warned for Manufacturing Violations, Drug Claims

On December 13, 2017, the FDA issued a warning letter to GnuPharma Corporation, following a facility inspection which found a number of the company's products, including Relief capsules, Foundation capsules, Aller-geez capsules, Fit capsules, Aller-Geez Tea, Foundation herbal tea and ...

Recalls & Warnings


FDA Warns Seller of Arthritis, Blood Pressure, Diabetes Supplements For Making Drug Claims

On August 15, 2017, the FDA issued a warning letter to Years to Your Health, Inc., following an inspection of the company's website which found a number of their products to be misbranded, as they contained drug claims.

Recalls & Warnings


FDA Warns Seller of Supplements for Allergies, Joint Pain, Bone Health, and More

On August 16, 2017, the FDA issued a warning letter to Total Nutrition, Inc.

Recalls & Warnings


"Allergy" Supplement Containing Ephedra Recalled

On February 7, 2017, MusclMasster, LLC (DBA The Green Herb) of Wheat Ridge, CO issued a recall of all bottles of Al-Er-G Capsules , a product promoted to help allergies, because they contain ephedra.

Recalls & Warnings


Multivitamin Recalled Due to Allergen Risk

On February 14, 2017, Licata Enterprises issued a recall of all lots of its Supreme One and Theravits 100 multiple vitamins because they contain fish liver oil but is labeled as containing "no common allergens.

Recalls & Warnings


GNC Women's Multi Recalled Due to Undeclared Allergen

On November 16, 2016, Nutra Manufacturing, Inc. issued a recall of one lot of GNC Women's Ultra Mega Time Release multivitamin because it contains undeclared milk.

Recalls & Warnings


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 ...

Recalls & Warnings


Immune Supplement Recalled Due To Undeclared Milk

On August 23, 2013, Reaction Nutrition, LLC issued a voluntary recall of immune support supplement LIVE CLINICAL 90 CAPS because it contains undeclared milk.

Recalls & Warnings


Recall: Multivitamin Containing Undeclared Milk

On April 26, 2013, Saratoga Therapeutics, LLC issued a recall of ebA Multivitamin Supplement because it may contain undeclared milk. The label describes the supplement as free of milk components.

Recalls & Warnings


Probiotic Recalled Due To Undeclared Soy

On March 20, 2013, New Chapter, Inc. issued a voluntary recall of one lot of its Probiotic Elderberry dietary supplement because it may contain undeclared soy.

Recalls & Warnings


Recall of Calcium-Vitamin D Product That's Actually Glucosamine -- Allergy Alert

As published on the U.S. FDA's website, Rexall Inc. announced a recall on January 16, 2012 of Rexall Calcium 1200 mg plus 1000 IU Vitamin D3, 60 softgels. The affected bottles actually contain a TABLET product, Triple Strength Glucosamine Chondroitin and MSM Tablets.

Recalls & Warnings


Seller of Supplements for Herpes, Prostate Cancer & More Warned for Drug Claims

On May 7, 2015, the FDA issued a warning letter to Strictly Health Corporation, following a review of the company's websites which found statements made about FENVIR, Prosta Pep and Tonalin brand CLA to be drug claims.

Recalls & Warnings


Many Dark Chocolate Bars Found to Contain Undeclared Milk

On February 11, 2015, the FDA announced its study of dark chocolate bars found many - including some which did not list milk as an ingredient or were labeled as "dairy-free" or "allergen-free," to contain milk.

Recalls & Warnings


Seller of "Cleanse," Allergy Supplements and More Warned for Manufacturing Violations, Drug Claims

On October 15, 2014, the FDA issued a warning letter to Evangelical Christian Ministries, dba Health & Herbs, following a facility inspection which found the company's products, CORYDALIS and CVF BGONE to be adulterated because they were prepared, packed, or held under conditions that violate ...