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Posted February 21, 2013

FDA and FTC Warn: Supplements Cannot Prevent, Treat Or Cure Cold And Flu

On February 11, 2013, the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly issued warning letters to three dietary supplement companies regarding their potential illegal marketing of products to prevent, treat or cure flu virus.

The FDA also urged consumers to be wary of dietary supplements and products that are fraudulently promoted as treatments for the flu, or alternatives to FDA approved flu vaccines and medications, stating:

"These scammers sell their products with claims to prevent, treat or cure the flu, even though they have not been tested and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them."  

Vitalmax Vitamins was warned for statements made on the company's website which promoted the dietary supplement BodyGuard as a "miraculous remedy" for colds and flus that "sends germs packing in a way that antibiotics and drugs never could." BodyGuard contains ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, echinacea, astragalus, olive, elderberry extract, green tea extract, garlic, ginkgo biloba and probiotics.  

Kosher Vitamin Express was warned for promoting dietary supplements Zahlers Kosher Abreve Advanced Cold & Flu Formula, Sunshine Health Kosher Cold & Flu Support, and Nutri-Supreme Research Kosher Cold & Flu Plus with Olive Leaf, Garlic and Oregano Extract as treatments for the flu.

Some of the statements made about these products noted in the warning letter include "Zahlers Kosher Abreve Advanced Cold & Flu Formula ...fights and reduces symptoms of Colds, Flu, Pneumonia, Upper Respiratory Tract Infections" and "Olive Leaf Extract of the powerful natural cold remedies and flu treatments."  

Supplementality LLC was warned for promoting dietary supplements Resveratrol, Garlic 90, Echinacea, Elderberry, Ashwagandha and Astragalus Immune System Support to prevent and treat cold and flu.

The company's website also made statements such as, "Help fight off influenza and other viruses and their symptoms naturally with this selection of herbs and other products." and "Astragalus Immune System Support can help to reduce the length of time that [flu] symptoms persist, the severity of symptoms, or both."  

See's answers to the questions, Do any supplements help prevent or treat a cold? and Do any supplements help for flu? for more information. Also see Reviews of Vitamin C Supplements, Vitamin D Supplements, Echinacea Supplements, Garlic Supplements, Probiotic Supplements, Resveratrol Supplements, Green Tea Supplements, Zinc Supplements and Selenium Supplements for tests of related products.

See Related Warnings:

Maker of Cold and Flu Supplement Warned For Making Drug Claims

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

Zicam Nasal Gel Recalled Due to Potential Bacterial Contamination

Airborne Settles Lawsuit Over False Advertising of its "Miracle Cold Buster"

Airborne to Pay $30 Million for Deceptive Advertising of Cold Remedy -- Refunds Available

Airborne Settles Over False Advertising -- $7 Million to States

For more warnings, use the link below.