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Author Topic: Total Body Essential - Vitamin Supplements  (Read 1601 times)
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« on: April 18, 2008, 07:12:08 PM »

Total Body Essential Products Found to Contain Toxic Levels of Selenium and Chromium
By: Drucilla Dyess
Published: Thursday, 17 April 2008

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday, April 15, that harmful amounts of selenium have been found in samples of “Total Body Formula” and “Total Body Mega Formula” dietary supplement products, which are distributed by Total Body Essential Nutrition of Atlanta, Ga.

There have been at least 43 reports from nine states received by the FDA regarding people who have experienced serious adverse reactions while using the products. The reports came from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

The FDA, in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Association of Poison Control Centers, put out an alert regarding the two dietary supplements that urged consumers not to use “Total Body Formula” flavors Tropical Orange and Peach Nectar, as well as “Total Body Mega Formula” Orange/Tangerine flavor. The agency also urged users to discard the products by placing them in a trash container outside of the home. Products with the following lot numbers should particularly be discarded immediately: Total Body Tropical Orange with lot numbers 4016801, 4024801 and 4031801; Total Body Peach Nectar with lot numbers 4016802 and 4031802; and Total Body Mega Orange/Tangerine with lot number 4031803.

The reactions to the products generally begin within 5 to 10 days of daily intake. Symptoms included fatigue, muscle cramps, joint pain, diarrhea, significant hair loss, and deformed fingernails. “Total Body Formula” products are sold in 8-ounce and 32-ounce plastic bottles. “Total Body Mega Formula” is sold in 32-ounce plastic bottles. Both products have the sole national distributor name, Total Body Essential Nutrition of Atlanta, listed on the product labels. The distributor issued a voluntary recall for the affected products.

Selenium is a naturally occurring mineral necessary to maintaining healthy cells and an effective immune system. It is an element that is combined into proteins called selenoproteins, which are antioxidants that are important for the prevention of cell damage by free radicals. A normal diet and water usually supply an adequate amount of selenium for good health. The most common sources of selenium are meats and bread as well as certain nuts.

How much selenium is contained in a food is dependent upon the amount contained in the soil where it is grown, or where the animal was raised for meat sources. Even people who live in areas with low selenium soil can maintain a healthy level of selenium by eating a variety of foods from different places.

The recommended daily allowance of selenium for adults is 55 micrograms daily, with the exception of women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, who need 60 to 70 micrograms daily. Excessive intake of selenium is known to cause the following symptoms: significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain, fatigue, loss of fingernails and blistering skin.

The FDA laboratories analyzed product samples and found that most of the samples contain up to 40,800 micrograms per recommended serving, which is over 200 times the amount of the 200 micrograms per serving specified on the product labels. In addition, there are also dangerous levels of chromium in the products, an amount 17 times above what is written on the labels. The agency is now investigating how these high levels of elements were added to the products.

Excessive intake of chromium may result in the following symptoms: kidney failure, elevated liver enzymes, abnormal decrease in blood platelets, destruction of red blood cells, changes in thought processes, gastrointestinal disorders, chest pain, erythema/flushing/rash, dizziness, headache, agitation and degeneration of skeletal muscles.

Anyone who has experienced two or more symptoms occurring within two weeks of ingesting a dietary supplement manufactured in the USA exclusively for Total Body Essential Nutrition should consult their health care provider or call the national Poison Control Center (PCC) hotline at 800-222-1222. There are also medical personnel available at local PCCs who can provide medical advice and make appropriate referral to state and local health authorities.

Adverse effects may also be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch program at 800-FDA-1088 or via the online system.

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