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CVS to test unregulated vitamins and dietary supplements – NBC News

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May 16, 2019, 6:45 PM UTC

By Shamard Charles, M.D.

CVS Pharmacy announced Wednesday that it will require independent testing on all the vitamins and supplements sold in its almost 10,000 stores to assure customers that they are getting what they think they are.

The testing, which will look at safety and label accuracy, is the Rhode Island-based company’s latest effort to bring under control the unregulated vitamins and supplements industry.

June 14, 201801:18

CVS says they have already tested more than 1,400 products from 152 brands, across 11 categories including diet and nutrition, pain, and digestive supplements for safety and label accuracy.

Of those products tested, 7 percent did not meet safety or accuracy standard and were pulled off the shelves.

The initiative is part of CVS’ “Tested to Be Trusted” program, a campaign that seeks to inform customers that all of the dietary supplements sold on its store shelves will now be independently verified. The goal is to show costumers that the company is a trusted partner in the health and holistic wellness community.

The testing is being done by an independent third party and not done by CVS. Companies that do this include NFS International and U.S. Pharmacopeia, although CVS did not state if it will be working with either one.

“CVS Pharmacy’s requirement of third-party testing of all vitamins and supplements uniquely positions us as a trusted retailer and health partner where consumers can shop for proactive wellness solutions with confidence,” Kevin Hourican, president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice president of CVS Health, said in a statement. “We are seeing more customers focus on self-care as part of their overall health, and CVS is committed to providing access to new products and categories to empower people to practice self-care in their daily lives, especially since self-care varies based on an individual’s needs.”

Most vitamins and dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which means they do not undergo rigorous safety testing.

“A lot of consumers don’t realize that the FDA does not regulate dietary supplements like multivitamins/minerals and herbal supplements before they go to market. Supplements can be contaminated with dangerous ingredients like lead or pharmaceutical drugs. In some supplements, the amount of the nutrient stated on the bottle is not the amount actually in the bottle,” said Beth Kitchin, a registered dietitian and an assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Nutrition Sciences.

“So this requirement by CVS is good news for consumers. Supplements will now have to have the approval of a third-party independent group — such as the USP. This will assure customers that the supplement has in it what it says it has in it and that it is not contaminated with potentially dangerous ingredients,” she added.

Kitchin cautions that this development requiring a ‘seal of approval’ does not mean that the supplement is effective or gives consumers any health benefits. “Supplement makers do not have to prove that their products are effective — and this new initiative will not change that,” Kitchin told NBC News.

Last year, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that many of these products contain unapproved and unregulated, pharmaceutically active ingredients.

And in 2016, GNC — the country’s largest retailer of supplements — agreed to pay $2.25 million in a settlement with the Department of Justice in response to the federal government’s ongoing crackdown on supplements that contain hidden drug ingredients, harmful compounds or that don’t truthfully list their ingredients.

Still Kitchin believes this is an overall positive development to keep a largely unchecked vitamin industry accountable.

“This is a much-needed pro-consumer move by CVS,” Kitchin said.

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Collagen supplement use growing in popularity, improves skin, hair and nails – WXYZ

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There are so many options when a person goes into a supplement store, from vitamins to minerals and protein powders and more.

The latest one to grow in popularity? Collagen.

At Supplement Giant, owner Adam Watts says collagen powder is a popular product.

“Collagen is actually the most abundant amount of protein in our body,” Watts said.

Collagen represents 30 percent of a human body’s protein content.

“It’s found in animal bones ligaments and tendons again not traditionally part of our diet anymore,” he said.

Most brands sell collagen as a great supplement to take to improve a person’s hair, skin, fingernails, and bone and joint health.

“If you have a deficiency of collagen in your skin it can decrease you skin health which can cause stretch marks, dark spots, infections,” Watts said.

He suggests people age 30 and older take a collagen supplement.

“After the age of 30, collagen decreases by 1 percent, so by the time you’re 50, you’ve lost 20 percent of your collagen,” he said. “If you have injuries, collagen is going to help and repair tissue.”

Registered Dietician Jessica Crandall Snyder said she recommends food as medicine, not supplements.

“Being active on a daily basis you are actually helping to re-synthesize your collagen,” she said, “So supplemental sources from protein powders may not be the way for you to get adequate nutrition.”

While Adam Watts sells collagen powder at whole sale, other stores start the product at $25 per container.

But eggs, wild salmon, tomatoes, pumpkin and chia seeds are affordable foods that aid in collagen production.

The experts say collagen powder works, but make sure it’s not your main source of protein.

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CA Permit Sale of Hemp-Derived CBD in Foods & Supplements – The National Law Review

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California Assembly Bill 228 would expressly permit the retail sale of hemp-derived CBD in foods and supplements in California, notwithstanding the Food and Drug Administration’s position to the contrary. On Thursday, May 16, 2019, AB-228 passed through the State Assembly’s Appropriations Committee with a unanimous 18-0 approval. The Bill, sponsored by Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (District 4), moves to the House floor where a two thirds vote is required for it to continue on to the Senate for approval. 

AB-228 is intended to address the guidance offered by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in July 2018, which prohibits hemp-derived CBD from being added to foods. The CDPH’s release provides: 

California incorporates federal law regarding food additives, dietary use products, food labeling, and good manufacturing practices for food… Currently, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that it is a prohibited act to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food (including any animal food or feed) to which tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or CBD has been added. This is regardless of the source of CBD – derived from industrial hemp or cannabis. 

While manufacturing and retail sales of marijuana-derived CBD products are permitted in accordance with California’s cannabis regulations, hemp-derived CBD remains unapproved for use as a food ingredient, food additive or dietary supplement. 

The City of Los Angeles took a similar position when its Department of Public Health, Environmental Health, which regulates food operators, issued the following guidance: “use of industrial hemp derived products in food will be considered adulterated and cited by DPH-EH as a violation resulting in a deduction of two (2) points on the official inspection report.” The Los Angeles guidance becomes effective on July 1, 2019. 

In response to the FDA’s position, California would join multiple states, including Colorado and Illinois, that have released policies allowing hemp-derived CBD in foods. AB-228 provides that “the sale of food or beverages that include hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp shall not be restricted or prohibited based solely on the inclusion of industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp. 

Though legalization at the state level does not preclude FDA enforcement, AB-228 would provide California defendants with an affirmative defense in civil court to unlawful adulterant allegations regarding CBD products. AB-228 also would allow hemp-derived CBD product sales by licensed cannabis businesses and declare that industrial hemp and its derivatives are an agricultural product. 

If the California House of Representatives passes AB-228, it will move on to the Senate where it must receive support by an assigned Senate committee before being placed on the Senate floor for a vote. If approved by the Senate, AB-228 will be delivered to Governor Newsom for final approval.

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Warning: Avoid dietary supplements from these 12 companies – ActionNewsJax.com

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In the quest to be healthy, dietary supplements continue to be a popular option with some people but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent warnings to companies hawking such products should cause potential customers to proceed with caution.

The agency recently sent out warnings to several companies that it said did not adhere to government guidelines on dietary supplement claims and their purported benefits.

FDA warns 12 companies over dietary supplement claims

Three of the companies ran afoul of the law by making claims about phenibut, which is sometimes marketed as a sleep aid. According to the FDA, phenibut does not meet the statutory definition of a dietary ingredient.

The FDA also issued nine warning letters to companies marketing DMHA (Dimethylhexylamine or 2-aminoisoheptane) as an ingredient in numerous dietary supplements.

In April 2019, the FDA determined that DMHA, which is often marketed for weight loss and sports performance, is either a “new dietary ingredient” for which the agency has yet to receive the mandatory New Dietary Ingredient notification or is “an unsafe food additive.”

The violations ultimately mean that American consumers may be buying and using products that are not approved for consumption. It also means the remedial claims of the products are as of yet unproven.

On the FDA’s website, a dietary supplement is defined as “a dietary ingredient as a vitamin; mineral; herb or other botanical; amino acid; dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of the preceding substances.”

But then there is this major distinction: “Unlike drugs, supplements are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases. That means supplements should not make claims, such as ‘reduces pain’ or ‘treats heart disease.’ Claims like these can only legitimately be made for drugs, not dietary supplements.”

Here are the FDA warning letters to the 12 companies

Warning Letters (DMHA):

Warning Letters (Phenibut):


Do you use dietary supplements? If so, do these warnings concern you at all? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Warning: Avoid dietary supplements from these 12 companies appeared first on Clark Howard.

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