Here, Take This

From Fanatic Cook:

"Total Body Formula - A Complete Full-Spectrum Dietary Supplement For The Entire Family", was making people sick. Two weeks ago the FDA advised consumers to stop taking it. (The FDA has no recall authority). The manufacturer, Total Body Essential Nutrition, has since voluntarily recalled it.

The Problem

Total Body Formula is advertised to contain 200 micrograms of selenium.

The tolerable upper intake level (UL) for selenium is 400 micrograms/day, or 5 micrograms per kilogram body weight, whichever comes first. (That's 272 mcg/day for a 120 pound person.) Above this level one may experience significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain, fatigue, deformed fingernails (or they just fall out), and blistering skin.

How much selenium was in Total Body Formula?

"Analyses of samples of the products by FDA laboratories have now found most of the samples contain extremely high levels of selenium--up to 40,800 micrograms per recommended serving, or more than 200 times the amount of selenium per serving (i.e., 200 micrograms) indicated on the labels of the products."

- FDA Press Release, April 9, 2008, FDA Finds Hazardous Levels of Selenium in Samples of "Total Body Formula" and "Total Body Mega Formula"


When it comes to the "dietary supplement" industry, it is a bit scary that they can say what they want without regulation. I, however, do not want the FDA involved in regulating them. They don't have the best track record, and I have libertarian tendencies.

I would prefer an independent agency that provides testing for supplements and then approves compliant brands/products. Let the open market do it's thing.

Maybe I'm wrong though, what do you think?