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Many dietary supplements are 'a risk'

By Tim Sandle     Dec 10, 2014 in Health
Washington - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken the unusual step of issuing an alert about dietary supplements. It warns that those that are “probiotic” are a risk to people with weak immune systems.
The FDA states that there are risks associated with dietary supplements containing live bacteria or yeast (that is, ones intended to be probiotic in some shape or form). This is due to a risk of secondary microbial contamination. Immunocompromised people are seen as being particularly vulnerable.
Probiotics are commonly consumed as part of fermented foods with specially added active live cultures, such as in yogurt, soy yogurt, or as dietary supplements. While many have apparent health benefits, consumers should be aware that they contain live microorganisms and that they are often manufactured as “food” rather than as “pharmaceuticals.”
As an example, a premature infant was administered a dietary supplement called ABC Dophilus Powder (Solgar). This was part of in-hospital treatment. The baby went onto develop gastrointestinal mucormycosis caused a mold called Rhizopus oryzae. Unfortunately the baby died.
Later investigation found the mold was in an unopened container of the ABC Dophilus Powder, which is formulated to contain three species of live bacteria. This investigation inferred that the product was contaminated during manufacture.
In November 2014, the manufacturer – Solgar — issued a recall for certain lots of ABC Dophilus Powder and public health warnings were issued advising customers and consumers not to use the recalled product.
This issue led FDA to inform medics that dietary supplements, including those that are formulated to contain live bacteria or yeast, are not regulated as drugs and are not required to be produced until the strictest levels of hygiene (as defined by Good Manufacturing Practice.). Moreover, there is no requirement for testing in relation to safety and effectiveness.
More about Dietary supplements, Probiotics, Fda
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