Saturday, April 12, 2008

But it's Natural...

Following up on my March 29th post on this issue:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that it has found hazardous levels of selenium in samples of certain flavors of the dietary supplement products "Total Body Formula" and "Total Body Mega Formula." The FDA has received 43 reports of persons from nine states who experienced serious adverse reactions using these products.

On March 27, the FDA warned consumers not to purchase or use "Total Body Formula" in flavors Tropical Orange and Peach Nectar and "Total Body Mega Formula" in the Orange/Tangerine flavor of these products after receiving reports of adverse reactions in users in Florida and Tennessee here). The adverse reactions generally occurred after five to 10 days of daily ingestion of the product, and included significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain, deformed fingernails, and fatigue.

Selenium, a naturally occurring mineral, is needed only in very small amounts for good health. Selenium can boost the immune system. Generally, normal consumption of food and water provides adequate selenium to support good health. Excessive intake of selenium is known to cause symptoms to include significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain, fatigue, loss of finger nails and blistering skin.
Notice they didn't tell you this:
Pregnancy—It is especially important that you are receiving enough vitamins and minerals when you become pregnant and that you continue to receive the right amount of vitamins and minerals throughout your pregnancy. The healthy growth and development of the fetus depend on a steady supply of nutrients from the mother. However, taking large amounts of a dietary supplement in pregnancy may be harmful to the mother and/or fetus and should be avoided.

Studies in animals have shown that selenium causes birth defects when given in large doses.
And also in long-term chronic exposure because selenium concentrates. In California, many wet-lands have become highly contaminated with selenium-laced agricultural run-off and, consequently, the breeding bird populations have collapsed. Environmentalists have tried to get the poor practices that lead to this positioning stopped, but, so far between the rather pro-agricultural courts and laws and the Astro-Turf groups, nothing has been done despite the lessons that should have been learned at Kesterson NWR.

Sometimes I feel like I'm living in a bad science-fiction, dystopian-genre story that ends with glassed in eco-preserves where the 8-remaining butterflies must be protected while humans live in squalor and starvation in their over-populated world-of-hovels eating yeast-cakes.

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