FDA takes action to protect consumers from fraudulent dietary supplements

Steve LankfordFDA News Release: “On Nov. 17, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in partnership with other government agencies, today announced the results of a yearlong sweep of dietary supplements to identify potentially unsafe or tainted supplements. The sweep resulted in civil injunctions and criminal actions against 117 various manufacturers and/or distributors of dietary supplements and tainted products falsely marketed as dietary supplements. Among the cases announced today is a criminal case charging USPlabs LLC and several of its corporate officers. USPlabs was known for its widely popular workout and weight loss supplements, which it sold under names such as Jack3d and OxyElite Pro.

FDALed by the U.S. Department of Justice, the sweep included the FDA, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
The indictment alleges that USPlabs engaged in a conspiracy to import ingredients from China using false certificates of analysis and false labeling and then lied about the source and nature of those ingredients after it put them in its products. According to the indictment, USPlabs told some of its retailers and wholesalers that it used natural plant extracts in products called Jack3d and OxyElite Pro, when in fact it was using a synthetic stimulant manufactured in a Chinese chemical factory.

The indictment also alleges that the defendants sold some of their products without determining whether they would be safe to use. To the contrary, as the indictment notes, the defendants knew of studies that linked the products to liver toxicity.

The indictment also alleges that USPlabs and its principals told the FDA in October 2013 that it would stop distribution of OxyElite Pro, once the product had been implicated in an outbreak of liver injuries. The indictment alleges that, despite this promise, USPLabs engaged in a surreptitious, all-hands-on-deck effort to sell as much OxyElite Pro as it could as quickly as possible. It was sold at dietary supplement stores across the nation.” End excerpt. CLICK HERE to read the entire press release.

This underscores what I have been telling you for years The entire responsible supplement industry has been waiting for the feds to act. Why are these companies allowed to continue to sell fraudulent products and how can they continue to make illegal claims? Maybe this is a sign that we can begin to have confidence in the products we purchase because we know that bad companies are being removed. This again highlights some very important points.

  • The supplement industry is highly regulated. Ask any good supplement manufacturer if they are regulated and they can confirm for you the extensive regulations that have been in place since Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act in 1994, The FDA regulates foods, drugs, cosmetics and now supplements. Those who claim that supplements are unregulated is either woefully uninformed or they are denying the truth. In either case you cannot trust someone who does not know the basic facts.
  • There are bad companies. There are many ways to make inferior and/or adulterated dietary supplements. Companies who willfully do this are scamming the consumers by using inferior raw materials, using substandard potencies, and/or adulteration with pharmaceutical compounds. Such companies will make claims that are not true to entice consumers with unsubstantiated claims.

Magnifying Glass HealthThis is largely an internet problems. Companies who sell only on the internet are suspect. Certainly not all internet companies are scammers. You as the consumer must make the distinctions that can lead you to better products from better companies. You must do your research. One way to have more confidence is to visit an independent health food store. These are usually run by people who have a passion for health and have a mission to help others discover nutritional products that are safe and effective. Other reliable sources can include naturopathic doctors and nutritional counselors. You need to have a good resource that you can trust. Look for products from companies who have been helping consumers for many years. A company with a long history and a good reputation is a good place to start.

One final point, these products are not dietary supplements when they are spiked with drugs. They are fake and fraudulent. They create false hope, unrealistic expectations and the possiblity of harm or even death. These are NOT supplements. They are pretend supplements designed to take advantage of a consumer who desires safe and natural products.

The key to success is to do your homework. Your health is what you make it. You get to decide what products have earned your trust and money. Don’t be afraid to experiment with good products and companies. With consistent application of a good nutritional program you can have better health.



A Healthy Life Requires a Healthy Microbiome

Dr. Erin Stokes

Digestive Support

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I purchased my first probiotic supplement in 1972 in Berkeley, CA at a health food store. I was heading to Mexico for the first time and I asked them how to protect my digestive system while traveling south of the border. I was advised to take Acidophilus and Hcl (hydrocloric acid). Looking back, that advice holds up to today’s science. Probiotics and a digestive aid is still appropriate advice. As I recall the Acidophilus had a potency of 100 million. That now seems like such a little bit. But unlike many nutrients that we enjoy in today’s marketplace, the supplements of 1970’s were very basic. Today we are in a golden age of science and products. If you are a careful shopper and a knowledgeable consumer, you have the opportunity to create a nutritional program that can transform your health. Probiotics are critical and easily added to your nutritional menu.

What has emerged from the science is that probiotics are important throughout life. Beginning with prenatal health, through childhood and on into and through one’s life. Probiotics are something that we all have. We each have a personal microbiome. The good news is that we can have profound impact on our health with the use of probiotics to maintain and support digestive health.

In this interview with Dr. Erin Stokes you will learn how specific probiotics can be targeted for specific times of life. Dr. Stokes will discuss several aspects of choosing a probiotic and she will describe the specific Megafood targeted formulas. Choosing a quality probiotic is your first and most important decision. Dr. Stokes will discuss the importance of specific strains that have been clinically studied and evaluated for specific benefits. You will learn how to identify if a formula uses a specific studied strain.

She will also explain the importance of prebiotics. Prebiotics are the food for the beneficial bacterial. You can enhance the growth of your microbiome by supplying the fiber that bacteria love and thrive on. Lastly she will discuss how food complements the probiotics. As you might expect, Megafood has a high standard and include both prebiotics and organic foods in their probiotic formulas. Here are the new formulas recently introduced by Megafood:

  • MegaFlora for Women includes organic cranberry to naturally support urinary tract health. Beet, burdock and dandelion root also nourish the existing microbiome and feminine health.
  • MegaFlora for Baby and Me is taken by pregnant moms to promote immune health and nutrient absorption in pregnant mother and child. Organic ginger is included to gently support digestive function.
  • MegaFlora for Over 50 contains a broad spectrum of probiotics designed to encourage regularity, healthy bowel function and proper digestion for reduced gas and bloating. Organic turmeric root also promotes the health of the colon in both men and women.

You can also learn more about Megafood by listening to our previous interviews. MegaFood CertificationsMegaFood products are certified to be pure and free of most common allergens. They are easy to digest, even by people with the most sensitive stomachs. MegaFood products are easily tolerated even on an empty stomach.

About Dr. Stokes

Dr. Erin Stokes, is a Naturopathic Doctor and the Medical Director at FoodState.  Erin received her Naturopathic Doctor degree from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, in 2001. She combines her experience as a Naturopathic Doctor with an extensive background in the natural products industry. Erin’s personal mission is to empower people with the inspiration and tools to change their lives. Dr. Stokes practices naturopathic medicine in Boulder, CO.




183 – Balancing Your Immune System – My Interview with Stephen Wicks

Internationally-recognized research has shown that the patented blend of sterols and sterolins found in Moducare may help to support a healthy and balanced immune system. Supporting immune health is key to the prevention of colds, flu and infections, as well as allergies and painful autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.

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182 – Innovative Probiotic Pearls – My Interview with Dean Morris

The interest in probiotics is growing and with good reason. There is extensive and emerging science about the benefits of probiotics and so you should feel confident in adding probiotics to your nutritional program. The question for many is what is the best probiotic?

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181 – Aged Garlic Extract has Over 700 Studies – My Interview with James LaValle

If you want to learn more about Aged Garlic Extract, you should listen to my interviews with Dr. Matthew Budoff and Dr. Karen Reid. These researchers have done numerous clinical studies that show how AGE lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis. Studies have also reveals that AGE benefits the immune system, healthy cholesterol levels and helps fight candida yeast overgrowth. No other garlic has been studied and shown to have these same properties. In this interview with James LaValle we will discuss Aged Garlic Extract and what you need to know.

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180 – GPC Helps Your Brain Work Better – My Interview with Dr. Parris Kidd

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179 – Menopause Relief in 7 to 10 Days Naturally – My Interview with Michael Jeffers

Print – PDF – Email Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 43:41 — 80.3MB) Menopause Symptoms Can Be Debilitating Menopause can be terribly disrupting to women in many different ways. The symptoms can last for years. Women are often desperate to find relief. At one time hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was the treatment […]

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178 – Sports Supplements for Athletes – My Interview with Tavis Piattoly

I will discuss these issues with my guest, Tavis Piatolly. Tavis Piattoly is one of the leading sports nutrition consultants in the industry. We will discuss what you need to know about sports supplements, sorting fact from fiction, so that we make the best choices for our performance and health when choosing a particular supplement. One of the key nutrients we discuss is omega-3.

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177 – Medical Science’s Dirty Little Secret – My Opinion – Steve Lankford

This is scary. The point is that up to half of all medical literature is false. This means that we cannot rely that the drugs we take have been properly studied and reported. Studies are tainted, manipulated, misinterpreted, reshaped, and otherwise falsified. The suggestion is that up to half of published medical scientific literature may be untrue in some way.

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176 – Coconut Oil Miracle – My Interview with Dr. Bruce Fife

While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content, it’s the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine. Once mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the fat in coconut oil is a unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health giving properties.

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