Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hydroxycut recall begs stricter controls for dietary supplements?

The voluntary recall of 14 Hydroxycut products by Iovate Sciences has people talking. Should there by stricter controls on dietary supplements?

The Hydroxycut recall was triggered by a consumer warning by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued May 1. In response, Loren Israelsen, executive director of the United Natural Products Alliance and a member of Nutrition Business Journal’s editorial advisory board said in a Nutrition Business Journal, “This is a big deal for the dietary supplement industry because it will inevitably invite comparison to the ephedra AER [adverse event reporting] episode, and critics of the industry will no doubt call for some review of DSHEA [the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act] as a result."

Ongoing problems with Hydroxycut and similar products have people wondering if supplement regulations should be firmer, which does not seem like a priority for Congress right now. And, until it is, how can consumers protect themselves?

According to Nutrition Business Journal, "consumers bought $1.67 billion worth of weight-loss pill-form supplements in 2007, and Hydroxycut was the top-selling weight-loss supplement brand sold at supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandise outlets (excluding Wal-Mart). Weight-loss supplement sales have been hurting since the 2004 ephedra ban, and this event is likely to take a hefty toll on 2009 sales."

In other words, we know there is no "quick fix" or instant solution for health challenges, yet, people continue to buy the products. Perhaps consumers can best protect themselves by asking the question, "Why?" Why, when we know so much about the many successful applications of alternative medicines and holistic health do we buy pills? Why do we continue to support "short-term fixes" instead of long-term health when studies show that these choices may, in fact, be hurting us more?

Will this recall of Hydroxycut products influence consumer purchases? Should there be more supplement regulation to protect the consumer? Tell us what you think....

1 comment:

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