AnemiaDiabetes MellitusDiet-NutritionHigh Blood PressureRheumatoid Diseases

Remember, dietary supplements can’t actually claim to treat or cure anything

That’s why phrases like “boosts you immune system” and “enhances (insert organ of choice) health” are popular. They don’t mean anything.

However, when you make unsubstantiated claims (eg, treat, cure), the FDA gets annoyed. For example?

At the request of the FDA, US Marshals seized approximately $71,000 of goods from FulLife Natural Options, Inc, of Boca Raton, Florida. which markets and distributes Charantea Ampalaya Capsules and Charantea Ampalaya Tea.

Although these products are dietary supplements, they were promoted on their labels and at the FulLife website to “treat” diabetes, anemia, and high blood pressure.

It’s an ongoing problem. In August, an estimated $41,000 worth of inventory of Glucobetic, Neuro-betic, Ocu-Comp, Atri-Oxi, Super-Flex, MSM-1000, and Atri-E-400 capsules were seized by US Marshals. They were being promoted by Charron Nutrition of Tallahassee, Florida to treat diabetes, arthritis, and other serious health conditions.

The bottom line?
The problem is it’s difficult for consumers to know when companies are making unsubstantiated claims. For example, after the FDA seizure I found this statement describing Charantea on the Fullife website.

“A natural remedy trusted in Europe to help maintain normal blood sugar levels.”

Does “help maintain” qualify as treatment claim? Or, is it the same as saying it “enhances control of blood sugar levels?”

The game of cat and mouse continues.

10/20/07 16:30 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.