Friday, June 19, 2009

One-A-Day False Claims

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A consumer advocacy group on Thursday threatened to sue Bayer Healthcare if it continues to claim its One-A-Day vitamins for men reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest says the company's ubiquitous TV and radio ads misleadingly claim that a key ingredient of One-A-Day Men's Health Formula and 50+ Advantage helps prevent cancer.

The group says a study backed by the National Institutes of Health found no evidence the ingredient selenium prevents prostate cancer in men.

"The largest prostate cancer prevention trial has found that selenium is no more effective than a placebo," said David Schardt, the group's senior nutritionist. "Bayer is ripping people off when it suggests otherwise in these dishonest ads."

Researchers halted the study of 35,000 men last October after it became clear that selenium did not prevent prostate cancer, according to the group.
Bayer said Thursday the claims on its vitamins have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

"We stand behind all claims made in support of our products," said Bayer spokeswoman Trisch McKernan.

Bayer's One-A-Day brand of vitamins had sales of $191 million last year, according to the company's annual report.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest also sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday asking regulators to halt Bayer's marketing of the vitamins. The German conglomerate has run at least 11 television ads and 9 radio ads suggesting One-A-Day vitamins can help prevent prostate cancer, according to data from VMS advertising monitoring service.

The letter argues that Bayer's advertising violates a 2007 agreement with the FTC requiring the company to back up all claims on One-A-Day vitamins with scientific evidence. Bayer entered the agreement after paying a $3.2 million penalty to settle claims that its advertising misled the public about the weight loss benefits of its vitamins.

A spokeswoman for the FTC said Thursday the agency has not yet received the group's letter.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Keep Your Testosterone Up

"Macho macho man ... I want to be, a macho man". Those of you as ancient as I am, recognize this funny song of the 70's.

It turns out that keeping your macho nature in tact, by preventing plumetting testosterone levels, can be affected by your food.

Of course, and didn't we expect this would be true? Elements of our physiology are linked together. If you change one factor, it will ripple into many other factors -- even to your macho dreams.

This interesting study makes the point.

Basically, high sugar content can cut a man's level of circulating testosterone by about a quarter.

Each of the men in this study drank a sugary solution, which typically triggers a spike in blood sugar levels. They then had their testosterone levels tested. Simple, right?

The researchers found that, regardless of whether the men had diabetes or not, blood levels of testosterone dropped by as much as 25 percent after they drank the sugary drink. This trend continued for more than two hours after the glucose was ingested.

In fact, 15 percent of the 66 men with normal testosterone levels before the test had low testosterone ("hypogonadism") at some point during the test.

Staying away from over-sugared foods is a good idea for about a thousand reasons. And, if you're a guy with concerns about your manly man-ness -- or don't want to get hypogonadism for ANY reason!! -- you need to check the ingredient list for additive sugars.

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