Sunday, April 10, 2011

Radiating Fear

Continued from Yesterday

We at Natural Products Insider have found some deceptively marketed products including both potassium iodine and other natural remedies touted for radiation protection. Visit the Beninnger Blog for continuing coverage of such products and the issues with them, both physiologically and legally.

Using false claims is a problem in the natural products industry, especially in several segments such as sports nutrition, weight management and sexual dysfunction. The increased media attention on the disaster in Japan, including the ongoing nuclear crisis, will not be kind to illegal and false claims made for natural products touting prevention or treatment of radiation exposure. Deceptive labeling of potassium iodine amounts can also lead to over-consumption and adverse events that will surely do no good for the industry or DSHEA, which is already embattled.

Even in the case of resveratrol, which has been shown to protect against cell damage and death from radiation exposure, the studies involved only gamma radiation—the iodine-131 dominating the Fukushima leak is primarily a beta- and gamma-emitter, but the cell mutation and death consequences are credited to its beta decay; also, the University of Pittsburgh trial conducted by school’s oncologist John Greenberger involved acetylated resveratrol. This reinforces the importance of matching the claim or benefit with the exact substance and scenario studied. This is not to say other forms of resveratrol aren’t similarly effective or that resveratrol is not effective against other forms of radiation, but the science on this is narrow and focused, at this point.

Rather than flirting with deceptive marketing and/or illegal claims, it might be far better for companies to take advantage of the heightened interest in radiation exposure (which happens daily) and its potential after-effect (cancer, digestive problems, etc.) by educating consumers on radiation basics and how your product(s) can help with specific aspects of the problem (free radical protection, digestive and immune support, etc.).

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