40% of Green Tea and Selenium Products Fail ConsumerLab.com Review of Cancer-Prevention Supplements; Lycopene Supplements Pass

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While some supplements may reduce the risk of cancer, ConsumerLab.com found that 40% of green tea and selenium supplements failed to meet quality standards. All lycopene supplements passed. The new review provides results for 21 products and information on how to select and properly use these supplements.

ConsumerLab.com Review of Green Tea, Lycopene and Selenium Supplements

Cancer prevention is an area where consumers need know the quality of the products they choose and the reason for choosing them

ConsumerLab.com announced results today of its Product Review of Supplements for Cancer Prevention. Among the products that ConsumerLab.com selected for testing, quality problems were found with two out of five green tea supplements reviewed. The same was true of the selenium supplements reviewed. All lycopene supplements passed the review.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. Intake of certain foods, nutrients, and plant chemicals have been associated with reduced risk of cancer. Drinking green tea may reduce the risk of a variety of cancers and a supplement made of green tea extract has shown promise in reducing the rate of prostate cancer in men with a precancerous condition. A similar effect on prostate cancer risk has been found with lycopene supplements. Selenium may also provide a cancer-protective benefit, although perhaps only to individuals who are selenium deficient.

Supplements did not pass ConsumerLab.com's testing for a variety of reasons. Among green tea supplements selected for testing, one was contaminated with lead and provided less than its claimed amount of key compounds known as catechins. A daily dose of another green tea supplement provided 78.3 mg of caffeine (the amount in two cans of cola) although it claimed to contain less than 45 mg of caffeine. Caffeine occurs naturally in green tea, but it is possible to obtain extracts that have little caffeine - one product, for example, provided only 2.5 mg of caffeine per day.

Among selenium supplements reviewed, one failed to fully break apart in solution within the thirty minute USP requirement. Another selenium product claimed to include one gram of fiber per pill - an impossibility considering that each pill weighed less than 0.2 grams.

"Cancer prevention is an area where consumers need know the quality of the products they choose and the reason for choosing them," said Tod Cooperman, MD, President of ConsumerLab.com. "You won't know if your supplement lacks a key ingredients since you can't 'feel' a preventive therapy; and contamination is compounded when a supplement is used daily for years."

In addition to the fifteen products selected by ConsumerLab.com, the report includes results for six products tested through its Voluntary Certification Program. Two other products are also listed as being similar to products that passed testing but sold under different brand names.

Products covered include those from Andrew Lessman (ProCaps), Carlson, Doctor's A-Z, Douglas Laboratories, Food Science of Vermont, FREEDA, Futurebiotics, GNC, Jarrow Formulas, KAL, Karuna, MegaFood, Nature Made, Nature's Bounty, Puritan's Pride, Solgar, Spring Valley (Wal-Mart), Vitality Works, Vitamin Power, Vitamin World, and Whole Foods.

The new report is available at http://www.consumerlab.com/results/cancer_supplements_green_tea_lycopene_selenium.asp. The report provides results for each product, ingredient comparisons, extensive information about how to buy and use these supplements, and potential side effects. Reviews of other popular types of supplements are also available at http://www.consumerlab.com. New Reviews to be released in coming months will cover supplements used for joint care (glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM), acai, prostate health (saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol), as well as supplements containing chromium, CLA, 7-keto DHEA, magnesium, probiotics and vitamin E.

ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. ConsumerLab.com is affiliated with PharmacyChecker.com, an evaluator of online pharmacies, and MedicareDrugPlans.com, which reviews and rates Medicare Part D plans. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online.

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Tod Cooperman, MD
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