There are many cranks and charlatans marketing supplements. These warning letters do not have to do with fraud or purity, however, but with the sellers making health claims. The targeted companies are accused of selling “supplements” as “drugs.” Notice that many sellers plaster their website and their products with “Attention: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatm ... abels.html
I thought maybe FDA was cracking down on those who fail to include that boilerplate. In a quick check, one of the companies does repeat that FDA statement. However, it was selling dodgy multi-ingredient remedies with bold health claims for the ingredients and the products.
Items singled out that are relevant to Alzheimer’s include Vitamin D3, Alpha GPC, bacopa, rhodiola, ubiquinol, melatonin, zinc, alpha-lipoic acid, coQ10, curcumin, carnitine, vinpocetine, B complex, Vitamin C, omega 3s, glutathione, n-acetyl-cysteine, lion’s mane, gingko, citicoline, coconut oil, avocado oil, green tea extract, etc.
It’s odd that the FDA news release was titled FDA takes action against 17 companies for illegally selling products claiming to treat Alzheimer’s disease, because none of the podunk outfits selected specialized in such and Alzheimer’s products seemed to be less than half of the product claims busted (I didn't count). https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom ... 631064.htm
Are they picking on small companies because they are less sophisticated about compliance, or are less able to pay for lawyers, or is the FDA choking the chicken to scare the monkey?
Alzheimer’s is a challenging disease that, unfortunately, has no cure. Any products making unproven drug claims could mislead consumers to believe that such therapies exist and keep them from accessing therapies that are known to help support the symptoms of the disease, or worse as some fraudulent treatments can cause serious or even fatal injuries.
The threat of supplements diverting patients way from doctor-prescribed treatments for Alzheimer’s was also a main point in the JAMA/UCSF manifesto. When you see identical points in the news on an obscure topic that's a sign of organized public-relations activity by someone.
The news release and the resulting CNN story went on a good bit about impurity and fraud - but that’s misleading because none of the 17 companies was accused of either. That seems to me like a propagandistic maneuver: If there's impurity or fraud, prosecute them and provide the facts; rather than loosely implying that the 17 were guilty of such.
We citizens can discuss health claims with no hazard, as long as we're not selling something purported to treat disease.