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      HealthWACH: Tainted vitamins


      The FDA announced that most of the vitamins marketed by Purity First Health First Products Inc. are subject to voluntary recall for containing anabolic steroids. The Long Island owner, Candice Tripp, who ran Purity First for years, was asked by the FDA to voluntarily recall her Healthy Life Chemistry B-50 vitamins in the 100-capsule container from the market. Now, the voluntary recall has expanded to include her 200-capsule multi-mineral product and the 200-capsule containers of vitamin C. The FDA isolated two anabolic steroids in the B-50 vitamins, dimethazine and methasterone. Methasterone can cause physiological harm and is also a Class III controlled substance, meaning it carries a moderate risk of physical or psychological dependence.

      Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, director of occupational and environmental medicine at the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, linked the vitamins to the illnesses in February 2013. He notified the FDA and local health authorities. He diagnosed anabolic steroid-related symptoms in 20 patients. The additional nine were reported as adverse events to the FDA. Women reported a loss of menstrual periods, hair loss and lowering of their voices. Men reported a loss of libido and low testosterone. Patients ranged from 12 to 75. â??It's time to have a broader discussion about the safety and quality of supplements," Dr. Spaeth was quoted as saying. An earlier study found that dietary supplements account for more than half of the FDAâ??s major recalls between 2004 and 2012.