The FDA has warned consumers not to take Vita Breath dietary supplements. Some samples tested with more than 10,000 times FDA safe recommended levels for candy.
Although the Vita Breath website suggests use of the supplement for asthma, the Symptom-Formula Index on that site lists Vita Breath for a wide range of ailments including some common to people living with colon and rectal cancer.
The FDA urges people who have taken Vita Breath and had an adverse event to let FDA know through the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:
- Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
- Phone: 1-800-332-1088
Vita Breath is sold at health fairs and via the Internet.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene tested samples of Vita Breath after a patient taking it was identified as having lead poisoning. They found that it contained 1,100 parts per million of lead. The FDA is now testing additional samples.
People with high levels of lead in their blood may not have any symptoms, but lead can cause damage to the nervous system and internal organs. Acute lead poisoning may cause a wide range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and bloody or decreased urinary output. Children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning.
Among the alleged indications for Vita Breath on the New Vita website that might be concerns for people with colon or rectal cancer are ascites, anemia, blood deficiencies,shortness of breath, cold hands and feet, cough, diarrhea, fecal incontinence, and weakness.
Dietary supplements can be marketed without demonstrating either safety or effectiveness and do not need to be FDA approved. They cannot be advertised to prevent or treat any disease. Also, all ingredients that are in the bottle must be listed on the label.
The Vita Breath label does not list lead.
Patients are strongly urged to discuss any dietary supplements that they are taking with their doctors.