Report Links Some Dietary Supplements to Potentially High Arsenic Levels

In a recent article published in Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry, author Rikke Hedegaard and colleagues state that “consumption of certain dietary supplements could contribute significantly to the dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic at levels close to the toxicological limits established by [the] European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).”  The article, entitled Total and inorganic arsenic in dietary supplements based on herbs, other botanicals and algae – a possible contributor to inorganic arsenic exposure, is an example of scientific developments that dietary supplement companies need to track and be prepared to respond too.

The authors determined the content of total and inorganic arsenic in 16 dietary supplements. The supplements originated from various regions around the world, including the USA, Europe and Asia. The authors noted that consumption of recommended doses could, in worst case, lead to an exposure that constituted 62.4 percent of the range of benchmark dose lower confidence limit values, per EFSA, for cancers of the lung, skin and bladder, as well as skin lesions.

Articles appearing in scientific and medical journals around the world often prompt action from regulators and/or consumers. Dietary supplement companies must have policies and procedures in place for handling adverse event reports, consumer complaints and inquiries from regulatory authorities. A working understanding of the developing scientific and medical literature regarding company products is an integral part of being prepared to handle a variety of issues that may arise from articles appearing in medical and/or scientific journals.

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