There was a little surprise waiting for me in my inbox this morning. The CDC contacted me to help get the word out about a recall of a few Total Body supplements that have toxic levels of selenium and high levels of chromium. Guess they’re trying really hard to alert people to the issue.

The products and lot numbers are:

  • Total Body Formula Tropical Orange with lot numbers 4016801, 4024801 and 4031801
  • Total Body Formula Peach Nectar with lot numbers 4016802 and 4031802
  • Total Body Mega Formula Orange/Tangerine with lot number 4031803

The CDC has information on their website about this, but here’s the basics they sent me:

  • As of April 22, 2008 there have been 195 cases.
  • Those affected range from children to older adults.
  • Ten of 16 states where the supplements were distributed have reported cases to their state health departments, including Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
  • The supplements were also sold over the Internet.
  • Symptoms typically occur within 5 to 10 days after daily ingestion of the product begins.
  • After discontinuing use of the product, the symptoms of selenium toxicity may last for several weeks but should improve eventually without treatment.
  • Testing also revealed elevated levels of chromium in the supplements, up to 17 times greater than the amount stated on the label. The supplements are considered less likely to cause chromium toxicity because the chromium levels in the supplements are not as elevated.

The recalled products may cause the following severe, adverse reactions:

  • significant hair loss
  • muscle cramps
  • diarrhea
  • joint pain
  • fatigue
  • fingernail changes
  • blistering skin

They say to just throw out the bottles if you have them, and consult a doctor if you have symptoms. You can report your symptoms to your local Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) or Department of Health.