FDA targets cesium chloride supplements

According to FDA, cesium chloride is a new dietary ingredient subject to a premarket notification to the agency to establish its safety in dietary supplements.

Josh Long, Associate editorial director, Natural Products Insider

October 14, 2020

2 Min Read
FDA targets cesium chloride supplements

FDA on Tuesday published five warning letters to marketers of dietary supplements containing an ingredient that—according to the agency—raises significant safety concerns, including heart problems.

Supplement firms targeted in the warning letters are selling cesium chloride, a mineral salt. FDA described cesium chloride as a new dietary ingredient (NDI) subject to a 75-day premarket notification to the agency to establish its safety in dietary supplements.

According to FDA, cesium chloride is occasionally promoted as an alternative treatment for cancer, even though the public health agency hasn’t approved products containing the ingredient to treat cancer or any other disease. FDA in July 2018 advised health care professionals it had considerable safety concerns related to cesium chloride in compounded drugs.

“The FDA will continue to take action against dietary supplements that contain cesium chloride because of significant safety concerns—including heart toxicity and potential death—associated with this ingredient,” said Steven Tave, director of FDA’s Office of Dietary Supplement Programs (ODSP), in a statement. “We take very seriously our role to protect the public from dangerous dietary supplements.”

Dietary supplement products containing cesium chloride that have not been the subject of an NDI notification (NDIN) to FDA by a manufacturer or distributor are adulterated, according to FDA’s warning letters.

“Moreover, based on our evaluation of the relevant safety evidence, there is no history of use or other evidence of safety establishing that cesium chloride will reasonably be expected to be safe when used as a dietary ingredient,” an FDA official, William A. Correll Jr., wrote in the letters. “Therefore, even if a new dietary ingredient notification had been submitted, dietary supplements containing cesium chloride would be adulterated under sections 402(f) and 413(a) of the [Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic] Act.”

Correll said animal research has revealed taking cesium chloride can cause arrhythmias, which are irregular heartbeats.

“Cesium chloride is associated with a lower blood level of potassium, which is a mineral that is essential to normal heart function,” he wrote in the letters, which requested the companies notify FDA within 15 days of actions taken to correct the alleged violations.

FDA issued the letters to American Nutriceuticals LLC, Complete H2O Minerals Inc., Daily Manufacturing Inc., Elemental Research Inc. and The Mineral Store Inc., and Essence-of-Life LLC. None of the companies immediately responded to requests for comment through emails or their website contact forms.

About the Author(s)

Josh Long

Associate editorial director, Natural Products Insider, Informa Markets Health and Nutrition

Josh Long directs the online news, feature and op-ed coverage at Natural Products Insider, which targets the health and wellness industry. He has been reporting on developments in the dietary supplement industry for over a decade, with a focus on regulatory issues, including at the Food and Drug Administration.

He has moderated and/or presented at industry trade shows, including SupplySide East, SupplySide West, Natural Products Expo West, NBJ Summit and the annual Dietary Supplement Regulatory Summit.

Connect with Josh on LinkedIn and ping him with story ideas at [email protected]

Education and previous experience

Josh majored in journalism and graduated from Arizona State University the same year "Jake the Snake" Plummer led the Sun Devils to the Rose Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes. He also holds a J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law, was admitted in 2008 to practice law in the state of Colorado and spent a year clerking for a state district court judge.

Over more than a quarter century, he’s written on various topics for newspapers and business-to-business publications – from the Yavapai in Arizona and a controversial plan for a nuclear-waste incinerator in Idaho to nuanced issues, including FDA enforcement of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).

Since the late 1990s, his articles have been published in a variety of media, including but not limited to, the Cape Cod Times (in Massachusetts), Sedona Red Rock News (in Arizona), Denver Post (in Colorado), Casper Star-Tribune (in Wyoming), now-defunct Jackson Hole Guide (in Wyoming), Colorado Lawyer (published by the Colorado Bar Association) and Nutrition Business Journal.

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