Unauthorized Natural Choice Health Products Found on the Canadian Market

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 29, 2010) - Health Canada is advising consumers not to use any unauthorized health products sold under the brand names Natural Choice Vitamin B-17, Natural Choice Kava Kava and Natural Choice Lithium Orotate. These unauthorized health products have a similar identifying image on their label (below). Consumers should note that the above-mentioned products may also be available under the brand names Life Choice, Doctor's Choice, Your Choice and Healthy Choice as these products have been marketed under a variety of brand names.

Health Canada previously issued a Public Warning (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/_2008/2008_145-eng.php) on two other Life Choice products, Life Choice Ephedrine 30mg and Life Choice Kava Kava, on August 21, 2008, and an Advisory (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/_2008/2008_152-eng.php) on twenty-two unapproved products under these brand names on September 3, 2008.

The unauthorized Natural Choice Vitamin B-17, according to what is listed on the product label, contains amygdalin which is a compound derived from bitter apricot kernels that has the potential to release cyanide when ingested by humans. Small amounts of cyanide are detoxified by the human body but low to moderate amounts ingested chronically can lead to serious adverse health consequences and high doses can be lethal.

The unauthorized Natural Choice Kava Kava, according to what is listed on the product label, contains kava lactones. Health Canada and several foreign regulatory agencies have received reports associating the use of kava with serious liver dysfunction. As such, Kava is on the Restricted Substances list in the Natural Health Products Compliance Guide (Health Canada 2007a) (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/legislation/docs/complian-conform_guide-eng.php).

The unauthorized Natural Choice Lithium Orotate is being sold without a prescription although ingredients listed on the product label would require the product to be sold to patients by prescription. There are risks with taking these drugs without supervision by a health care practitioner. You may be misdiagnosed, the treatment might not be appropriate to treat your illness and you may miss the opportunity to obtain appropriate treatment. You may also put yourself at risk for drug interactions, or harmful side effects.

Picture found on the label:


The above products are not authorized for sale in Canada. Consumers are reminded that health products that are authorized for sale in Canada will have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), a Natural Product Number (NPN) or a Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the label. These numbers indicate that the products have been assessed by Health Canada for safety, effectiveness and quality.

Health Canada advises retailers to remove this product from their shelves.

Canadians who have used these brands of products and are concerned about their health should consult a health care practitioner. Consumers who have purchased these products should return them to the place of purchase.

Health Canada also advises Canadians to contact the Health Products and Food Branch Inspectorate at 1-800-267-9675 if they find these brands of products for sale in Canada.

Consumers requiring more information about this warning can contact Health Canada's public enquiries line at (613) 957-2991, or toll free at 1-866-225-0709.

You can report any adverse reactions associated with the use of health products to the Canada Vigilance Program by one of the following three ways:

- Report online (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/medeff/report-declaration/index-eng.php) at the MedEffectTM Canada (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/medeff/index-eng.php) section of the Health Canada website
- Call toll-free at 1-866-234-2345
- Complete a Canada Vigilance Reporting Form (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/medeff/report-declaration/ar-ei_form-eng.php) and either:

- Fax toll-free to 1-866-678-6789

- Mail to: Canada Vigilance Program Health Canada AL 0701D Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9

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