The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging the public not to purchase or consume Vita Breath, a brand of dietary supplement sold at health fairs on the Internet, because the product may contain dangerous levels of lead. To date, the FDA has received one report of a patient with lead poisoning who was taking Vita Breath and two other herbal products.
Vita Breath is manufactured and marketed by American Herbal Lab Inc., of Rosemead, Calif., to “promote better health for people with asthma, and support healthy Lung Energy and respiratory.” It is indicated for use among both children and adults.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene analyzed a sample of Vita Breath and found it contained 1,100 parts per million of lead – more than 10,000 times higher than the FDA’s maximum recommended level for lead in candy. The FDA has collected and is currently analyzing its own samples of Vita Breath and is working with state officials in New York and California to further investigate the matter.
People with high levels of lead in their blood may exhibit no symptoms, but the condition may 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.
Lead poisoning can be diagnosed through clinical testing. People who have taken Vita Breath should consult with their health care providers about testing.