Dietary Supplement Suspected of Causing Selenium Poisoning

Case finding study suggests liquid supplement responsible for 201 cases in 10 states
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A liquid dietary supplement that contained 200 times the labeled concentration of selenium caused a widespread outbreak of selenium poisoning affecting 201 people in 10 states, according to a study published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Jennifer K. MacFarquhar, R.N., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a case finding study of people who had ingested the supplement purchased after Jan. 1, 2008 and who developed symptoms of selenium poisoning such as diarrhea, fatigue, hair loss and joint pain within two weeks.

The researchers identified 201 consumers (one of whom was hospitalized) in 10 states who ingested a median dose of selenium of 41,749 µg a day, compared to the recommended daily dose of 55 µg. As a result, 78 percent reported diarrhea, 75 percent had fatigue, 72 percent experienced hair loss, and 70 percent had joint pain. Other symptoms that persisted for 90 days or more included fingernail discoloration, reported by 52 percent of cases, and continued fatigue, reported by 35 percent, the investigators found.

"Had the manufacturers been held to standards used in the pharmaceutical industry, this outbreak may have been prevented," the authors write. "Gaps in existing regulations present a significant public health risk, and attention should be directed at correcting them to prevent recurring outbreaks such as this."

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95


The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95


Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95


More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.


Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events