Bayer to Change Health Claims for One-a-Day Men’s Vitamins

Selenium will no longer be touted as a nutrient that promotes prostate health.

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Bayer will change the packaging and health claims for its vitamins targeted at men, on the heels of research that casts serious doubt on one ingredient's ability to prevent prostate cancer. In an E-mail, Bayer HealthCare spokeswoman Tricia McKernan said the company is "in the process of revising the packaging and promotional materials for its One-a-Day Men's and One-a-Day Men's 50+ to exclude reference to the qualified health claim regarding the relationship between selenium intake to the reduced risk of certain cancers."

The company's website seems to have already been changed; it says the men's vitamins provide "key nutrients to support heart health, eye health, and healthy blood pressure," plus ginkgo to "promote memory and concentration." There's no longer any mention of prostate health, and selenium isn't singled out as a key ingredient, though both vitamins still have 150 percent of the recommended daily amount of selenium. McKernan's E-mail said Bayer would not change the products' formulations.

Late last year, researchers halted SELECT, a clinical trial designed to see whether taking selenium and vitamin E might help prevent prostate cancer, after it became clear that neither nutrient had the desired effect. In June, the Center for Science in the Public Interest warned it would file a lawsuit against Bayer if it continued to promote its men's vitamins as a cancer preventative.

[See what the latest evidence suggests vitamins and supplements can and cannot do, check out the latest on supplements and cancer, and watch this slide show: 11 best fist sources of omega-3s.]