FDA issues warning about marketed sunscreen pills

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NEW YORK —  “I think it’s the most wonderful dream we could all have. We all are looking for that magic wand, that simple thing that doesn’t require goo or time,” said Dr. William Wooden, the Director of Operative Services at Indiana University Health.

There’s a shortcut for that according to some companies. There are now pills being  marketed as an oral supplement to protect you from sun damage.

“They’re supplements, they’re not FDA approved, they’re efficacy is not proven and their safety is not proven.”

The FDA accused four brands – Advanced Skin Brightening Formula, Sunsafe RX, Solaricare and Sunergetic-  of misleading advertising and sent them a warning letter. The FDA even listed one Sunergetic review that said “It`s basically an oral sunscreen…This would be especially useful for people who have had skin cancer, are at risk for skin cancer….’

“It not only sounds good it markets to our fear. If someone has been thinking about skin cancer and using something to protect themselves oh this will protect my cells that’s great I’ll prevent cancer.”

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and one in five Americans are at risk of developing skin cancer in their lifetime. Dr. Wooden said this is nothing to play with.

“And all these chemicals are one’s that would be absorbing radiation or potentially manipulating our DNA. That’s a scary place to play.”

And until science proves these products work how manufacturers say they do Dr. Wooden said stick to the basics.

“Skin cancer and especially melanoma has become epidemic and the key thing is that only proven protection is shade, sun avoidance and sun screen.”

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