FDA Warns Lithia

The FDA has warned Georgia-based lithium-enhanced Lithia  mineral water that even though it’s claiming to be a dietary supplement — and one with a lot of pretty strong medical claims, as well — the product is being sold as a beverage (it’s referred to as a water, sold as a bottled water, it has the web address “lithiaminteralwater.com.”

According to the FDA, disease claims made on the Lithia site include that the product can help lower LDL cholesterol levels, can help lower blood pressure, and fight fungal and viral infections. And that’s just for starters. The product also claims that the lithium bicarbonate in the product can help with everything from Alzheimers to headaches, cancer and strokes.

The FDA’s two pronged charge is becoming strikingly familiar to marketers, as well: the agency’s warning letter explained that even though the product is marketed as a dietary supplement these kinds of claims are typically only approved for a new kind of drug — and that a new drug can’t be marketed without FDA approval, which Lithia doesn’t have. Furthermore, the FDA makes it clear that the product isn’t even a dietary supplement, it’s a food. And making those kinds of claims about a food is also against regulations.

Read the warning yourself here.