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Carb stupid.

Carb Control. Carb Conscious. Carb Counting. Every segment of the food industry wants a piece of the lower-carb market. So why shouldn't vitamin companies take their cut?

One-A-Day CarbSmart pretends that it's different from any other multivitamin. First, it "breaks down fats and proteins you eat into energy, with more BIOTIN," says the label (and

Biotin is a little-known B-vitamin. It's little-known because biotin deficiencies only seem to occur in people who eat almost nothing but raw egg whites (don't ask), which bind up the biotin so the body can't absorb it.

There's no evidence that taking extra biotin means that you'll break down fats or protein better or quicker.

Biotin shows up in multivitamin ads for one reason: most vitamin makers don't add much (it's expensive), so companies like One-A-Day can boast that CarbSmart has more than its competitors.

CarbSmart's second selling point: "Higher levels of key nutrients you need when restricting carbs."

While it's true that low-carb dieters could run short on the B-vitamins in fortified-bread, other grains for example, just about every multi has a day's worth of B-vitamins. Higher levels do nothing.

Centrum Carb Assist has elbowed its way onto the same bandwagon. The "Complete Multivitamin Formula for your Low Carb Lifestyle" has "high levels of select nutrients to help your body utilize carbs fats and protein.*"

Check the asterisk at the bottom of the ad and you'll find that "this statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease." That's just another way of saying: "We don't need any evidence to make this claim."
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Title Annotation:One-A-Day CarbSmart
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2004
Previous Article:Mad about ads.
Next Article:Dressing down.

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