A recent USA Today article contained an important warning from the FDA for women who are pregnant or looking to conceive. Apparently an ingredient found in dietary supplements marketed for weight loss, energy, and brain and memory function might cause a miscarriage or harm to the fetus. The ingredient in question, vinpocetine, is a synthetic derivative of an extract from the lesser periwinkle plant, and it’s not approved for any therapeutic use in the United States.
To make matters worse, toxicology tests showed that many of the products’ labels understate the amount of vinpocetine contained in the pills. The FDA is advising manufacturers to ensure their products provide adequate safety warnings against use by pregnant women or woman who may become pregnant.