The supplement MMS, which claims to cleanse the body of toxins, may cause serious health problems, Health Canada warns despite the distributor's defence of the product.
Health Canada says MMS, also called Miracle Mineral Solution or Miracle Mineral Supplement, lists sodium chlorite as an ingredient.
The federal department has received reports of adverse reactions in Canada associated with the product. One reaction was considered life-threatening.
Serious potential problems include:
- Kidney failure.
- Harm to red blood cells' ability to carry oxygen.
- Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
MMS was sold online at themmsstore.com, which claimed it contains 28 per cent sodium chlorite. If taken as directed, it would exceed the daily regulatory limit for the chemical in water, Health Canada said.
Anyone who bought MMS from the site should consult a health-care practitioner, the department advised.
Supplement distributor's website suspended
On Thursday, the website had a notice saying that its account has been suspended.
In Canada, sodium chlorite is authorized for use as a germicide by veterinarians and as a disinfectant.
A man who answered the phone at the distributor's website identified himself as Stan, but declined to give his last name.
"Diarrhea and upset stomach, vomiting if you take too much. Yes, that happens. As far as near death or anything extreme like that, absolutely not," Stan responded when asked about illnesses related to the product.
Stan said he has received testimonials about the product, which he has been selling for four years. The High River, Alta., resident said he suspended sales when he was warned to stop selling the product in May 2010, and then resumed his business before this latest warning.