TODAY   |  December 18, 2013

FDA to antibacterial soaps: Prove they’re better

Dr. Roshini Raj and Dr. Adam Ofer analyze some of the top health headlines, including the FDA’s challenge to creators of antibacterial soap to prove they are better and safer than more traditional options.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> about the news we got about a popular artificial sweetener.

>> plus surprising news about the antibacterial soap .

>> she is an assistant professor of medicine and adam is the director of gynecology at norwalk hospital in connecticut. good to have you.

>> good morning.

>> the first one, the multivitamin study that had people going what do we do now.

>> i know.

>> this was a very strongly worded study by doctors and experts that say the vitamins not only do they not do good but they may not be good for you. is that right?

>> there were two studies that didn't show a benefit for memory and heart disease in people that already had heart attacks . but then an editorial came out that said for all people that take multivitamins they're useless. don't waste your money or time. that's a little overstretch. studies on multivitamins have been mixed for certain conditions like caderacks. but for a regular individual, do you need them? probably not. getting your vitamins from food are much better.

>> does that extend to kids or elderly folks?

>> it does. elderly population shows it may be helpful. it's difficult to create a perfect study. i can't put you on the exact same supplement and life style and diet. there's no way to control those things. for certain people they need it. women need folic acid before pregnancy and that's important. they were looking at 36,000 women in menopause and calcium and vitamin d is good for those that need bone fractures.

>> for everybody that's walking around and healthy and getting a great diet with no disease and who is not necessarily menopausal it's better to get a multivitamin.

>> another one that caught everybody's attention was about antibacterial soaps. the fda saying they don't work.

>> not only do they not work but they may not be safe. the fda is proposing a new ruling that will show that they're more effective than soap and water and safe. one may potentially be harmful. they're not saying it is but some animal studies have shown it may increase hormone levels. so they want to see is it safe or effective. good old fashioned soap and water , scrubbing hard is the best way to present infection from bacteria. sometimes the market is disleading and makes you think they do.

>> the solution to pollution is delution. you need at least 30 seconds under water rubbing your hands. try to think about keeping your kids under water for 30 seconds. but that's what you need to do. there's zero evidence to say that the antibacterial product actually helps. the chemicals work and kill bacteria. if they soak with bacteria to two to three hours.

>> so folks that drink diet sodas , there's good news.

>> yes.

>> some news.

>> yeah. so according to the european union , it's considered safe in taken in their recommended amount. if you drink less than 16 cans a day, if you're an average sized adult.

>> if you drink more you have other problems.

>> wow.

>> i have to say, 16 sounds like a lot but it's not like they said you have to drink 100, 16 if you're thinking about people with a big gulp who might be at a football game , you can get to that level pretty quickly if you think about i. i wouldn't say it's totally safe drink as much as you want but for most consumers it's relatively safe.

>> within moderation.

>> there have been other studies on diet sodas , increase in weight gain, metabolic syndrome . but this particular ingredient looks like it's okay.

>> good information. thank you.