Think your vitamins are complete from A to Zinc? Go grab your vitamin bottle and check for vitamin O. Don't see it? Afraid you've been missing an essential vitamin all these years? Don't worry.

Vitamin O started popping up in the late 1990's as an expensive supplement containing oxygen to cure diseases caused by "oxygen deficiency". Large advertisement campaigns in newspapers and on the Internet claimed the solution was created with electrolytes of oxygen buffered and stabilized to salts. The liquid solution selling for $10 an ounce was touted as being able to cure and prevent cancer, heart disease, and lung disease by enriching a person's blood with oxygen.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began an investigation of the ads and on March 11, 1999 filed suit against one manufacturer, Rose Creek Health Products, Inc, and its president for the false health claims. The FTC charged that there was no scientific proof to back any of the ideas behind the solution. Only a small amount of oxygen can be added to water through electrolysis and humans have no way to extract that oxygen through ingestion as humans don't have gills. Even if oxygen was absorbed, it would have little effect on the blood's oxygen level.

On May 2, 2000, Rose Creek Health Products settled the suit with the FTC, agreeing to pay $375,000. Though the suit was successful, Vitamin O is still sold today by other manufacturers.

So what is Vitamin O exactly? The FTC investigation found that the solution being sold was merely salt water with a small amount of germanium, an element actually dangerous to your health.

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