April 28, 2009
ConsumerLab has reported that they?ve found ?problems? with over 30 percent of vitamins they tested! The report found that around two thirds of multivitamin products tested at label claim:
?Significantly more or less ingredient than claimed? or were contaminated with lead. ?Among twenty-nine products for adults and children that ConsumerLab.com selected, tests showed that eight failed to meet their label claims or other quality standards and twelve others provided levels that may be too high for healthy individuals,? wrote the group, which aims to provide consumers with ?independent evaluations? of health and nutrition products.
Higher Than Label Claim
Some of the tested supplements were found to exceed tolerable upper limits for ingredients such as vitamin A, , niacin and zinc. Three of four children?s supplements tested were found to exceed tolerable intake levels for vitamin A, with one product providing 5,000 IU of vitamin A!
Brands In Question
The brands in question were: Hero Nutritionals Yummi Bears, L?il Critters Groovy Gummy Vites, and Trader Darwin?s Children?s Chewable Vitamins. The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily allowance (RDA) of 1,300 IU for children aged four to eight and an Upper Tolerable Intake Level (UL) of 3,000 IU.
?Excess vitamin A in the retinol form is of concern as it may, in the short term, cause nausea and blurred vision, and, long-term, lead to bone softening and liver problems. ULs for niacin and zinc were also exceeded by some of the products for young children. Excess niacin may cause skin tingling and flushing and high levels of zinc can cause immune deficiency and anemia,? wrote ConsumerLab.
Two of three men?s multivitamin products tested were also found to be problematic.
* One brand (NOW Superior Men?s Multi) contained 258.8 percent of its folic acid, delivering 2,070 mcg per day. The RDA for folic acid is 400 mcg per day and the upper tolerable level (UL) for folic acid is 1,000 mcg.
* Another men?s multivitamin ( ) contained 1.62 mcg of lead per daily serving. ?Although this amount is unlikely to be harmful in itself, lead exposure should be avoided. The State of California requires warning labels on supplements that provide more than 0.5 mcg of lead per day,? wrote ConsumerLab.
* Other products tested were found to contain less of an ingredient than claimed on the label.
* One of the four women?s multivitamins tested (Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Women) provided 66 percent of its claimed folic acid;
* One of five seniors? multivitamins selected (All One Active Seniors) contained 44 percent of its vitamin A.
* In testing 3 prenatal vitamins, one was short on vitamin A (Rainbow Light Just Once Prenatal One).
* Multivitamins were also found to be low on ingredients, with one (Purity Products Perfect Multi) providing only half of its claimed folic acid content, and another (Natrol My Favorite Multiple) providing 70 percent of its calcium.
* Brands tested included: All One, Carlson, Centrum, CVS, Eniva, Equate (Wal-Mart), Flintstones, Garden of Life, Glaceau Vitamin Water, GNC, Halo Purely for Pets, Jamieson, Juice Plus, Kirkland (Costco), Life Extension, Li?l Critters Gummy Vites, Member?s Mark (Sam?s Club), Metagenics, Multi-betic, Natrol, Nature Made, Nature?s Bounty, Nature?s Plus, NOW, NSI (Vitacost), One-A-Day, , Pet Tabs, Pregnancy Plus, Propel, Pure Encapsulations, Puritan?s Pride, Purity Products, Rainbow Light, Rite Aid, Sobe Life Water, Solgar, Swanson, Target, Trader Darwin?s (Trader Joe?s), TwinLab, USANA, Vitamin World, Weil, and Yummi Bears (Hero Nutritionals), 21st Century Pet Nutrition.