WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — May 5, 2008 — ConsumerLab.com announced today that two iron supplements failed to pass recent independent testing. One "high potency" iron supplement contained only 37% of it claimed iron. ConsumerLab.com warned that such a product should not be relied upon to treat iron deficiency anemia as the dose may be sub-potent. A second supplement was found to be contaminated with lead, containing an amount slightly above the limit set by the State of California and representing an unnecessary exposure to this toxic metal. Seventeen other iron supplements met their claims for iron and the purity standard for lead.
"It is disturbing that twenty percent of the iron supplements that we selected failed to meet quality standards," said Tod Cooperman, MD, President of ConsumerLab.com. "We hope consumers will use this information to carefully choose products that deliver what they promise without unwanted contaminants."
Iron is required to prevent and treat anemia. Deficiency is most common in menstruating women but also is commonly seen in children and pregnant women. Drugs that reduce stomach acid may impair iron absorption. Some evidence suggests that even mild iron deficiency may cause fatigue and impair learning, memory, and sports performance. Individual needs for supplemental iron range from none to more than two hundred milligrams per day and different forms may be better tolerated than others. According to Nutrition Business Journal, sales of iron supplements have grown steadily and reached $237 million in 2006, up 8% from the prior year.
The new report is available at www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Iron/iron/. The report includes results for nineteen products made with a variety of forms of iron, including carbonyl, chelate, fumarate, gluconate, succinate, and sulfate as well as plant-based iron. Dosage forms include capsule, liquid, time-release tablet, chewable tablet, or plain tablet. Nine of the products listed were tested at the request of their manufacturers through ConsumerLab.com's Voluntary Certification Program. Four additional products are listed that are similar to ones that passed testing but sold under different brand names. The report provides extensive information on using iron and an article about clinical studies with iron.
Brands included in the report are Bluebonnet, Duane Reade, Fergon (Bayer), Floradix, Integrative Therapeutics, Kroger, Nature's Bounty, Nature Made, Nature's Plus, New Chapter, Puritan's Pride, Slow Fe (Novartis), Smartcare, Sundown, Twinlab, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World, and Vitron-C. Reviews of many other popular supplements are available from ConsumerLab.com. New Reviews to be released online in coming months include omega-3 fatty acids from fish and marine oils, nutrition bars, red yeast rice, supplements used for menopause, and vitamin A.
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held and based in Westchester County, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. ConsumerLab.com is affiliated with PharmacyChecker.com (www.PharmacyChecker.com), an evaluator of online pharmacies. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online. For group subscriptions, Technical Reports, or product testing contact Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at email@example.com.