Vitamin E Supplements Review
HOW PRODUCTS WERE EVALUATED:
How Products were Selected:
Products were selected to represent those commonly sold and/or available nationally in the U.S. ConsumerLab.com purchased products on the open market through retail stores, on-line retailers, and direct sales or multi-level marketing companies. Products were not accepted directly from manufacturers.
Vitamin E products were tested for their identity and amount of vitamin E. All products were
analyzed for various vitamin E forms including d-alpha, dl-alpha and mixed tocopherols using HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography).
- Products claiming to contain d-alpha tocopherol or natural vitamin E were analyzed for d and l alpha tocopherol by HPLC chiral separation.
- Products claiming to contain other tocopherols were analyzed for beta, gamma and delta tocopherol.
- Products claiming to contain a specific amount of tocotrienols were analyzed for alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocotrienols.
- Analyses for lead, arsenic, and cadmium were performed using an ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy) for products containing whole herbs and/or more than 250 mg of minerals per daily dose.
- Disintegration of non-chewable, non-capsule, non-enteric coated and non-time release formulations was analyzed by ConsumerLab.com utilizing USP (United States Pharmacopeia) <2040< methodology.
Products failing to meet any Passing Score were re-tested in a second independent laboratory using similar methods and instrumentation.
ConsumerLab.com may modify or use other appropriate test methods if necessary to test special product formulations.
To achieve a "Pass" in the testing, a product had to:
* Passing scores allow for specific margins of technical error associated with each analysis.
- 1. Contain at least 100% and no more than 120% of its claimed amount of its labeled form of vitamin E in international units (IU) applying FCC 9 or IOM standards, as noted below:
Vitamin E mg to IU conversion factors, FCC 9
|d alpha tocopherol concentrate 1mg = 1.49 IU
||1IU = 0.67 mg
|d alpha tocopherol mixed 1mg = 1.49 IU
||1 IU = 0.67 mg
|d alpha tocopherol acetate 1mg = 1.36 IU
||1 IU = 0.74 mg
|d alpha tocopherol succinate 1mg= 1.21 IU
||1 IU = 0.83 mg
|dl alpha tocopherol 1mg = 1.1 IU
||1 IU = 0.90 mg
|dl alpha tocopherol acetate 1mg = 1 IU
||1 IU = 1 mg
(Note — The conversion factors for the labeling of vitamin E listed in the FCC 9 (and used by the USDA
) are different from that developed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to determine daily intakes and limits. For example, according to the IOM, for dl alpha tocopherol, 1 mg = 2.22 IU (and 1 IU = .45 mg). Due to the discrepancy, in this Review, both methods were applied to determine whether products contained listed amounts of vitamin E. The reason for the difference relates to historic changes in how vitamin E is produced and the scientific understanding of the activity of its chemical forms (The National Acadamies Press, 2000
- Contain at least 100% of the claimed amount(s) of other tocopherols and tocotrienols.
- Heavy Metals: Products containing whole herbs and/or more than 250 mg of minerals per daily dose must not exceed the following limits:
Cadmium: If marketed for use by children, may not exceed 3.0 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (based on Canada's limit for a child weighing 75 lbs). If not marketed for use by children, may not exceed 4.1 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (based on the State of California's Prop 65 limit).
- Products marketed for use by children may not exceed the State of California's Prop 65 limits for lead in dietary supplements of 0.5 mcg per recommended daily serving with an additional allowance of 0.8 mcg if the product contains more than 1,000 mg/day of calcium.
- Products with a single serving weights of less than 5 grams which are not marketed for use by children, may not exceed the State of California's Prop 65 limits for lead in dietary supplements of 0.5 mcg per recommended daily serving with an additional allowance of 0.4 mcg if containing 250-999 mg/day of any combination of elemental calcium, magnesium and potassium or 0.8 mcg if containing more than 1,000 mg/day of any combination of these minerals. An additional allowance of 0.5 mcg is provided if containing 250-999 mg/day of whole herb (not extract) or 1.0 mcg if containing 1000 mg/day or more of whole herb (not extract). However, total lead allowance will not exceed 2 mcg.
- Products with single serving weights of 5 grams or more which are not marketed for children may not exceed 2.5 mcg per serving nor 4.0 mcg per daily serving.
Arsenic: Contain less than 10 micrograms of total arsenic and no more than 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per daily serving (EPA limit - based on 1 liter of water).
- Meet recommended USP parameters for disintegration for vitamin-mineral supplements
(excluding capsule, enteric coated, chewable and time-release products).
- Meet FDA labeling requirements.
** If available for sale in California, a product that exceeds the State of California's Prop 65 lead limit requires a warning label. However, with or without this warning label, a product cannot pass ConsumerLab.com testing if it exceeds the levels described in this paragraph.
ConsumerLab.com reserves the right to disqualify a product at any time from passing its testing if it considers such product to present a safety risk or to provide misleading or inaccurate information in its labeling.
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