WHITE PLAINS, NY — FRIDAY MAY 21, 2004 — (Updated June 2, 2004) — ConsumerLab.com reported the results today of a major new analysis of popular multivitamin products. Eleven products failed the testing due to lead contamination, lower ingredient levels than stated, and/or inability to fully break apart for absorption. Multivitamins are the most popular supplement in the U.S., with sales of $3.3 billion in 2002 according to Nutrition Business Journal.
The most notable problems found are summarized below by type of product:
In addition, one women's multi contained less than eighty percent of the claimed vitamin A and another contained only three-quarters of the claimed folic acid, while six other products passed.
Pet multivitamins were also tested. One contained only two-thirds of its claimed vitamin A, while two other products passed.
ConsumerLab.com noted that some of the products that passed its testing provide, by design, doses of certain nutrients that exceed suggested tolerable upper intake levels (ULs). Although the products generally did not exceed these levels by much, adverse effects, such as diarrhea from vitamin C and skin tingling from niacin, may occur when these levels are exceeded. More serious toxicities would not be expected at the doses in the products.
"Mild nutrient deficiencies are common among Americans and multivitamins are a reasonable means of insuring against them," said Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of ConsumerLab.com. "However, our report shows that problems with multivitamins are common. And since multivitamins are taken regularly for many years, the risk for harm increases. We recommend that people check ConsumerLab.com's lists when selecting products and we urge them to take only the amount they need, factoring in the other sources of nutrients in their diet such as nutrition bars, cereals, and drinks that may be fortified."
The complete report is available at www.consumerlab.com/results/multivit.asp. The report includes results for 40 products that passed or failed. Thirteen of the products listed were tested at the request of their manufacturers through ConsumerLab.com's Voluntary Certification Program. The report also provides the latest recommended daily intake levels and upper tolerable limits for nutrients to help consumers choose appropriate products.
Reviews of many other popular supplements are available from ConsumerLab.com online. New Reviews soon to be released include, valerian, vitamin E, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, and nutrition bars. The recently published paperback, ConsumerLab.com's Guide to Buying Vitamins and Supplements: What's Really in the Bottle? is available in bookstores, online from www.consumerlab.com or through 800-431-1579.
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 White Plains, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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