How Products were Selected:
Products tested represent those commonly sold and/or available nationally in the U.S. and Canada. ConsumerLab.com purchased products on the open market through retail stores, on-line retailers, and/or direct sales companies. Products were not accepted directly from manufacturers.
B Vitamin products were tested in one or more independent laboratories for the following:
- B vitamins; total B-1, (thiamine HCL, mononitrate and derivative), total vitamin B-2 (riboflavin and derivatives), total B3 (niacin (nicotinic acid), niacinamide and inositol hexanicotinate), total B5 (pantothenic acid and derivative), total B6 (pyridoxine HCL and derivatives), B-9 (total folic acid and/or folate), folate derivatives, B-7 (biotin) and total B12 (cyanocobalamin and derivatives). Analyses of B vitamins were performed in independent laboratories using the USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) and/or AOAC methodology.
- Quantitative analyses for lead, cadmium and arsenic by 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-sublingual and non-time-release formulations utilizing (United States Pharmacopeia) <2040> recommendations entitled "Disintegration and Dissolution of Nutritional Supplements."
ConsumerLab.com may modify or use other appropriate test methods if necessary to test special product formulations.
Identities of products were not disclosed to laboratories performing the testing.
To be "Approved" by Consumerlab.com, a product must meet the following requirements:
- A product must contain at least 100% and no more than 150% of the claimed amount of the B vitamins tested in a B complex or single ingredient B vitamin product. Vitamin B-3 (Niacin),B-6 (pyridoxine) and B-9 (folic acid/folate) must contain at least 100% and no more than 125% of the claimed amount in a single ingredient B vitamin product. However, an overage must not cause the product to exceed any Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL).
- Heavy Metals: Products containing whole herbs and/or 250 mg minerals per daily dose must not exceed the following limits:
- 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 single serving weights of less than 5 grams that 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 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.
- 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).
- Contain less than 10 micrograms of total arsenic and no more than 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per daily serving (EPA limit and state of New Jersey limits - based on 1 liter of water).
- Clearly and accurately state the amount of minerals and vitamins (oil-and water-soluble) expected to be in the product.
- If applicable to the product, it must meet recommended USP <2040> parameters for disintegration of vitamin supplements (excluding capsule, chewable, sublingual and time-release products).
- Meet all FDA labeling requirements.
* Passing scores allow for specific margins of technical error associated with each analysis. ConsumerLab.com reserves the right to disqualify a product at any time from passing its testing if it considers such product to display unacceptable variation, present a safety risk or to provide misleading or inaccurate information in its labeling.
** Based on State of California's Prop 65 lead limit. California requires supplements exceeding this limit to bear a warning label regarding lead.