How Products Were Selected:Products tested 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.
Testing Methods:Vitamin E 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 and non chiral separation.
- Products claiming to contain other tocopherols were analyzed for beta, gamma and delta tocopherol.
- Analyses for lead, arsenic, and cadmium by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS) for products containing whole herbs and/or more than 250 mg of minerals per daily dose.
- Disintegration of non-chewable, non-capsule and non-time release formulations utilizing United States Pharmacopeia (USP) <2040> methodology.
ConsumerLab.com may modify or use other appropriate test methods if necessary to test special product formulations.
The identities of the products were not disclosed to the laboratories performing the testing.
To achieve a "Pass" in the testing, a product had to:
- Contain 100% and no more than 135% of its claimed amount of vitamin E. Any overage must not exceed the Upper Tolerable Intake Level (UL) for adults or other targeted population. (Any required conversions of labeled amounts of vitamin E were based on conversion ratios published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM, 2000), as specified by the FDA (FDA, August 2019): Natural forms (d alpha): 1 mg = 1.49 IU; 1 IU = 0.67 mg; Synthetic forms (dl alpha): 1 mg = 2.22 IU; 1 IU = 0.45 mg.
- Contain at least 100% of the claimed amount(s) of other tocopherols (beta, gamma, delta).
- Heavy Metals: Products containing whole herbs and/or more than 250 mg of 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 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 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 to 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.
- 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 - 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.
* 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 in quality present a safety risk or to provide misleading or inaccurate information in its labeling.
** Based on State of California's Prop 65 limits. California requires supplements exceeding this limit to bear a warning label.