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MOST IRON SUPPLEMENTS PASS CONSUMERLAB.COM TESTING; —
LEAD CONTAMINATION AND INSUFFICIENT IRON FOUND IN SOME —

WHITE PLAINS, NY — October 3, 2001 — ConsumerLab.com, an independent evaluator of dietary supplements and nutrition products, released results today of its Product Review of Iron Supplements. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia in the U.S. and worldwide. Iron supplements are used to prevent and treat the deficiency and re-build iron stores in the body. Neither the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor any other federal or state agency routinely tests iron supplements for quality prior to sale, although as recently as 1997 the FDA reported the recall of several iron-containing supplements by one manufacturer due to excessive lead levels. ConsumerLab.com purchased 19 products and tested them for the accuracy of their iron label claims, ability to disintegrate (for better absorption by the body), and levels of lead.

Seventeen of the nineteen products passed on all parameters.  However, one product — a store-brand supplement from a major pharmacy chain — contained only 73% of its claimed 27 mg of iron per tablet.  Another product, which was specifically marketed for use by women and listed additional vitamin and herbal ingredients, contained lead at a level in excess of 0.5 micrograms per daily serving — the maximum allowed without a warning label under the State of California's Proposition 65 law.  Most lead poisoning results from multiple exposures over time and while the level found in this supplement does not represent an immediate threat in itself, it unnecessarily contributes to daily lead exposure.  The products that passed the testing contained far lower or undetectable levels of lead in a daily dose. 

The complete list of iron supplements that passed the review as well as ConsumerTips™ on buying and using iron supplements are now available to ConsumerLab.com's online subscribers at www.consumerlab.com. General findings and examples of approved products are also available free from the Web site. Similar information is available online from ConsumerLab.com's Product Reviews for Asian and American ginseng, calcium, chondroitin, CoQ10, creatine, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, glucosamine, MSM, multivitamins/multiminerals, phytoestrogens (soy and red clover isoflavones), SAM-e, saw palmetto, St. John's wort, valerian and vitamins C and E. Other Product Reviews scheduled for release in coming months include nutrition bars, omega-3-fatty acids, and B vitamins. ConsumerLab.com's Guide to Buying the Best Vitamin, Mineral, Herbal and Other Supplements is scheduled for print publication next year. To further assist consumers, ConsumerLab.com licenses its flask-shaped CL Seal of Approved Quality (see The CL Seal) to manufacturers for use on products that have passed its evaluations.

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. Subscription to Consumerlab.com's Product Reviews is available online. Parties interested in purchasing comprehensive Product Review Technical Reports, licensing content, or requesting testing of additional products may contact Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at lisa.sabin@consumerlab.com.

Copyright ConsumerLab.com, LLC, 2001. All rights reserved.



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