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WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — SEPTEMBER 10, 2007 — Half of the B-complex supplements recently selected by for testing were found to lack the total claimed amounts of folic acid, an essential nutrient also known as vitamin B-9. Nearly half of the expected folic acid was missing in two products, one of which bore a USP verification seal indicating its ingredients had been tested and verified by that organization. A third B-complex supplement lacked more than one-quarter of the folic acid listed. A folic acid-specific supplement was also slightly low in the ingredient. Problems were not found with levels of other B vitamins in the products. According to Nutrition Business Journal, B vitamins are one of the top selling supplements in the United States, with sales of $937 million in 2005.

"It's terrible that some supplements are missing a significant amount of folic acid. People count on folic acid to prevent disease and treat deficiency," said Tod Cooperman, MD, President of Folic acid supplementation may decrease the risk of colon cancer and, along with vitamin B-6, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in adults. Deficiency can have wide-ranging effects including anemia and an increased risk of spinal cord defects in infants. It is important, for example, that women who are or may soon become pregnant get 400 mcg of folic acid each day from a supplement in addition folic acid from their diets. Folic acid is particularly susceptible to being destroyed by exposure to heat and moisture, as may occur with improper shipping or storage.

Tests results for twenty-six B vitamin supplements (including B-complexes and single B vitamins) are published in the new report found at The report includes findings for eighteen products selected by as well as eight that passed's Voluntary Certification Program. Also listed are five products similar to ones that passed but sold under different brand names. Included are products from Bluebonnet, Carlson, Doctor's Trust, Equaline, Freeda, GNC, Kirkland (Costco), Life Extension, Life Time, Mason, Natrol, Nature's Answer, Nature's Bounty, Now, Nutrilite, PhytoPharmica, Puritan's Pride, Rite Aid, SloNiacin, Sundown, Swanson, Thorne, Thompson and Vitamin World. The report also provides information regarding the proper use of B vitamin supplements.

Reviews of other popular types of supplements are also available at online. Soon to be released are new Product Reviews of resveratrol (red wine extract) and magnesium supplements. Subscription to is available online.'s new two-volume hardbound guide to buying vitamins and supplements, Health, Harm or Rip-Off, can be ordered online or by calling 800-431-1579. 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, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. For group subscriptions or product testing contact Lisa Sabin at

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