White Plains, New York — September 21, 2011 — Recent tests
of vitamin A supplements by ConsumerLab.com found one to contain only 54.3% of its listed amount of vitamin A. Another product mislabeled alpha carotene as vitamin A. Seven other vitamin A pills and liquid supplements selected by CL passed the testing, along with six other supplements tested through ConsumerLab.com's voluntary certification program. ConsumerLab.com also indentified three products similar to one that passed testing.
Vitamin A supplementation may slow the progression of macular degeneration, enhance healing after laser eye surgery, and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Deficiency of vitamin A, which is rare in the United States but common in less developed nations, causes night blindness and increased risk of infection. Toxicity with vitamin A, commonly sold as retinyl palmitate and referred to as preformed vitamin A or retinol, can occur at doses only moderately higher than required to prevent deficiency. Toxic effects of vitamin A include bone and liver abnormalities, as well as birth defects of the brain, eyes and head. Beta-carotene, or pro-vitamin A, is generally safer but poses dangers for certain people at high doses.
ConsumerLab.com found that the lowest cost to obtain vitamin A was from beta-carotene supplements — less than one cent per 5,000 IU in some brands. The lowest cost to obtain pre-formed vitamin A (retinol) from cod or other fish liver oil supplements was 2 cents per 5,000 IU. More expensive products cost as much as $3 per 5,000 IU of vitamin A but included additional vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and/or omega-3 fatty acids.
Supplements covered in the Product Review of Vitamin A Supplements
are Bausch & Lomb PreserVision, ChildLife Cod Liver Oil, Country Life Dry Vitamin A, CVS Pharmacy Beta-Carotene, Garden of Life Oceans 3 Cod Liver Oil, Icaps, Jarrow Formulas CarotenALL, Natural Factors Vitamin A, Nature Made Vitamin A, Nature's Bounty Beta-Carotene, Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil, Pure Encapsulations Vitamin A, Puritan's Pride Beta-Carotene, Rite Aid Pharmacy Beta-Carotene, Swanson Premium Brand Beta Carotene, Sundown Naturals Highest Potency Beta-Carotene, Vitamin Shoppe Beta-Carotene, and Vitamin World Beta-Carotene. The report provides quality ratings, ingredient comparisons, and the cost to obtain 5,000 IU of vitamin A for each tested supplement. It also includes tips on dosage, how to get vitamin A from foods, and warnings about potential side effects.
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, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.
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