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Product Review: B Vitamin Supplements and Energy Drinks (Including B Complexes, Niacin, B-6, B-12, Biotin, Thiamin, and Folic Acid)

Posted: 9/23/12  Updated: 12/14/13 
B Vitamins and Energy Drinks Reviewed by ConsumerLab.com
Tests Show Many B-Complex Supplements and "Energy" Drinks Contain Wrong Amounts of Vitamins 

Find Out Now If Yours Passed!

B vitamin supplements and energy drinks in this review (including B-complexes,  thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, biotin, folate, and pantothenic acid supplements): 

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Make sure the B-complex, B vitamin, or "energy" supplement you take passed our test and is right for you!
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Our tests and quality ratings of B vitamin supplements, including B-complexes and energy drinks/shots, revealed problems with the quality of 7 out of 23 products selected for review. These products came up short on listed vitamins, containing only 31% to 87% of the claimed amounts, and/or contained far more ingredient than claimed, ranging from 182% to 230% of what was expected. Among B vitamin supplements, the most problematic were B complexes.
 
Testing also revealed the actual amounts of caffeine in the popular energy drinks/shots 5-Hour Energy, Monster Energy M-3, and Red Bull. Just a single small bottle of either of two of these products contained more than twice the caffeine you would expect from a regular cup of coffee. Following the serving suggestions of one product could lead you to ingest an extremely high amount of caffeine -- over 600 mg per day.
 
In this comprehensive report, you'll get quality ratings and reviews of 37 B vitamin supplements and fortified energy drinks: 23 products selected by ConsumerLab.com and 14 others that passed voluntary certification testing. You'll also get information about two supplements similar to one that passed testing. Tested products include B-complexes, energy shots, and single-B vitamin supplements with thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, biotin, folate (folic acid), or pantothenic acid. 

In this comprehensive report, you'll discover:
    • Which B vitamin supplements and energy drinks Iailed testing and which passed
    • Direct comparisons and quality ratings of B vitamin supplements and energy drinks 
    • Information on what B vitamin supplements and energy drinks can and cannot do for you -- some may reduce memory decline!
    • Important differences between forms of B vitamins, such as those of niacin: nicotinic acid, niacinamide, inositol hexanicotinate, and delayed-release formulations.  
    • Usage and dosage information for the B vitamins thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, B-12, biotin, folate (folic acid), and pantothenic acid.
    • Side effects and potential drug interactions with B vitamins
    • Safety concerns about energy drinks and how to use them more safely, including concern over ingredients such as L-carnitine 

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Update:
Find out how companies have responded to our findings in the "Update" section of the full report. This includes one company's statement that we consider an unfounded attempt to dismiss rather than acknowledge a problem.

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