Are you counting on a daily multi-vitamin to keep your health in good order? If so, you might want to take a closer look at the multi-vitamins in your medicine cabinet! In tests run by independent laboratories less than half of the multi-vitamins tested met the claims stated on their labels. Unlike pharmaceutical medicines which must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, vitamins are not required to undergo the same levels of testing. So it is up to the consumer to get the facts on what he/she is taking. The good news is their are several good products on the market. This article will reveal what some of those tests showed, and give you tips on how to select a good multi-vitamin.
ConsumerLab.com recently selected 21 different brands of multi-vitamins available in the US and Canada. All 21 of them were sent to independent labs for testing. You should be amazed at the results they got. Out of the 21 brands that were tested, only 10 of them met the quality standards and claims stated on their labels. Only 10 out of 21! A vitamin a day may NOT keep the doctor away! And people still wonder why the federal government ends up having to regulate everything!
One product was found to contain lead. This vitamin made for women is called, The Vitamin Shoppe Multivitamins Especially for Women. The test confirmed this product contained 15.3 micrograms of lead per 2 tablets. Dr. Tod Cooperman who is the president of ConsumerLab.com was quoted as saying “We’ve never seen that much lead in a multivitamin before”. This was one of the worst one tested. Another product with problems was Hero Nutritionals Yummi Bears. This multi-vitamin for children had 216% of the Vitamin A stated on the label. That is way more than the tolerable level set by the Institute of Medicine. Children ages 1 to 3 should get no more than 2,000 IU per day, and those in the 4 to 8 age bracket no more than 3,000 IU. Hero Nutritionals Yummi Bears contained 5,400 IU. Some of the other vitamins tested were shown to contain either more or less of a particular vitamin when compared to the label. Many of these products did not dissolve in the right amount of time. So they could potentially pass right through your body without ever being absorbed. You might as well just throw your money away! Can you imagine spending all that money taking a multi-vitamin for years, only to find out it’s just passing right through you? So basically speaking, half the vitamins turned out OK, and the other half did not. ConsumerLab.com is a company that evaluates many different health and nutrition products.They are an independent company.
In another test, they bought a bunch of the more popular brand name multi-vitamins as well as some lesser known brands. All the products were sent to 2 different laboratories after the labels had been removed from each bottle. You’ll be happy to know that several of the more popular brands passed the tests. Some of these popular brands that passed were, Centrum Silver, Members Mark Complete Multi (Sam’s Club), One a Day Women’s, and Flinstone’s Complete. There is no guarantee when it comes to a multi-vitamin, but it seems as though buying one that has a name you recognize generally is a good product. Here are some tips on how to select a good multi-vitamin.
No matter what vitamin you choose to take, keep in mind they do not get tested the same way as medicine does. Some steps you should take are:
Buy vitamins from well known companies who have a lot to lose. Your best bet is a brand name that is well recognized. These companies can ill afford to have a media nightmare on one of their products.
Purchase your products from a larger retail store. They move products faster and you’re more apt to get fresh vitamins. Always check the dates. Stay away from buying your vitamins over the internet.
Check the bottles to see if they have any labels from ConsumerLab.com, USP, or NSF. These labels indicate the company does submit their products for independent testing. If they are willing to have the product tested independently, it’s probably going to contain similar amounts of each ingredient that are stated on the label. Remember there are no guarantees with vitamins, but these are your best bet.
Stay away from those super expensive vitamins. Don’t believe all that bull trying to justify paying more money for the product. All you need is the vitamins, all those so called extras probably aren’t going to do you any good anyway.
Taking a multi-vitamin is a great way to supplement your daily health. Use your common sense and at least take one that gives you the benefits your paying for. Try your best to eat a good diet, as your main daily compliment of nutrition should come from food.