Healthy Living

Articles to Better Your Health

Many Multivitamins Don’t Have Claimed Nutrients

By Linda Carroll
updated 6/20/2011 7:22:53 PM ET

Correction: An earlier version of this story did not make clear that the ingredients in the  Hero Nutritionals Yummi Bears are in compliance with the Daily Value standards set by the federal Food and Drug Administration. ConsumerLab instead evaluated the supplement using the more recent standards established by the Institute of Medicine for upper tolerable limits. Dr. Tod Cooperman stated that excessive Vitamin A levels have been linked to liver abnormalities and other health concerns, but he was not speaking specifically about any particular multivitamin tested by his company.

A new review of popular multivitamins found that one in three did not contain the amount of nutrients claimed in their labels or improperly listed ingredients.

After testing 38 multivitamins for a new report published online this week, researchers at ConsumerLab.com discovered that eight contained too little of specific nutrients, two contained more nutrient than claimed and three improperly listed ingredients. The good news: some of the best vitamins were also the cheapest.

“We found a wide range in the quality of multivitamins,” said Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of the company. “Interestingly, the more expensive products didn’t fare any better than those that are just a few cents a day.”

While medications are closely overseen by the federal Food and Drug Administration, supplements like vitamins don’t get regular testing by any government agency. So there’s no way of knowing — outside of independent testing — whether a bottle of supplements contains what it’s supposed to.

The problems with quality control found by ConsumerLab don’t surprise Dan Hurley, a medical journalist and author of “Natural Causes,” a book on the supplement industry.

“That’s really pretty average for supplements. It’s a real crapshoot,” Hurley said. If a drug company had these kinds of lapses, it would be shut down, he said.

Although low levels of certain nutrients can be a problem, doses that exceed recommendations are especially worrisome. Several products evaluated by ConsumerLab, including some designed for children, had this issue. For the report, ConsumerLab used the recommended daily allowances and upper tolerable limits established by the Institutes of Medicine.

ConsumerLab is a Westchester, N.Y., company that independently evaluates hundreds of health and nutrition products and periodically publishes reviews. For this test, ConsumerLab purchased a selection of multivitamins and sent them, without labels to a lab for testing. If a problem was found, the product was sent to a second lab for confirmation.

ConsumerLab focused on some of the more important ingredients, such as folic acid, calcium, vitamin A (retinol and beta-carotene), zinc, and iron. Cooperman and his colleagues also looked to see how quickly vitamin tablets broke down in liquid. If a pill doesn’t break down fast enough, the body won’t be able to absorb as much of the various nutrients.

Among the supplements that had too little of a particular nutrient were Trader Joe’s Vitamin Crusade (just 59 percent of the vitamin A advertised on the label), Melaleuca Vitality Multivitamin & Mineral (just 42 percent of the touted vitamin A) and All One Active Seniors (less than 2 percent of the beta-carotene, 73 percent of the retinol and 49 percent of the vitamin A listed on the label).

Centrum Chewables had the opposite problem, with 173 percent of the vitamin A listed on the label. This is of particular concern because too much vitamin A can spell trouble.

“If you get too much vitamin A it can be toxic to your liver,” explained Dr. Michael Cirigliano, an associate professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “People don’t realize that everything they put in their mouths is bioactive. Whether it’s baby aspirin or food, it has an effect on the body. People think that if you can get it without a prescription it’s safe — that’s baloney.”

One product, Alpha Betic, took twice as long as it should have to break apart in solution, found ConsumerLab. The supplement also contained less vitamin A than it should have.

Particularly worrisome were high levels of certain nutrients in some of the children’s multivitamins.

Hero Nutritionals Yummi Bears, if given to children at the suggested dose, would exceed recommendations by the Institute for Medicine for Vitamin A in youngsters aged 1 to 3. However, the multivitamins were found to be in compliance with the standards set by the FDA. ConsumerLab considers the FDA’s standards to be outdated.

ConsumerLab found almost no connection between price and quality. Many of the cheaper pills (prices ranging between $0.03 and $0.14 per day) passed all the tests, while some of the most expensive ones (priced as high as $1 per day) failed.

Among the supplements that passed testing were several very inexpensive options, such as Equate Mature Multivitamin, at $0.03/day, Kirkland Signature Mature Multivitamins and Minerals Adult 50+ at $0.03/day and Flintstones Plus Bone Building Support at $0.14/day.

ConsumerLab also tested several pet supplements, one of which, Pet-Tabs Complete Daily Vitamin Mineral Supplement for Dogs contained lead at unhealthy levels.

Ultimately the new report is a strong argument for more regulation of the supplement industry, both Cirigliano and Hurley said.

“People are using these products more and more,” Cirigliano explained. “There needs to be more regulation.”

If you found this article educational please “like” this page! Also feel free to share this article with your family and friends through facebook and twitter.

Cheers to Your Health!

Katrina van Oudheusden

Independent Reliv Distributor

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July 2, 2011 Posted by | Alternative Health, children, Fitness, Health, Health and Wellness, kids vitamins, Men's Health, Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Vitamin, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nutrition to Take For a Better Workout!

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May 27, 2011 Posted by | Alternative Health, Fitness, Health, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Reliv, Sports Nutrition, weight loss, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Stress Relief and Healthy Energy Drink

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Is stress derailing your ability to get things done in a day? Zapping your energy? Making your mind foggy? Beyond finding better ways to manage your stress, such as getting more sleep, exercising, and taking time to relax and have fun, the lack of certain nutrients in your diet could be making the physical effects of stress worse. If you’re feeling enough stress to cause fatigue, you’re on the pathway to poor health.

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Topping the list of energy superstars are the B complex vitamins, which include B6, B12 and folate. These vitamins are essential to help your cells carry oxygen to your brain and to keep you energized. B vitamins also help metabolize carbohydrates, a key source of fuel for your body.

Go for Omega-3
Essential fatty acids like omega-3 can reduce many stress symptoms and counter some of the damaging effects of high levels of stress hormones in the body, according to research.

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Resveratrol, found in red grape skin, helps muscles use oxygen more efficiently to enhance performance. Because energy is processed more efficiently, you’re able to work out longer and more intensely. Dare we say, your workouts could actually be easier?

Charge Up with Coenzyme Q10
Research shows CoQ10 (conenzyme Q10) boosts cell energy production and as a result can improve athletic performance. In addition, CoQ10 has even been shown to enhance physical activity in people with fatigue syndromes.

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February 8, 2011 Posted by | Alternative Health, Fitness, Food Allergies, Health, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Sports Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snacking is Good For You

Good News: Snacking is Good for You!

Here’s a breath of fresh air: It’s OK to snack, whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain weight or just get through the day! In fact, snacking between meals can keep your metabolism humming and your energy and mood steady. Of course, it’s not a total free pass. It’s important to make healthy snack choices that satisfy yet don’t break the calorie bank for the day.

Plan it. To prevent overeating at meals, fit a morning and afternoon snack into your schedule. Planning your snack means you’ll have a healthy option ready when your stomach rumbles so you don’t pounce on the nearest vending machine or easy-to-grab chip bag. When you’re on the go, keep a healthy snack with you.

Know your taste buds. If you always crave sweets in the afternoon, plan to have fresh berries, a crisp apple or a juicy tangerine handy. You could even top it off with a small piece of dark chocolate and still be in the safety zone. Or if crunch is what you crave, keep a handful of nuts on call.

Span the food groups. Nuts and seeds are good sources of protein that keep hunger at bay and offer other important nutrients. Whole grains are high in filling fiber and give you an energy boost from carbohydrates. And fruits and vegetables offer vital nutrients along with fiber. Low-fat dairy is another good choice to boost your daily calcium intake.

Practice portions.
Be careful not to make a snack a meal-size extravaganza. Until you know your portions, measure your snacks and know their calorie content.

Keep it interesting. Try something new for the ultimate snacking satisfaction. Sample star fruit. Chop up jicama sticks for a crunchy alternative to carrots. Mix up your choice of nuts: Almonds one day, soy nuts the next — or a little of both.

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Cheers!
Katrina van Oudheusden
Independent Reliv Distributor

Enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle with Relìv. Order now.

February 12, 2010 Posted by | Health, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, weight loss, Wellness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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