April 9, 2009

Beware Of Unreliable Labeling Of Multivitamins

A recent consumer group report found defects in more than 30 percent of multivitamins.

ConsumerLab, a privately owned consumer report group in White Plains, New York, released its newest report that determined the composition of several multivitamins.

According to Reuters: "The Institute of Medicine sets a recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 1,300 international units (IU) of vitamin A for children ages 4 to 8 years and an upper tolerable limit of 3,000 IU. However, one multivitamin tested provided 5,000 IU of vitamin A."

High levels of vitamin A can lead to nausea and blurred vision.  Its long-term effects include bone-softening and liver problems.

Other children's multivitamins were found to contain high levels of niacin - which can cause skin tingling and flushing "“ and zinc, which can cause immune deficiency and anemia.

Additionally, one multivitamin for men was contaminated with lead and another had too much folic acid, which has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.

A general multivitamin had only half of the proper amount of folic acid, and another was lacking 30 percent of calcium, ConsumerLab said.

The group also analyzed women's multivitamins and found that one contained only 66 percent of the vitamin A it claimed to carry.

One of the five seniors' multivitamins contained only 44 percent of its claimed vitamin A.

The group also analyzed the contents of vitamin water and found that it had 15 times the printed amount of folic acid.

"So drinking one bottle would exceed the tolerable limit for adults; less than half a bottle would put children over the limit," ConsumerLab said.

A pet multivitamin was also contaminated with lead and another had only 46 percent of its vitamin A and 54.7 percent of its calcium.


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