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ConsumerLab.com Warns of Problems with Mulitivitamins and Vitamin Water
Date:3/31/2009

use immune deficiency and anemia.

In addition, many supplements like these generally provide an "overage" of ingredient, i.e., more than the listed amount of ingredient to make sure that the product maintains potency over its shelf-life. Although an accepted practice, actual levels may be up to 50% higher than on the label.

A reason why so many children's vitamins exceed the newer recommended levels is that they are designed to meet "100%" of the Daily Values (DVs) which were last updated in 1968 and have yet to be re-set by the FDA. The out-dated DVs for vitamin A on supplement labels are actually two to three times higher than the newer RDAs and exceed tolerable intake levels for young children (a table of DVs, RDAs and ULs is found in the report).

Several products for adults also exceeded ULs for certain ingredients, particularly niacin.

Mixed Problems with Men's Multis
Two of three men's multis failed to pass testing. One contained 258.8% of its folic acid, yielding 2,070 mcg per day. The RDA for folic acid is only 400 mcg per day and the upper tolerable level (UL) for folic acid is 1,000 mcg. Higher intake can make it difficult to detect severe vitamin B-12 deficiency. In addition, folic acid supplementation at 1,000 mcg per day has been associated with a more than twofold increase in prostate cancer risk. Another men's multivitamin contained 1.62 mcg of lead per daily serving. Although this amount is unlikely to be harmful in itself, lead exposure should be avoided. The State of California requires warning labels on supplements that provide more than 0.5 mcg of lead per day.

Some General Multis Provide Less Ingredient Than Claimed
Two out of five general multis were short on ingredient: one provided only 50% of its claimed folic acid and the other had only 69.8% of its calcium.

Variety of Multivitamins Short on Vitamin A
Among four women's multis selected, one provided on
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