You most likely will never end up in the emergency room with an overdose of vitamin B. Nevertheless, most consumers like to know what they are buying- especially when it comes to multivitamins: we like to be able to believe what we read on the bottle.
The trouble is, sometimes the bottle is wrong. There currently is no U.S agency that tests multivitamins for quality or their contents, and this has resulted in what could politely be called ‘errors in packaging.”
What do we mean? Some vitamins don’t contain exactly what they claim to.
ConsumerLab.com, a company that tests and publishes results on health, wellness, and nutrition products, felt this might be the case. And so, in November of 2015, it independently evaluated leading multivitamins sold in the U.S and Canada.
According to their site, ConsumerLab.com purchased 45 of the leading multivitamins for humans and pets, and tested them in a lab.
The company looked at key ingredients, and how fast the vitamin took to break down in the digestive system. (If it takes too long, the body likely doesn’t absorb as much of the benefits as it could).
What was found? 11 of the 45 vitamins made for humans failed the test, and 4 made for pets.
Some of the vitamins had lower amounts of ingredients than listed, some higher, others didn’t accurately list ingredients, and one vitamin took too long to break apart.
Generally, looking at the list, it seems that sticking with one of the mega brands when you purchase a multivitamin likely helps to ensure accuracy when it comes to what’s inside.
Here is a full list of the 11 multivitamins that failed the test done by ConsumerLab.com, and why:
1) Pure Encapsulations LiquiNutrients Natural Mango/Orange Flavor– this had only 17% of the listed amount of folate.
2) Well at Walgreens Women’s Vitamin Gummies- Assorted Fruit Flavors– this had over 200% of the listed amount of folate.
3) Whole Foods Women’s Food Based Multi– this had only 17.5% of the recommended amount of vitamin A.
4) Bluebonnet Targeted Multiples Age-less Choice for Women 50+– this had over 140% of the listed amount of calcium, and just 79% of the listed amount of vitamin A.
5) New Chapter Every Man’s One Daily Multi– this did not fully disintegrate in over 30 minutes.
6) Natural Factors Men’s 50 + MultiStart, Dr. Michael Murray Formulated– this had less than 60% of the listed amount of vitamin A.
7) All One Active Senior’s Multiple Vitamin & Mineral Powder, Unflavored– this had only 70% of the listed amount of vitamin A.
8) ChildLife Multi Vitamin & Mineral- Natural Orange/Mango flavor– this had less than 30% of the listed amount of folate.
9) L’il Critters Gummy Vites Complete- Natural Flavors– this had 174% of the listed amount of folate.
10) Douglas Laboratories Ultra Preventative Teen– this had 148% of the listed amount of calcium, and less than 40% of the listed amount of vitamin A.
11) Pro-Sense Daily Vitamin for Adult– this had over 170% of the listed amount of calcium, and only 51% of the listed amount of vitamin A.
What’s the moral of the story? Go with a brand you trust, and save yourself the worry.