Among 28 vitamin D supplements recently selected for independent testing, Consumerlab.com found that eight products, or 29 percent of those tested, had quality problems.
- A popular supplement for children listed 200 IU of vitamin D per two gummy bears, but actually contained 501 IU, 251% of the listed amount.
- A gummy product for adults listed 1,000 IU of vitamin D, but contained only 317 IU, 32% of the listed amount.
- A liquid listing 42 IU of vitamin D contained only 18 IU, 44% of the listed amount.
- A tablet listing 800 IU of vitamin D contained only 664 IU, 83% of the listed amount.
- A vitamin D/vitamin K supplement contained its listed amount of vitamin D but provided only 36.8 mcg of its listed 50 mcg of vitamin K per capsule, 74% of the listed amount.
- Two other products containing combinations of vitamins D and K and calcium were contaminated with lead: One contained 5.2 mcg of lead per serving, and the other contained 4.1 mcg per serving. Both also failed to disclose soy as a potential allergen.
These results underscore the need for consumers to insist that supplement manufacturers have the highest quality standards that require extensive quality testing of raw ingredients and finished products.
Looking for Problems
Quality tests should focus on satisfying three criteria:
- Authenticity/Identity – What’s in the bottle is what is declared on the label—no counterfeit or substitute ingredients.
- Potency – The amounts of each ingredient listed on the label are the minimum amounts contained in each capsule, tablet, or teaspoonful, at its expiration date.
- Purity – The product is tested for all known and suspected contaminants and rejected if they do not meet FDA or other limits.
Degrees of Quality?
Don’t assume that authenticity, potency and purity are somehow a “given.” The FDA only requires that manufacturers test raw ingredients for identity. They leave it up to each manufacturer to define its own standard for purity and potency.
This is the proverbial fork in the road for manufacturers. If they take the path of least resistance, they conduct fewer quality tests thereby lowering their costs. But quality problems could go undetected. So some manufacturers don’t find problems because they simply chose not to look for them.
Manufacturers with the highest standards put quality first and conduct extensive tests to ensure superior quality. Of course there are many paths and degrees of quality in between these two paths, but this illustrates why supplement quality varies widely from one manufacturer to another.
How CNCA Protects You
At CNCA, we put your health first and have made superior quality our mission—Expert Nutrition. Quality You Can Trust. Depending on ingredients, we conduct up to as many as 207 tests on our raw materials and finished products. That’s up to four times more tests than ConsumerLab.com or voluntary quality programs like USP.
Through extensive testing, CNCA has found dangerous and occasionally illegal levels of contaminants in raw materials that Consumerlab.com doesn't test for. Learn more here
Doctors and hospitals trust CNCA dietary supplements. You can too.