Below are some of the alerts out there on a wide variety of supplements.
Our advice: if you're vegan, other than Vitamin B12, why do you need these? What are you realistically unable to get that you need to expose yourself to the known and unknown problems of many common supplements and vitamins?
This info comes from ConsumerLab.com, an organization that tests and identifies the actual ingredients in many leading supplements. They require you pay $30 to join their website and get access to detailed reports on specific vitamins and supplements. We are not endorsing them or their operation, and have no relationship with them.
Our central point however is this: If you are using supplements, caveat emptor! These recent independent analyses found that 50% of the Vitamin K, 21% of the Calcium & 28% of the Vitamin D supplements tested, failed to meet quality standards and several were contaminated with lead.
Some ConsumerLab findings:
ConsumerLab.com found problems with 29% of the vitamin D supplements selected for testing and review. Vitamin D plays a critical role in bone health, and higher blood levels are associated with reduced risk of heart attack and diseases including depression, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma. But you must choose vitamin D supplements carefully. We found the following problems in supplements containing vitamin D:
Two supplements with vitamin D in combination with calcium and vitamin K were contaminated with lead
A gummy supplement for children contained 251% of the listed amount of vitamin D, while a gummy for adults contained only 32% of the listed amount of vitamin D
A liquid supplement provided only 44% of the listed amount of vitamin D
A tablet contained only 83% of the listed amount of vitamin D
A vitamin D - vitamin K combination supplement provided only 74% of its vitamin K
ConsumerLab.com also discovered that labels on two vitamin D products failed to disclose a potential allergen and another was missing a required FDA disclaimer.
Calcium is critical for building and maintaining strong bones and preventing osteoporosis. Calcium is also needed for the proper functioning of nerves, muscles, glands, and the cardiovascular system. Some people don't get enough calcium and can benefit from calcium supplements. At the same time, certain people may be increasing their risk of heart attack by taking too much calcium from supplements.
ConsumerLab.com's tests found that two calcium supplements were contaminated with lead, containing, respectively, up to 4.1 mcg and 5.2 mcg of lead per daily serving. In addition, two combination supplements with calcium provided the wrong amounts of vitamin D -- one had only 44% of the listed amount of vitamin D and the other contained far too much vitamin D -- 251% of the listed amount. These combination products also contained a form of vitamin K made from soy, but failed to list soy as a potential allergen. One other product failed to provide a required FDA disclaimer regarding claims made on its label.
You must join to get the test results and quality ratings for calcium supplements, including combination products with vitamin D and vitamin K. You will get results for 27 calcium supplements: 19 selected for testing by ConsumerLab.com and 8 others that passed Voluntary Certification Program testing. We also identify one product that is the same as one that passed testing but is sold under a different brand name. In this comprehensive report, you'll discover:
Which calcium supplements failed our quality ratings and which passed -- including combinations with vitamin D and vitamin K
Cost comparisons to help you choose a calcium supplement offering the best value
The pros and cons of different forms of calcium such as carbonate, citrate, oyster shell, and coral calcium and which may be better for you
The latest recommendations on calcium dosage by age and gender and for specific uses -- and how much may be too much and how best to take calcium supplements
Potential drug interactions and side effects of calcium supplements