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Vitamins Put to the Test

MSNBC is reporting on the vitamin industry. Of the 21 brands of multivitamins on the market (in the United States and Canada) selected by and tested by independent laboratories, just 10 met the stated claims on their labels or satisfied other quality standards.

One product tested, The Vitamin Shoppe Multivitamins Especially for Women, was contaminated with lead (15.3 micrograms of lead per serving, which is more than 10 times the amount permitted without a warning in California, the only state that regulates lead in supplements). Others contained more or less of a certain ingredient stated on the label and others did not dissolve in a short enough amount of time (vitamins should break apart in 30 mins).

Hero Nutritionals Yummi Bears, a multivitamin for children, had 5,400 International Units (IU) of Vitamin A in a daily serving. The upper tolerable level set by the Institute of Medicine is 2,000 IU for kids ages 1 to 3 and 3,000 IU for those 4 to 8. Vitamin A can cause bone weakening and liver abnormalities, the Yummi Bears are possibly doing more harm than good since Vitamin A is something you can have too much of.

The Vitamins that passed with flying colors: Centrum Silver, Member's Mark Complete Multi (distributed by Sam's Club), One A Day Women's and Flintstones Complete.

Fit's Tip: When buying a multivitamin, it's best to choose a well-known brand sold by a company or store that you have confidence in.

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