safe supplements?
November 24, 2010 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Supplement (vitamin) safety?

Other than checking consumer lab, which only tests a small number, what are other sources or methods to determine whether the supplements you're taking are safe? I'm thinking in terms of quality of ingredients, absorption, and contamination. I've noticed that CL has found lead in a few supplements, there are times when the amount in the supplement doesn't match what's on the label, etc. I'm trying to find supplements that hopefully do what they say and are contaminant free.

I don't know that some brands are necessarily safer than others, I would think it would depend on where they source their ingredients, and I'm guessing the companies who produce vitamins vary who they buy them from and go with whomever is cheapest, which probably also means that controls aren't what they should be and pollution at the source may be a problem.
posted by mbird to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My doctor advised me to only buy supplements which were manufactured and sourced in the US. It's a bit of a pain to read the labels on every bottle, but most clearly state if they're made in the US. If it's not mentioned, you can usually assume it's made elsewhere.
posted by ACN09 at 11:07 AM on November 24, 2010

Consumer Reports did a big report this summer on supplements, I believe in the July issue. You can find a summary online, and the full report is available for a fee or, I suspect, for free in your local library.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:26 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

That CR report unfortunately only tested "One a Day" type multivitamins that can be purchased at any supermarket. They didn't test individual supplements or brands that are likely found in a health food store. New Chapter Organics is my favorite brand. My daughter the dietitian says their supplements are high in bio-availability because they're made with whole foods. I just know I feel better when I take them.
posted by toastedbeagle at 12:25 PM on November 24, 2010

I don'r have any way of verifying this for myself, but have been told that Costco tests all of their vitamins and supplements, every year. Mr Sunny went to a little nutrition thingy paid for by his company, where a representative from Costco stated that.
posted by annsunny at 5:56 PM on November 24, 2010

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