October 11, 2001
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.--In tests conducted on certain iron supplements, almost 90 percent of these products passed according to results released in early October. In mid-2001, ConsumerLab.com (www.consumerlab.com) purchased 19 iron supplements, several of which listed nutrients such as vitamins C and B, various herbs and/or calcium. All were tested for iron content, bioavailability and lead levels. Of these products, two failed the company's tests.
One of the failed products, a store brand, was missing 27 percent (or 7.3 mg) of its listed 27 mg of iron per capsule. The second product was from a national brand marketed toward women; it contained in excess of 0.5 mcg per daily serving-a level that is the maximum allowed under California's Prop 65.
According to ConsumerLab.com, this product may become problematic: "[W]hile the level found in this supplement does not represent an immediate threat in itself, it unnecessarily contributes to daily lead exposure," the company wrote on its Web site.
ConsumberLab.com noted that some of the products' listed daily servings exceeded the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) and Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) established by the government. "However, under a doctor's supervision, it is acceptable to exceed these limits because the potential consequences of untreated iron deficiency may be more severe than the potential side effects of high iron intake," ConsumerLab.com wrote.
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