What's in your vitamin bottle may not match the label

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Vitamin D is extremely important in our diet, and it is not difficult to come by; you can find it in milk, eggs, fish-common food for many people. And some prefer a supplement to normalize their vitamin D levels in the winter months. But according to a recent study some supplements have less of the vitamin than it appears on their label.

"The FDA doesn't necessarily check what's listed on the labels. They check more for manufacturing processes, to make sure that nothing is harmful," said Susan Kasik-Miller, Clinical Dietitian at the Sacred Heart Hospital.

Research done by Kaiser Permanente, reveals: out of five tested pills in the bottle, most averaged closer to 100 percent, but one-third were still too high, or too low.

"It was really kind of a surprise for a lot of people, I think; to find out that the amounts that were listed on the label were not in the product," said Kasik-Miller.

And since most people don't check their vitamins labels, doctors say for those who rely on the supplements for vitamin D, not having enough of it in the bottle, can take a toll on their overall health.

"I just pick up vitamin D. I make assumptions that they're being truthful, and somehow it's regulated, they wouldn't say something that wasn't there," said consumer Pat Rundle, who has been using vitamin D supplements for more than two years.

"I think it's very important to get what we pay for. If you're buying a supplement you expect the amount that's listed on the label, to actually be in the product. If it's not in the product, you're really not getting what you’ve paid for," said Kasik-Miller.

And to make sure it all there, doctors say, choose a supplements from well-known manufacturers, and with the United States Pharmacopeia approval on it.

"We do want to maybe look for USP certification, to assure us that the amounts of vitamins that are listed on the label are actually on the label."

"I will check the bottle, and see what it has on it. I'd like to think it has the approval, but I will check it out. And if not, I will look for the one that does,” said Rundle.

Miller says that if the bottle contains actual amount of vitamin D that's listed on the label, it will give you plenty of vitamin D, to make up what you wouldn't be getting through the sunlight.

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