Independent Report: Over Half of Multivitamins “Deficient”
Pregnancy Plus Prenatal Passes Independent Test Where Other Products Stumble
Ever wondered about the quality of your prenatal vitamin supplement? Or considered whether you are actually getting all the nutrients claimed on the “supplement facts” label?
Not all vitamin brands are alike – and a recent quality test by an independent consumer protection agency, ConsumerLab, has proved this alarming point. Of twenty-one leading vitamin brands tested by ConsumerLab, only ten met the ingredient claims and quality standards advertised on their labels. For consumers who depend on nutritional supplements, the results of this independent report may come as both a shock and a wake-up call to make informed choices when selecting your vitamin brand.
The good news is that Pregnancy Plus Prenatal vitamin was randomly selected among ConsumerLab’s twenty-one leading vitamin supplements and passed – “with flying colors” – all ingredient claims and quality standards. Which is to say, with Pregnancy Plus Prenatal, 100% of the nutrients claimed on the label were found to be present in the vitamin during independent assay screening by ConsumerLab. In addition, Pregnancy Plus was approved for quality benchmarks associated with both product purity and efficient digestibility (or vitamin dissolution rate).
For trying-to-conceive women and expectant mothers who rely on Pregnancy Plus every day for prenatal nutrition, this is reassuring news. Formulated by pregnancy and fertility expert, Amos Grunebaum, MD, Pregnancy Plus boasts a “just right” formula that brings together a balanced spectrum of important vitamins and minerals, including folic acid. Folic acid is essential to a healthy pregnancy and has been shown to reduce the odds of birth defects. Minerals like iron are central to both mother and baby health during pregnancy. Pregnancy Plus was formulated to support prenatal wellness from preconception through pregnancy and nursing.
While Pregnancy Plus was approved in all categories by ConsumerLab, other leading vitamin brands failed key benchmarks for ingredient content, presence of contaminants, and rate of tablet dissolution. ConsumerLab, as part of “a mission to independently evaluate products that impact health and nutrition”, acquired several leading multivitamin products sold in the U.S. and Canada and tested them for ingredient levels, correlating independent test results with the supplement facts label claims. While consumers certainly expect to receive what is stated on a supplement label, over half of the multivitamins tested were found to be deficient on specific ingredients, were contaminated with potentially harmful heavy metals like lead, or failed to dissolve properly (which means that the vitamin does not break down properly for efficient absorption of available nutrients). In some instances, products were also found to have excessive amounts of certain ingredients, which also poses a risk of adverse side effects, particularly in the case of prenatal nutrition.
Because dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA, there may be little quality control or oversight with regard to issues like product integrity or ingredient purity. It is ultimately the responsibility of the product manufacturer to ensure that quality standards are met and the supplement content matches all label claims. In the case of Pregnancy Plus Prenatal vitamin, the product manufacturer, Fairhaven Health, conducts its own random third-party quality assurance testing. Moreover, according to Fairhaven Health’s Kelly Andrews, “It’s important to us that our supplements are made here at home in the USA – in certified facilities that adhere to strict GMP [Good Manufacturing Practices] standards. People deserve to get what they pay for. Particularly when it comes to prenatal nutrition and fertility health”.
Along with Pregnancy Plus Prenatal, Fairhaven Health is also the maker of products like FertilAid fertility supplements and Pregnancy Plus Omega 3. The latter product, which is used during pregnancy to support infant wellness and prenatal development, is certified free of mercury and other contaminants. Fairhaven Health is a specialty manufacturer of preconception and pregnancy products and works closely with noted fertility experts like Dr. Grunebaum.
We take it for granted that a vitamin product should hold good to its content claims and be free of impurities. Sadly, the 2007 ConsumerLab report reveals that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to supplement quality, even among leading brands. Selecting a vitamin brand means making informed choices. If you have questions about a specific prenatal vitamin, you can visit ConsumerLab.com or contact a product manufacturer directly regarding quality assurance protocols and good manufacturing practices. In the case of Pregnancy Plus Prenatal, the jury is already in: Pregnancy Plus has been approved for product quality, purity, and integrity across the board.
Fairhaven Health, the maker of Pregnancy Plus and FertilAid products, is a leading manufacturer of fertility products for both women and men. Fairhaven Health is also the maker of FertileCM, Pregnancy Plus Omega-3, and the Fertile Focus ovulation microscope.
ConsumerLab is a consumer protection organization whose mission is to identify the best quality health and nutrition products through independent testing.