More Problems with Multivitamins

A new report by discovered many multivitamins either contain significantly more or less of an ingredient than they claim and some are even contaminated with lead. Scientists tested several products, including three for children, and found many exceeded tolerable limits of certain vitamins, such as vitamin A, folic acid, niacin and zinc, which can cause health risks like liver damage and bone-weakening. And a vitamin water examined had 15 times the amount folic acid stated; Reuters reports.

Our society loves magic pills and we forget foods like fruits and veggies are loaded with healthful nutrients. For example, broccoli is packed with vitamin K, which fights prostate cancer. Eating seeds and nuts helps prevent type-2 diabetes. And greens like Bok Choy contain compounds that neutralize harmful free radicals and protect against cancer.

In related news, a recent study showed high-dose beta-carotene may raise lung cancer risk. That’s why Dr. Fuhrman’s multi does not contain things like isolated beta-carotene, vitamin A and copper, which have be linked to cancer, birth defects and liver problems.

Image credit: jypsygen

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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Paul Cohen - April 22, 2009 10:51 AM

I was surprised that you commented about niacin. So, I looked it up and I read on the internet that although it may cause liver damage if extremely large amounts (more than 3 grams per day) when taken for a prolonged period of time. However other than skin flushing and some stomach pain in sensitive individuals, I couldn't find any other side effects. Instead I read that it is protective of heart disease and stroke, loewring LDL (bad) cholesterol and raising HDL (good) cholesterol. It costs a lot less than statins and certainly doesn't have their side effects. I even found an article on pubmed which indicates that niacin protects against Alzhimer's disease. My doctor not doubt had these benefits in mind when he told me to take 250mg of niacin twice a day.

Gerry Pugliese - April 22, 2009 10:53 AM

Hey Paul-

I didn't comment about niacin. That's what the article/study said. Not me.


Outdoorgrrl - April 22, 2009 1:58 PM

I'm curious about an aspect of the study - that some multi vitamins have drastically more or less of an ingredient than is actually reported. The post addresses the problem by saying that Dr. Fuhrman's multi vitamins don't contain potentially harmful substances, which only partially addresses the problem.

I used to take a multi vitamin recommended by my doctor that was lab-tested to ensure it had in it what the label said. I've switched to Dr. Fuhrman's multi vitamin, but have always wondered whether these vitamins are subject to the same testing to ensure it has what it's supposed to have in them. Does anyone know?

Gerry Pugliese - April 22, 2009 2:08 PM

Hey Outdoorgrrl-

For questions about Dr. Fuhrman's products you really should talk to his sales people:

1-800-474-WELL (9355)

But here's the fact sheet for his multi:



Joel Fuhrman, MD - April 23, 2009 8:24 AM

We use a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified and FDA regulated facility for production. Which most vitamins are not. GMP certified is a big issue and makes our production costs a lot higher.

More about GMP:

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