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Are you taking a multivitamin as part of your daily routine? If so – congratulations, you are taking an important step towards maintaining your wellness and improving your wellbeing. On top of this, many people take other supplements such as fish oil, red yeast rice or glucosamine, plus minerals.
Unfortunately, even if you are taking a daily vitamin, mineral or supplement, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are assured of its strength and quality, because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor such products as closely as they should.
The FDA actually has very limited authority to regulate the supplements industry, as it was felt by the Government that they did not have the time or resources to be constantly looking over shoulders in the booming supplements industry, and instead, we are reliant on the industry to regulate themselves and to be reliable.
Last month, it came to light that a group of scientists, who were studying the effect of vitamin D on women in the postmenopausal phase of life, had discovered something worrying. They wanted to double check the potency of the pills that they were using for the study, and so they had them analysed. What they discovered, was shocking. When analysed, only one third of the vitamins were within 10 percent of the dose stated on the product, with the rest varying wildly. When other brands were checked, the potency ranged from 23 percent to 146 percent of the dose stated on the product.
The scientists then took the matter further and bought 55 bottles of vitamin D-3 pills over the counter, and then set about analysing the potency of these. In their tests, just over a third of the pills actually met USP standards, meaning that people who turn to these supplements may not know exactly how much they are taking, and therefore the benefits can be greatly affected.