Saturday, April 6, 2013

This is Why It is SO Important To TEST Vitamin D Levels

In case you needed another reason to have your doctor test the vitamin D level in your blood, a recent article in JAMA Internal Medicine should be all you need to be convinced. The title of the article is "Over-the-counter and compounded vitamin D: Is potency what we expect?"...and the answer is NO!

Researchers purchased vitamin D supplements from 5 stores and compounding pharmacies, and analyzed 55 over-the-counter (OTC) and compounded products from 12 manufactures. The final results showed that the supplements contained 9 to 145 percent of what was listed on the label. "In our test, just over one-half of the OTC pills and only one-third of compounded vitamins met USP convention standards. Compounded vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplements varied significantly in potency." The researchers were surprised by the variation in potency but they did not feel that these products put consumers at risk. "The biggest worry is for someone who has low levels of vitamin D in their blood. If they are constantly taking a supplement with little vitamin D in it, they could face health risks." ...Well...yes!

Quality control in the supplement industry is certainly a problem. This is why I encourage my patients to have lab tests, and then retest just to make sure that what they are doing nutritionally to improve their health is working. That said, we at OsteoNaturals do everything we can to ensure that what you see on our labels is what you get. Our products are made in an FDA approved and fully GMP compliant facility. The raw materials that go into our products all meet US FDA and Health Canada guidelines and are subject to Certificate of Analysis verification as well as potency, composition, and purity testing. We try very hard to give you excellent products. But I also understand that it can be enticing to purchase cheaper, similar looking products at your local discount store. The nice thing about vitamin D is that it is easy to test whether or not the brand you are using is working. Just ask your doctor to test your 25 hydroxyvitamin D level....just to be sure.

LeBlanc, E.S., et al. 2013. Over-the-counter and compounded vitamin D: Is potency what we expect? JAMA Intern Med, Feb. 11 (published online).
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