Vitamin D and calcium each play a crucial role in bone health and are among the most popular supplement ingredients in the U.S., but recent ConsumerLab.com tests found three out of 25 popular products containing vitamin D and calcium (including some with vitamin K) contained either too much or too little of a key ingredient. Interestingly, the problems were only found in products which contained multiple ingredients.
One combination product, for example, contained too much vitamin D—providing 182.7 percent of its listed amount. This is a problem ConsumerLab.com has discovered with other products in the past. Another product contained only 76.2 percent of its listed amount of vitamin K1, and none of its claimed vitamin K2—a more potent, and typically more expensive form of the vitamin. A third supplement contained only 89.3 percent of its labeled amount of vitamin D.
Vitamin D has become an extremely popular supplement in the U.S. In a survey of over 10,000 supplement users by ConsumerLab.com this past November, 55.9 percent of respondents reported using a vitamin D supplement daily, making vitamin D the fourth most popular supplement after fish oils/omega-3 supplements, multivitamins and CoQ10. Calcium was the seventh most popular supplement, used by 41.6 percent of respondents.
While getting adequate vitamin D and calcium is essential for bone health, some research suggests that having blood levels of vitamin D that are too high may actually increase the risk of fractures and falls, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
ConsumerLab.com also identified many combination and single-ingredient bone health products that contained what they claimed, did not contain unacceptable levels of lead, cadmium, and arsenic and, if in tablet form, were shown to disintegrate fully to be available for absorption.
Results of the recent tests appear online in the Vitamin D Supplements Review, the Calcium Supplements Review and the Vitamin K Supplements Review. Combination products appear in more than one review. The reports include test results and quality ratings for each product selected for testing by ConsumerLab.com and for products certified through ConsumerLab.com's voluntary Quality Certification Program. Reports include ingredient and cost comparisons, information regarding benefits, risks, side effects, and dosage, and important tips for consumers on how to use these supplements.
Included in the reports are the following products: Andorra Life Collagen Calcium, Bayer Citracal Slow Release 1200, Bayer Citracal Petites, Bayer Flintstones Healthy Bone Support Calcium & Vitamin D3, Bluebonnet Earth Sweet Chewable Vitamin D3, Caltrate 600+D Plus Minerals, Carlson Super Daily D3 Baby, ChildLife Liquid Calcium With Magnesium, Country Life Bone Solid, CVS/pharmacy Calcium, DG Health [Dollar General] Calcium, Douglas Laboratories Calcium Citrate. Dr. Mercola Vitamin K2, Finest Nutrition (Walgreens) Calcium, Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW D3, GNC Calcium Plus 1000 with Magnesium & D3, GNC Vitamin D-3 1000, Jamieson D, Jarrow Formulas Bone-Up, Kirkland Signature [Costco] Calcium Citrate Magnesium And Zinc, Life Extension Vitamin D3, Metagenics D3, Life Extension Super K With Advanced K2 Complex, Mason Natural K, Nature Made Calcium Magnesium Zinc, Nature Made Vitamin D 2000 IU, Nature's Bounty D3, Nature's Way Alive Calcium Bone Formula. Nature's Way Alive Calcium Gummies, NOW Vitamin D-3 & K-2, Nutrilite Cal Mag D Advanced, Puritan's Pride Sunvite Mega-Potency Vitamin D3 5000, Rainbow Light Food Based Calcium, RiteAid Pharmacy Vitamin D-3, Shaklee Osteomatrix, Simply Right (Sam's Club) Vitamin D3, Solgar Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D3, Source Naturals Vitamin D-3 , Spring Valley [Walmart] Calcium plus Vitamin D3, Standard Process Calsol, Swanson High-Potency Dry Vitamin D-3, Trader Joe's Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D, TwinLab D3 Dots , USANA Active Calcium, USANA Vitamin D, Viactiv Calcium Plus D - Milk Chocolate, Vitamin World Sunvite Vitamin D3, Whole Foods Vitamin D3, Yummi Bears Vegetarian Sour Calcium + Vitamin D.