Hi, I’m Dr. Tod Cooperman, President and
Founder of ConsumerLab com, which has been testing and reporting on the
quality of dietary supplements since 1999, and I’m here today to tell you
something disturbing about the labeling on dietary supplements, which is that
the Daily Value (DV) information that you see in the Supplement Facts panels on these
products — such as this product, you can see the Daily Values shown here — these
numbers are incorrect in many cases and it’s not necessarily because the
manufacturer’s doing something wrong, it’s that those Daily Values were developed
in 1968 and earlier and it wasn’t until 2016 that the the FDA decided to update
those values to reflect the latest science. What we’ve done on ConsumerLab.com has put up a free page now to help you understand what the new Daily Values are so that you can compare, really, the amounts of ingredients that are in
supplements — on this side of the supplement facts panel,
where they show the milligram or microgram amounts — so you can figure out what the correct real daily values are. To give
you an example, in 2016 looking at the latest information which is provided
by the Institute of Medicine which sets the RDAs and AIs (basically these are
the real daily requirements on which the Daily Values are based), the FDA in
setting these DVs decided to increase the Daily Value,
appropriately, for eight different vitamins and minerals, and decrease it
for about 12; and these were significant changes for many of these — could be a
doubling quadrupling in one direction or the other —
but, again, products on the market today the labels generally don’t reflect these
new Daily Values, so if you see 100% of vitamin D, you actually are
probably getting 50% of the Daily Value for vitamin D. Some other examples that are on here, and again this product is neither
good nor bad, I’m just showing it to give you a sense of the labeling, vitamin C
here, where you see 60 milligrams or 100% of the Daily Value,
well that Daily Value has gone up from 60 milligrams in 1968. Now it’s believed that you need more, you need 90 milligrams, so this is only about
67% of the Daily Value of vitamin D. As I mentioned, this product has 700 IU which
is a good amount of vitamin D, 175 percent of the daily value, but, based on
the latest information, we know you need more than that. If you’re an older person,
you need about 800 IU, so you’re not getting a 175% (of the DV),
you’re getting actually less than that. Now, of course, you should try to get as
much of these nutrients from your food, from your diet, or, for vitamin D just getting
outside and getting some sun. But if you are dependent on a supplement, you need
to know really what percent of your Daily Value you’re gettingm and, so, if you
go to ConsumerLab.com and you look at our ConsumerLab.com/RDAs page, which is free, you will see not only what the current Daily Values are, but you’ll also
see the breakouts by your age and gender, so that you know what’s most appropriate
for you. And for women who are pregnant or lactating
there are breakouts for those people as well. In addition, what you’ll never find
on the supplement bottle is the upper limit — whether a product actually has
more than you than you want and where you’re actually putting yourself at some
potential harm due to adverse effects. Those upper limits, which are
also established by the Institute of Medicine,
don’t appear on supplement labels but they do appear on our page at ConsumerLab.com/RDAs, so there you can see, for example, if you
buy a supplement with 5,000 IU of vitamin D, you’ll see that you’re
actually surpassing the upper tolerable intake level for you, which is only 4,000
IU for an adult. Again, very important information. So take advantage of the
free information that we have on ConsumerLab
at ConsumerLab.com/RDAs and you can also link to our reviews where
we’ve actually tested products and done product reviews for many of these
different nutrients if you actually want to find out which products contain what
they really claim because sometimes you can’t even rely on the milligram or
microgram amounts that are in there. Sometimes those numbers are just wrong
because a product hasn’t been manufactured properly. I hope this information is helpful and, again, just be aware that it’s going
to be until about 2021 before all the labels legally have to be corrected in
the United States to reflect the latest Daily Values. Until then, please check the
information on our page at ConsumerLab.com/RDAs. Thanks