WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — JANUARY 8, 2008 — A new report on the quality of potassium supplements was released by ConsumerLab.com today. Tests of twelve products found one product to contain only 18% of the claimed amount of this essential mineral. Potassium supplements are used to treat or prevent potassium deficiency and are commonly taken by people on diuretic drugs that treat high blood pressure but cause potassium loss. Deficiency can cause muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, listlessness, mood change, nausea, and vomiting. Potassium may also help lower blood pressure in people who consume high amounts of sodium. Sales of potassium supplements were estimated at $74 million in 2006 according to Nutrition Business Journal.
ConsumerLab.com purchased the supplements from stores, catalogues, and online retailers. The supplements were tested for the amount of potassium, potential lead contamination, and the ability of tablets to break apart in order to release ingredients. The significant lack of ingredient in one product was confirmed in a second independent laboratory.
"Our findings should be a reminder to consumers that even straightforward supplements like potassium don't always deliver what they promise," said Tod Cooperman, MD, ConsumerLab.com's president. "The supplement brand you choose may affect your well-being, particularly if you rely on it to prevent or treat potassium deficiency."
The ConsumerLab.com report is available at www.consumerlab.com/results/potassium.asp. It includes findings for nine products selected by ConsumerLab.com as well as three that passed ConsumerLab.com's Voluntary Certification Program. Also listed are three products similar to ones that passed but sold under different brand names. Brands included are Advanced Research, Biotech Pharmacal, Country Life, Food Sciences of Vermont, Healthy Ideas, Nature Made, Nature's Bounty, Nature's Life, Nutricology, Puritan's Pride, Spring Valley [Wal-Mart], Vitamin World, and Vitasmart [K-Mart]. The report also provides information about the forms of potassium, use of these supplements and additional clinical information.
ConsumerLab.com is a provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Reviews of popular types of vitamins, supplements, and generic drugs are available at www.consumerlab.com. New Product Reviews to be released in coming months include Fish/Marine Oils (EPA and DHA), Iron, Turmeric (curcumin), and Vitamin C. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.