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IMPORTANT: Are you using a Bariatric vitamin brand that fails to meet label claims?



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I just received the following email from Unjury and I felt it was really important to share with our community!

"We recently sent two bottles of a Vitamin product labeled "ProCare Health Bariatric chewable Dietary Supplement" to one of the leading independent nutritional chemistry labs in the country. See footnote 1. We asked them to assay this bottle for a selected sample of nutrients. (Assays are costly.) We were curious for at least two reasons:

  • One RDN, on the WM DPG Bariatric Subunit online board, posted a question: "We have been recommending ProCare to our patients for quite some time now....Recently, we have started noticing that a significant number of our patients Folate levels are dropping" (see note about folate testing2)
  • Upon visual comparison, the multi tablet appeared very small compared to other bariatric chewable multi's, and while the ProCare website, www.procarenow.com, states "lack of binders and fillers makes us smaller", we are not sure of the technical feasibility of using no binders and fillers.

Note that this paper comments on the laboratory results for one bottle of the ProCare product, except for the folate retest on the second bottle. (The results of the folate test on the second bottle were consistent with the original result. See notes about purchase of bottles.3)

The assay results from the single bottle,4 of ProCare Health Bariatric Chewable Dietary supplements for 6 of the 9 nutrients assayed (see chart below) shows less than 1% of the levels claimed on the label.

Regarding the folic acid result: unless the source of folate was methylfolate, then the folic acid result is also less than 1% of the levels claimed on the label (see note5 below). The assay results for the remaining two nutrients are also below what is claimed on the label. 5

Results:

Please note that when the lab result includes the "less than" symbol (<), the value reported is the lab's limit of detection - the lowest that the lab believes it can detect - and thus it was unable to find any of the nutrient within its limit of detection.

PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGE FOR RESULTS!

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 5.06.31 PM.png

Note:

The ProCare label did not mention the use of an expensive and rarely used form of folate called methylfolate. For this reason we did not test for it. If the company responds that it used methylfolate, we will test for methylfolate and publish the results for your review.

We are not saying that ProCare Health Bariatric Chewable Dietary supplements never contain the nutrients claimed, as we cannot test every bottle. We do believe however, that it is important and valuable to the bariatric community to provide the limited-scope assay results we have received.

We have made initial contact with the...FDA...and are in the process of providing them the results. As some of you may already know, the FDA's ability to protect consumers-specifically in the dietary supplement market-is limited. Dietary supplement manufacturers are not required to get FDA approval before producing or selling supplements.

All patients ultimately need your expert advice about which supplement brands they can trust. As responsible healthcare professionals, it is important to know the quality of supplement brands before recommending them.

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Footnotes

1 We originally sent one bottle, but the lab requested a second bottle to retest the folate level using that second bottle because the results from the first test were lower than expected. We did send the second bottle requested.

2 We mention the RDN's observation because it contributed to our curiosity. We cannot comment on the validity or accuracy of those patients' folate test results.

3 The lab confirmed that both bottles arrived still sealed. The bottles were ordered on the company website in late May 2015 and assayed in late July and early August 2015.

4 Note that this paper only comments on the laboratory results for one bottle of the ProCare product, except that a second bottle was requested by the lab to retest for folate when the initial results came in unexpectedly low.

5 We did not instruct the lab to test for methylfolate, which is an expensive and infrequently used form of folate. The ProCare label does not list methylfolate as the source of the folate in their Multivitamin on their label.

6 The lab indicated that various tests have expected error ranges, such as +/- 20% for example. However, the results show variances from label claims that are 99% or more, which is outside the lab's expected error ranges.

7 The lab assayed for both beta-carotene and Vitamin A acetate. For simplicity, we are showing the total result because the combined total is less than 1% of the Vitamin A claim.

We welcome your feedback on this email. Please direct emails to RD@UNJURY.com

The UNJURY® and OPURITY® Team"

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I had my surgery done through the University of Missouri Bariatric Center in Columbia, Missouri. The clinic really pushes the Pro-Care Vitamins because a dietician employed through them helped develop/formulate them many years ago. According to the staff at the clinic, the Pro-Care One a Day bariatric Vitamin is suppose to be top notch. As pre-op patients, we were given free samples and had the opportunity to purchase them at a low cost.

I've taken the Pro Care One a Day bariatric Vitamin everyday for the past 11 months and my blood work has been fine. I will be investigating this matter further and contacting my bariatrician .

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Thank you for sharing. Have you assayed any brand whose results match what they claim?

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Important to consider with such a wide range of Vitamins available. Outside of bariatric specific vits I usually look for the USP symbol.

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Thank you for sharing. Have you assayed any brand whose results match what they claim?

We don't assay products. Just passing on information we received.

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Well that is pretty disturbing.

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On 8/26/2015 at 4:33 PM, Mountaingal said:

Do you have any Vitamin recommendations Alex?

Bariatric Advantage, Bariatric  fusion, Celebrate Vitamins and BariMelts.

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Below is an email sent to me regarding this matter from my nutritionist. I agree with her on many points and have decided to keep taking my Pro Care Bariatric Vitamins until Pro Care comes out with a statement.

I have also seen this email and due to the fact that it is a competitor, it automatically made me think it was just a way to get more business for Unjury. However, we also know that ProCare follows the ASMBS guidelines (the standard guidelines in the bariatric world) and because we regularly draw vitamin/mineral labs, we can monitor this more closely. We do often see deficiencies, however it is not necessarily consistent across the board. Also remember that some people require more vitamins/minerals and based on a person’s diet, that may also dictate which vitamins/minerals the body needs more of.

I also received a response from the owner of Procare Vitamins stating that they have their vitamins tested regularly and the statement from Unjury does not provide information on who performed the testing of the vitamins, so it may not be reputable from that aspect as well. Procare will be coming out with a statement probably sometime in the near future.

All that being said, we are still recommending Procare Multivitamins and we are staying on top of the recommendations and results comes out with a statement.

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Thanks Alex

I just bought 4 bottles on line. :-(

Glad to hear it though for others and myself to receive this information

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For what it's worth, Bariatric Advantage non chewable vitamins failed an independent assay done by the testing agency ConsumerLabs.com. They were the only Bariatric Vitamins that ConsumerLabs has tested to date.

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I see that this topic is four years old. Can I assume this is a non-issue now? I am considering switching to ProCare capsules and have heard great things about it with the exception of this post. Any insights would be much appreciated. M

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Just now, KenC said:

I see that this topic is four years old. Can I assume this is a non-issue now? I am considering switching to ProCare capsules and have heard great things about it with the exception of this post. Any insights would be much appreciated. M

This is no longer an issue since ProCare reformulated and their Vitamins meet ASMBS guidelines.

You might also be interested in our BariatricPal Multivitamin ONE. You can get 30% off using code MARCHWIN until tomorrow.

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