As I have already mentioned, I’m on a bit of a health kick right now. And since we’re right in the middle of winter, I thought that a multivitamin complex might be a good idea to help me get through the season (I come from a culture where “spring avitaminosis” is considered common – that’s when after a winter of hardly any fresh fruit/veggies by early spring your body is really low on vitamins). As I’m a very healthy eater, I knew that I wanted a fairly basic multivitamin with some extra “energizing” additives. Natrol My Favorite Multiple Energizer seemed to fit the bill perfectly – one-a-day, with a blend of green tea, eleuthero and ginkgo to give you that extra bit of energy, and with sane amounts of vitamins added. Why anyone would want 2000% RDA of anything escapes me.
I was taking these vitamins for several weeks, and even wanted to write a blog post about them, as I was pretty happy with the result. And then I took another look at the “Other ingredients” list. What did I find among all that stuff? BHT.
BHT is the very reason I avoid cheap cereal, ready-made pie crusts, shortening and plenty of other things (including BHT-containing dog food). It’s a chemical preservative that is supposedly linked to cancer and other adverse effects and is banned in several countries. Now, admittedly none of these studies are conclusive (in fact, some say that BHT is beneficial for the treatment of herpes), but I personally do not want to take any risks.
At first I didn’t believe my eyes – I immediately grabbed my phone and went to the Vitacost website to see how I could’ve overlooked something as major as BHT, but guess what? The site did not have it listed. I then went to iHerb only to find the exact same “Other ingredients” list without BHT.
Right away I contacted Vitacost, iHerb and Natrol. Vitacost were pretty amazing – they apologized immediately, gave me a refund and by the next day the product info on their website was updated, although this could have something to do with the fact that I had an order number when I contacted them. I never heard back from iHerb or Natrol. Such a shame, because my question to Natrol was why would they use something as controversial as BHT in a product meant to supplement your health – it would have been interesting to hear the other side of the story. But since I never got that info, all I can suppose is that they went with the cheapest preservative option, choosing that over health benefits of their consumers.
Now, I am typically a very peaceful person, not one to wage wars. But in this case, I have signed up and left a review on every single website I possibly could – by the way, most of them also have the outdated ingredients list without BHT. It hurts me to think that some people out there are still blindly buying supposedly healthy vitamins and taking them every day without realizing that they are also ingesting BHT on a daily basis.
Even I – a person who religiously reads every label out there – didn’t think that the online ingredients list could be inaccurate or misleading. If it wasn’t for that one morning I started coming up with that blog post, I still would have been taking those vitamins.
Does ingesting BHT guarantee that you will get cancer or that your liver and kidneys will be affected? No. Do you want to take that risk? I suggest you don’t. Please stay away from products that contain BHT, and please be careful with Natrol supplements. I for one will never buy anything from that company, but if you do, make sure you read the label several times – not only online, but also on the actual package.
If you’re searching for vitamins (just make sure to double-check the ingredients list!), why not try Vitacost or iHerb? They have an amazing selection and super low prices. Follow this link (or copy and paste bit.ly/Xn43SB) to get $10 off of your first order of $30+ on Vitacost, or use code VMC661 to save $5-10 on your first iHerb order ($5 off of $25+, $10 off of $40+)!