Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorVitamins aren’t subject to the same scrutiny as prescription medications, so sometimes you don’t get what you pay for. In fact, in one case, you may not even come within miles of what you pay for.

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine-JAMA analyzes over the counter Vitamin D products, something that millions of Americans take every day.

The results are more than not pretty — they are plain ugly.

Researchers purchased 55 different Vitamin D products, made by 12 different manufacturers, from several neighborhood grocery stores.

They analyzed the pills in each bottle, and found some pretty disturbing stuff.

The pills contained anywhere from 9 percent to 140 percent of the amount of vitamin listed on the label. In other words, it was a crapshoot. A tossup. A vitamin free-for-all.

Even more disturbing, many of the pills in a single bottle were all over the board in actual vitamin content.

The bad news — you’re not getting what you pay for.

The only little bit of good news — you wouldn’t overdose on a pill with 140 percent of the actual vitamin unless you took a handful for weeks on end.

You have two choices: stock up on foods that are high in D, such as milk, dairy, fish, fortified juice and vegetables.

Your other choices: only buy products that display a USP stamp on the label. That means it has voluntarily met the standards for accuracy of contents.

Here is a link to products that take that extra step to ensure that you get what you pay for:

LINK: usp.org/…/verified-supplements


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