Dangerous levels of B6 found in multivitamins

Many vitamin pills contain too high a dose of the vitamin B6. 

The Consumer Union examined 15 different vitamin pills and found that 11 of them had excessive levels of B6. This means above the critical level of 25 milligrams which the Health Council considers safe. Continued exposure to high levels of vitamin B6 can lead to numbness, tingling or severe nerve pain in hands and feet.

The Consumer Union examined 8 multivitamin pills, 6 B-complex vitamin pills and one vitamin B6 preparation. Some products were found to contain 3.5 to 5.5 times the safe daily dose of B6. The recommended daily amount of B6 is only 1.5 milligrams. Most people easily consume this amount from bread, eggs and meat.

"Manufacturers apparently don't care about the safety limits for vitamins. These limits have been known for years and are deliberately ignored by some manufacturers", said Bart Combée, director of Consumers Union.

The union ins going to Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health to advocate for the legal establishment of maximum levels of vitamins. "Then the supervisor can impose fines or remove products from the market if manufacturers put to much of a certain vitamin in their products", said Combée.