“All of us grew up believing that if we ate a reasonable diet, that would take care of our vitamin needs,” says Harvard University’s Dr. Robert Fletcher. That may be good enough to ward off such vitamin-deficiency disorders as scurvy, beriberi and pellagra, but the latest evidence, he notes, is that supplementing our diets with multi-vitamins may be able to prevent the usual diseases we deal with every day – heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and birth defects.
However, vitamins often contain non-kosher ingredients, such as gelatin, that may not be listed on the label. As a result, the kosher consumer’s rabbinic advisor would need to question if vitamins were prescribed by a health care professional for vitamin deficiencies, or if they were self-prescribed for supplemental or preventative purposes.
Star-K’s newest kosher certified multi-vitamin, Shaklee’s Vita-Lea, is one additional solution to this problematic situation. Until recently, it contained a trace amount of gelatin and was unable to be certified. Star-K worked together with Shaklee to remove the gelatin from its formulation, so it could become kosher certified.