Most Multivitamins Are The Same, So Buy The Cheapest

Is your multivitamin giving you everything it claims? Is it properly distributing its goods? Consumer Reports tested 21 leading brands, generics and specialised mixes and found that you're getting nearly the same benefits, if any, from almost any bottle.

Image via Furryscaly.

Starting from the standpoint that multivitamins are generally unproven to help with the average person's health, Consumer Reports tested 21 multivitamins made for seniors, children and daily adult use, pulling from both the major brands used by survey correspondents and store brands. Their findings were conclusively similar:

Our tests of 21 multivitamins at two outside labs-including leading brands, five for seniors, and six for children-will allay some of those fears. All but one of the products we tested met their label claims for key essential vitamins and minerals, and none contained worrisome levels of contaminants such as arsenic or heavy metals. Most of the pills we tested also passed the U.S. Pharmacopeia's dissolution test, which involves immersing them in a simulated stomach-acid solution to determine whether they'll dissolve properly in your body

Here's more on their testing and some background on multivitamins in a video:

Vitamin use and alternative medicine offerings out there are a contentious issue, for sure, but try to keep it civil in the comments. If you've got a say on your own multivitamins, or a good source for saving on them, offer it up.

Multivitamins [Consumer Reports Health via The Consumerist]


    I disagree! Usana Multivitamins are amazing vitamins which when taking, you feel incredible!!

    It is fascinating looking at how big pharmaceuticals and the health industries have convinced people with good marketing and the placebo effect. I would highly recommend reading about evidence-based medicine and having a look at this chap's blog:

    Wow. All multivitamins are NOT the same. When taking them, look for an organic compound as opposed to something that's been manufactured in a lab. It is way better for you and the body can absorb a higher percentage of the nutrients.
    Also - remember to always take your multis with food.

      After Neil posted a link to Ben Goldacre's Bad Science blog I feel you should at least link to a decent reference to back up a claim like that.

      Also, how do you get an "organic" vitamin tablet? If the vitamin has been isolated, which it must have to ensure identical quantities between tablets, then it has been through some sort of industrial chemical processing.

        Here's a great book. It's called the Secrets of Supplements: The Good, the Bad, the Totally Terrific. Even the people at Harvard Medicine say the opposite of what that lady was saying about not everyone needing a multivitamin. You know how depleted the soil is around here? How empty the calories are in the feed given to livestock? Just do some basic research.

        The way you get an "organic" vitamin? grow vegetables. keep processing to a minimum and put it in tablet form. There are reputable companies that own their own organic farms and actually do this. Blackmore's is not one of them.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with this article. They are all different, made differently, paired differently, different quality and structure. There is A LOT of science behind this that I have seen saying the complete opposite. This article needs some referencing!

      Like you have added reference to back up your claims?

      I think the point of the article is that, yes, they are all different, made differently, paired differently, different quality and structure, etc. BUT basically it does not matter HOW you make your placebo pill - the effect is still the same!

      Yes, there might be a half a percent of the population who might benefit from a multi vitamin, but for the rest of us the only thing it will be doing is making our wee yellow.

      I second reading Ben Goldacre's 'Bad Science' book and blog.

    Sounds like alot of people are very defensive of their daily placebo.

    I have tried a few different multivitamin types now, and they do vary in their effectiveness. Forgot about taking them *with* food though, I should try that out again!

    I definitely recommend anyone interested to go see a naturopath about mineral supplements though - this has done more for me than taking multivitamins.

    Only spend money on supplements if you KNOW you are deficient in something. Get tested, change diet, get tested... still a problem... consider supplements.

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