Buying Guide For Best Vitamins
Whether you lead an active lifestyle, are committed to improving your overall health, or simply feel there’s something lacking in your diet, vitamins provide a simple solution to help fill nutritional gaps and put some pep back into your step. When faced with the multitude of vitamin products available, however, finding your perfect match can be downright bewildering. While some consumers are happy to grab, go, and hope for the best, many don’t want to be left guessing when it comes to nutritional supplements.
If you’re considering adding a vitamin to your diet but have no idea where to start, we’re here to help. We spent hours picking apart the leading vitamins on the market to present you with our favourites. If you’re short on time and already have some idea of what you’re looking for, jump straight to our reviews and select one of our highlighted choices.
Are All Vitamin Brands Pretty Much The Same
Many vitamin brands contain artificial ingredients as well as fillers and additives that can do more harm than good. When choosing a brand of vitamins and supplements, its important to know where they are sourcing their ingredients.
Are their vitamins created artificially in a lab? Or are they derived from natural whole food sources?
This is important to know because vitamins that are derived from whole food sources are going to be more easily digested and utilized in your body. An artificially created vitamin is only made to mimic what the actual vitamin would do. This can also disrupt your digestion because these artificial vitamins are not easily absorbed by the body like food is.
If they cant be absorbed, they arent going to do your body much good.
This article by Healthline does a great job further explaining the differences between artificial and natural vitamins.
Best Source Of Vitamins Your Plate Not Your Medicine Cabinet
Vitamin and mineral supplements from a bottle simply can’t match all the biologically active compounds teeming in a well-stocked pantry.
Fiber. It’s the part of plant foods that we can’t digest. Eating foods high in fiber helps reduce total and LDL cholesterol, improve blood sugar control, and prevent constipation. High-fiber foods also help with weight loss by making you feel full.
There are lots of high-fiber foods to choose from:
- brown rice
Vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are organic substances found in plants and animals. Minerals are inorganic elements from the earth . Both are essential for normal growth and optimal health.
Here’s a list of vitamins and minerals that are crucial for good health, plus the best food sources of each:
- iron meat, poultry, fish, and beans
- vitamin A carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale
- vitamin B12 meat, poultry, fish
- vitamin E nuts, seeds, vegetable oils
Phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are chemicals made by plants. They are not essential to life, but they do have a positive effect on health. Diets rich in phytochemicals have been associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. They are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains.
The following is a list of key phytochemicals, plus the best food sources of each.
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Best For Seasonal Changes
Feeling adrift this autumn? A build-up of toxins post summer, fading light, less Vitamin D exposure and weakened immunity can make the body fatigued, deficient in essential vitamins, and at risk of developing seasonal depression. The Hello Day Autumn seasonal box seeks to combat this with a selection of supplements, including a Digestion Detox to help prepare for a heavier winter diet, a Vitality Balance to elevate moods, an Immunity Shield to protect against coughs and colds and a Beauty Boost to nourish your skin, hair and nails against the harsher weather. hello-day.com
What Certifications Should I Look For When Choosing The Best Vitamin Brand
The following are third-party certifications that people can look for when choosing the best vitamin brands:
- NSF International
Such certifications demonstrate that a vitamin or dietary supplement brand has undergone third-party testing and evaluation for safety, efficacy, and quality.
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Make Sure It’s The Correct Dosage
Gundry advises making sure that the supplement is in an amount that has clinical utility. This is when consulting with a healthcare professional comes in handy. “In other words, if the human trial used 1000 mg a day to achieve a measurable result and the supplement in your hand has 50 mg, you will not get the results you expect or you will have to take 20 a day!” he says. “Many times I find, based on blood work I draw every three months, exactly this phenomenon. Supplements do not make expensive urine if you take the correct, clinically validated amount. The doses I recommend are based on real patient results.”
Multivitamin With Vitamin D
During the autumn and winter, its harder to get all the vitamin D you need through sunlight on your skin and from eating a balanced diet. Because it’s difficult to get enough of this vitamin from food alone, taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D helps tackle the deficiency.
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Best Vitamin Brand For Purity: Thorne Research
Thorne Research products have received certifications stating they meet manufacturing, purity, and potency standards from organizations such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration and NSF International.
The company claims its supplements are free from contaminants, heavy metals, and fillers.
Certification by these different organizations means that:
- athletes can use the more than 30 Thorne products NSF Certified for Sport with confidence that they contain all of what they should and none of what they should not
- Thornes manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and shipping centers have all passed inspection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Thorne products, procedures, and manufacturing facilities meet the stringent standards of the Australian Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration
Thorne Research sells a range of vitamins and dietary supplements, including:
Best Vegan Vitamin Brand: Garden Of Life
Garden of Life sells a variety of supplements, including multivitamins and probiotics.
This brand sells dietary supplements that are free from gluten, soy, and dairy and do not contain animal ingredients. Many of its products are vegan and kosher.
The supplements have certifications from numerous third-party organizations, including organic and GMO-free status certifications.
The Garden of Life website states that its vegan products are certified by the Vegan Awareness Foundation. This organizations stringent guidelines require that products:
- do not contain meat, fish, fowl, or animal by-products, egg or egg products, milk or milk products, honey or honey bee products
- do not involve animal testing
- do not contain animal-derived GMOs or genes
- are manufactured in facilities maintained to prevent cross-contamination between vegan and non-vegan products
Prices of vitamins range from around $1357.
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How We Chose These Vitamin Brands
When researching the best vitamin brands, we considered the following factors:
- Third-party testing. We looked for brands that have undergone testing by an independent lab to ensure safety, potency, and purity. Examples of third-party organizations to look for include NSF International, Consumer Lab, U.S. Pharmacopeia .
- Certifications. In addition to being certified third-party tested, we looked for brands offering non-GMO verified or certified gluten-free or vegan products.
- Ingredients. We chose brands that prioritize the use high quality ingredients and easily absorbed forms of vitamins and minerals. The brands below also avoid or limit the use of artificial flavors, fillers, and preservatives.
- Price. While the brands included vary in price, they each offer supplements that provide a good value.
- Vetting. All brands included on our list have been vetted and approved by our team of experts, who evaluate companies based on medical credibility and business practices.
How Do I Choose Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are readily available over the counter and a prescription is generally unnecessary.
If youre concerned about which to choose, dont be. Theres not much difference between over the counter and prescription prenatals, and both are adequate, assures Dr. Nwankwo.
Sometimes prescription prenatals may have special formulationsfor example, they may have a stool softener added to help with constipation, or they may have additional iron. The pills may also be smaller and easier to take. But its not necessary, she says. It also doesnt matter whether you take a tablet or a gummy, just make sure it has the right amount of vitamins you need.
Every vitamin can differ in the types and amounts of nutrients it contains because specific vitamin ingredients arent regulated by the FDA. If the vitamin you choose doesnt contain the full recommended daily amount of a nutrient, be sure to eat foods that are high in that vitamin or mineral.
When shopping for prenatal vitamins look for these four primary nutrients that are especially important during pregnancy, per Dr. Nwankwo and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists):
- Folic acid: 600 mcg
- Iron: 27 mg
- Calcium: 1,000 mg
- Vitamin D: 600 IU
The following vitamins are also essential during pregnancy, and you may not get enough of them through diet alone. Having these in your prenatals are helpful too:
- Vitamin A: 770 mcg
- Vitamin C: 85 mg
- Vitamin B12: 2.6 mcg
- Choline: 450 mg
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Capsules Of Vitamins Or Chewable Vitamin Forms Are Best
Simply put, capsules, chewables, and liquid vitamins are easier for the body to break down than tablets.
With tablet vitamin forms, much of it may go directly into the toilet, unfortunately.
Capsules are also less likely to be full of filler ingredients than tablets-that your body doesnt need.
Chewable vitamins are great options for children because they often cant swallow capsules.
Tip: Avoid gummy vitamins for adults and gummy vitamins for children. Most gummy vitamins are more candy than vitamins. They may taste good, but are very lacking!
The exception for gummies is when you want to take extra vitamin C or extra vitamin D. In this case, taking a gummy vitamin is fine.
Take A Personalized Approach To Supplementation
American men consume more calories than are needed for survival: according to the US Center for Disease Control, men put away a whopping 2,475 calories per day on average. That being the case, you would think men would also be getting enough essential vitamins and nutrients to support great health.
Due to genetics, location, food availability, and lifestyle, everyone has unique nutritional needs. For instance, if a person consumes a lot of leafy greens, they might have adequate potassium levels. But if that same person rarely gets any direct sunlight, he could be lacking in vitamin D.
For this reason, multivitamins are not always the best solution for solving vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A more personalized approach provides the proper supplementation for your individual profile without overdoing certain ones you may not need.
There are other factors that help determine what nutritional supplementation you might need, such as family history, activity level, and stress levels. In addition, variables like alcohol intake, caffeine consumption, and even travel can play a role. For example, those that consume alcohol in excess are at particularly high risk of having B vitamin deficiencies.
There are thousands of products on the market, but weve done the exhaustive research to identify the five key supplements that can help men address common deficiencies, and the highest priorities. If you want to look, feel, and perform your best, these supplements are worth checking out.
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Choose An Option That You Know You’ll Take
Even the best-formulated multi is no good to you if it will sit in your cabinet, unused.
“I also recommend purchasing a type of vitamin you know you will take,” Shapiro says. So, if pills are a no-go, opt for a liquid or chewable vitamin. But remember, check the ingredient list. “If you are getting a liquid or a gummy, look for added sweeteners or sugars or additives,” Shapiro says.
If you’re allergic to any ingredients you’ll also want to check the label to make sure none of those items are included.
Key Nutrients For Energy And Brain Health
- Brand Credibility: Driven to develop potent, hypoallergenic nutraceuticals, scientist Claire Ferr founded Klaire Labs in 1969. The brand focuses on pharmaceutical-grade raw ingredients with high levels of bioavailability, especially probioticslive microorganisms that help balance the gut microbiome for overall health.
Ther-Biotic is Middleburgs top choice since it contains multiple strains of probiotics, which deliver the most benefits, and have been validated with 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Capsules are then coasted in an acid-stable, gel-like matrix that protects the probiotic bacteria from stomach acid so it can be released into the body intact.
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A Variety Of B Vitamins
Ideally, a product should contain all eight B vitamins. However, that is not always the case. Look for a B-complex with as close to all eight to get the most bang for your buck. Supplements that have the active forms of vitamins will also be more powerful. For example, look for methylcobalamin instead of cyanocobalamin and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate instead of folic acid.
Do You Need Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are important before and during pregnancy to help your body meet the demands of pregnancy and aid in your babys development, says Dr. Nwankwo. Your balanced diet should be the foundation of your nutritional vitamins. Your body is able to absorb more from your diet than from supplements. However, your prenatal will help fill in the gaps.
A run-of-the-mill multivitamin wont cut it when youre pregnant. Prenatal vitamins are specially designed multivitamins that deliver the extra amounts of nutrients needed during various stages of your babys development. For example, they contain folic acid, which is important for babys brain development in the earliest stages. And many have vitamin D and calcium to build strong bones and teeth during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Plus, prenatal vitamins help make sure you have enough nutrients such as iron, to not only provide to your baby but so your own body doesnt become depleted.
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Best Vitamin Brands: A Dietitians Picks
- Best vitamin brand for kids:Llama Naturals
- Best prenatal vitamin brand: FullWell
- Best omega-3 vitamins brand: Nordic Naturals
- Best hair, nails, and skin vitamins brand:OLLY
- Best probiotic supplements brand: Bio-Kult, Culturelle
- Best vitamins brand for athletes:Klean Athlete
If youre unable to meet your nutritional needs through your diet alone, supplements can be a convenient and effective way to do so.
That said, not all vitamin and mineral supplements are created equal.
In fact, some brands are pumped full of fillers, additives, and unhealthy ingredients that can do more harm than good when it comes to your health.
Its important to choose a reputable brand that has undergone extensive testing, ideally by a third-party lab, and is sourced from high quality ingredients. Doing so can ensure that youre getting a supplement thats pure and potent and that your body can use efficiently.
Here are the 15 best vitamin brands to help meet your nutritional needs, as well as the criteria we used to choose them.
How To Choose A Multivitamin That Is Right For You
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a healthcare journalist and fact checker. She has co-authored two books for the popular Dummies Series .
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts, and articles are reviewed by healthcare professionals for medical accuracy. Youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Verywell / Sabrina Jiang
Multivitamins are often considered a great supplement when your diet may not meet all of your nutrient needs. According to the National Institutes of Health, “at least half of American adults take a dietary supplement, the majority of which are multivitamin/multimineral supplements.”
“I usually recommend people get the majority of what they need from a varied, largely plant-based diet. The more color the inside of your fruits and vegetables, and the more variety of colors in your diet overall, the better .
Supplements can be useful to make up the gap between what you might be getting from your diet, and what you might need for optimal health,” says Adelaide Hearst McClintock, M.D., an instructor in the internal medicine department and doctor at Women’s Health Care Center at UWMC-Roosevelt.
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Should You Take Dietary Supplements
A Look at Vitamins, Minerals, Botanicals and More
When you reach for that bottle of vitamin C or fish oil pills, you might wonder how well theyll work and if theyre safe. The first thing to ask yourself is whether you need them in the first place.
More than half of all Americans take one or more dietary supplements daily or on occasion. Supplements are available without a prescription and usually come in pill, powder or liquid form. Common supplements include vitamins, minerals and herbal products, also known as botanicals.
People take these supplements to make sure they get enough essential nutrients and to maintain or improve their health. But not everyone needs to take supplements.
Its possible to get all of the nutrients you need by eating a variety of healthy foods, so you dont have to take one, says Carol Haggans, a registered dietitian and consultant to NIH. But supplements can be useful for filling in gaps in your diet.
Some supplements may have side effects, especially if taken before surgery or with other medicines. Supplements can also cause problems if you have certain health conditions. And the effects of many supplements havent been tested in children, pregnant women and other groups. So talk with your health care provider if youre thinking about taking dietary supplements.
Theres little evidence that any supplement can reverse the course of any chronic disease, says Hopp. Dont take supplements with that expectation.