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Did you know that many vitamin supplements are not effective?

Do you know exactly what you're getting when you buy vitamins at the store?

You want to improve your health, feel better, and boost your energy levels, and you wonder if the multivitamin supplements you see at the grocery store can help. Unfortunately, the honest answer is "no" in most cases - but as you'll see, there are vitamins that will help you feel more energetic and healthier. You just need to know what they are and where to find them.

The vast majority of vitamins and other nutritional supplements that you find at the store are practically worthless, and buying them is a waste of your money. To find the few that are truly effective and give you good value for money, you need to tune out the marketing noise and do just a little independent research. You'll soon discover the best multivitamins to take.

This Multivitamin Guide is a good first step in your research. We've done scientific comparison and multivitamin reviews of over 100 brands, including popular supplements such as Centrum, One-A-Day, GNC, Shaklee, Nutrilite/Amway, Equate, Nature Made, NOW Foods, Melaleuca, and Puritan's Pride.

After six years of scientific research and reviews, we have the detailed information you need to decide which vitamin is best for you. Each vitamin was evaluated against four key parameters: composition, bioavailability, safety, and potency. Then each supplement was assigned a score from 0 to 10 so you can easily compare the different brands and determine the best multivitamin to take.

How effective are the vitamins you currently take?

The table below provides the Effectiveness Scores from multivitamin reviews of popular brands available on the market.

Rank Manufacturer Product Score
1 Xtend-Life Natural Products Total Balance 9.6
2 Shaklee Vitalizer Gold 9.4
3 Douglas Laboratories Ultra Preventive X 9.3
4 USANA Health Sciences HealthPak 8.9
5 Dr. Mercola Whole Food Multivitamin PLUS 8.7
6 Metagenics Wellness Essentials 8.5
7 Nutrilite (Amway) Double X 8.3
8 Garden of Life Vitamin Code 8.2
9 Source Naturals Life Force 8.1
10 Karuna Maxxum 4 7.9
11 Solgar Omnium 7.8
12 Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men 7.7
13 Muscle Pharm Armour-V 7.6
14 Dr. Julian Whitaker's Forward Multi-Nutrient 7.6
15 FreeLife Reverse! 7.2
16 Mountain Naturals of Vermont Superior Care 7.1
17 amni Added Protection III 7.0
18 Purity Products Perfect Multi Focus Formula 7.0
19 Universal Nutrition Animal Pak 6.9
20 Doctor's Nutrition Mega Vites 6.8
21 DaVinci Laboratories Spectra 6.8
22 GNC GNC Mega Men Sport 6.8
23 TwinLab Daily One Caps with Iron 6.7
24 FoodScience of Vermont Superior Care 6.6
25 Puritan's Pride High Potency Ultra Vita Time Release 6.5
26 Colgan Institute Formula MCS 6.4
27 Rainbow Light Women's One Multivitamin 6.4
28 NOW Foods Multiple Vitamins - Liquid Gels 6.4
29 EAS Multi-Blend 6.3
30 Mannatech PhytoMatrix 6.2
31 Nature's Way Alive! Whole Food Energizer 6.1
32 Jean Carper's Stop Aging Now! 6.0
33 Natural Factors MultiStart 5.9
34 Advanced Physician's Products Maximum MultiVitamin/Mineral without Iron 5.8
35 EcoNugenics Longevity Rhythms Gold 5.8
36 Solaray Iron-Free Spectro Multi-Vita-Min 5.8
37 Nature's Blend Vitaminix Ultimate 5.6
38 Pharmanex (Nu Skin) LifePak Prime 5.4
39 Melaleuca Vitality Pak 5.3
40 Herbalife Formula 2 Multivitamin Complex 5.3
41 QCI Nutritionals Ultra Vitality #1 5.2
42 KAL Multiple Energy 5.2
43 Megafood Essentials for Life 5.2
44 Optimox Androvite 5.1
45 Swanson Ultra Whole Food Multi without Iron 5.0
46 Jarrow Multi E-Z Powder 5.0
47 Great Earth TNT - Total Nutrition Tablet 5.0
48 Nikken Kenzen Mega Daily 4 4.9
49 Garry Null's Supreme Health Formula 4.8
50 Thorne Research Al's Formula 4.8
51 Atkins Basic #3 4.7
52 Vitamin World Daily 3 With Antioxidant Factors 4.7
53 PhytoPharmica Clinical Nutrients 4.7
54 Centrum Silver 4.6
55 4Life BioVitamins Type III 4.5
56 Bronson Laboratories Performance Edge 4.5
57 One A Day Women's Bayer 4.5
58 Country Life Maxine 4.4
59 Nature Made Multi Complete 4.3
60 Quest Maximum Once A Day 4.2
61 Nature's Bounty Green Source Vegetarian Formula 4.1
62 Matol Matolife 4.1
63 Greens+ Multi+ 3.9
64 Michael's Naturopathic Programs Pedia Vites 3.8
65 Natrol My Favorite Multiple Original 3.8
66 Nu-life Ultimate One 3.7
67 Jamieson Super Vita-Vim 3.7
68 Walgreens Ultra Choice Premium 3.5
69 Swiss Natural Sources Super Adult Chewable 3.4
70 Ripple Creek Mega-100 (Slow Release) 3.3
71 Thompson Human Nature Green Multi 3.0
72 Safeway Select Super Multivitamin 2.9
73 Perfect Choice Multivitamin Specially Formulated 2.9
74 Watkins Superfood Multiple 2.8
75 Vitamin Power Power Source 100 2.8
76 Pilgrim's Silver Stars Multi 2.7
77 Absolute Nutrition Dieters' Multi's 2.7
78 Nature's Sunshine Super Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals 2.7
79 Freeda Vitamins Ultra Freeda Iron-Free 2.7
80 ZonePerfect Multi Vitamin & Mineral 2.6
81 Sisu Only One 2.5
82 Schiff Single Day 2.4
83 Nature's Plus Ultra One 2.0
84 Kirkland Signature (Costco) Daily Multi 1.9
85 Sunkist Multi-Men's 1.7
86 Lifestyles Lifecycles 1.6
87 Western Family Ultra Forte 1.3
88 Avon VitAdvance Complete Multivitamin 1.2
89 Flora MultiCaps 1.2
90 Reliv Classic 1.1
91 Sundown Complete Ultra 0.9
92 YourLife Super Multi with Herbs 0.9
93 Rite Aid Whole Source 0.8
94 21st Century One Daily Maximum 0.7
95 Spring Valley Ultra Multivitamin 0.6
96 Life Brand Optimum 0.6
97 Good Neighbor Pharmacy Balanced Care Complete Multi 0.6
98 Kroger Advanced Formula Complete 0.6
99 Equate One Daily 0.6
100 Action Labs Essential Nutrients 0.5
101 Geritol Complete 0.4

Findings of the comparison

Contrary to popular belief (and much advertising), some of the most widely available and well-known multivitamin brands received low scores, meaning they are not very effective. Some received such poor scores that they should be pulled off the market. To be honest, they're not much more effective than a simple sugar pill.

Let's look at where store brand vitamins went wrong in our reviews:

  • Their compositions do not follow the Optimal Daily Intake index, so from the start, they're poorly formulated.
  • Their bioavailability is low, meaning the body does not absorb them well.
  • Some of them exceed the safe doses for certain nutrients.
  • Finally, their potency levels are below the Optimal Daily Intake index, so you're not getting the vitamin strength you need.

The reviews found that only eight multivitamin brands met or exceeded the benchmark of 8.0 for high supplement quality, potency, and bioavailability. You may not have heard of these brands, so we show you where to find them.

Use our guide to look for a vitamin with a score that exceeds 8.0, which is excellent. Unfortunately, the vast majority of vitamin products do not come close to that benchmark.

We strongly advise using a multivitamin product with a score of 8.0 or above for best results.

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