Multivitamins: Ratings of Sources
Total of 11 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
Product Review: Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements
by Editors of ConsumerLab.com
Our AssessmentConsumerLab.com is the best source for multivitamin reviews, although its testing details are available only to subscribers. Nearly 45 multivitamins are evaluated to ensure they contain the vitamins and minerals they claim, break down properly, and don't include additional substances or impurities. Multivitamins that pass all tests are listed as approved. In its latest round of testing, ConsumerLab.com finds that nearly one-third of multivitamins have nutrient amounts that are inconsistent with the label. Companies may pay testing fees to be included in the results -- known as the Voluntary Certification Program -- but those multivitamins are clearly marked in the results table.
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentEditors of ConsumerReports.org evaluates 19 multivitamins in this older report. Supplements are tested at two independent labs to ensure they meet their label claims and dissolve properly. They're also screened for impurities such as lead and arsenic. As evidenced in other independent tests, store-brand vitamins fare just as well as the expensive name brands. Unlike some ConsumerReports.org content, this report does not require a subscription.
Top 10 Multivitamins
by Editors of LabDoor.com
Our AssessmentThis independent testing organization analyzes 75 different multivitamins, separating them by categories: Adults, Men, Women, 50+, Gummy and Kids, although no multivitamin in the Kids category is very well-ranked. Each category is organized by top 10 first, then runners up in that category. Each product also earns a letter grade of A through F. A limited amount of information is available at the free site, more detailed information can be accessed for an annual fee of $400.
Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D
by The National Academies
Our AssessmentThe nonprofit Institute of Medicine investigates the current Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) for calcium and vitamin D. Its experts find that contrary to popular belief, most Americans get "adequate amounts" of both nutrients, and they caution that large doses can be harmful. The DRI for calcium for most adults is set at 1,000 mg, although slightly more is recommended for adolescents and seniors. While the DRI for vitamin D is 600 IU for most people, seniors over the age of 70 should aim for 800 IU. This is the most recent update.
Calcium and cardiovascular disease
by Kuanrong Li, et al.
Our AssessmentThis German study, which appeared in the June 2012 issue of the journal Heart, found a significantly increased risk of heart attack among women who took calcium supplements. This study has led to a re-examination by some health experts of the role of calcium supplements and health, but not to new guidelines for supplementation.
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com is an excellent source of user reviews for a large number of multivitamins, from name brands to generics. Some get hundreds of reviews. There are even reviews available for multivitamins that are typically specific to a particular store, like Costco or CVS. We used feedback to evaluate concrete input, such as ease of swallowing or digestion. We did not take into account reports of "increased energy," or other anecdotal side effects, positive or negative.
by Contributors to GNC.com
Our AssessmentGNC makes a very well-reviewed range of multivitamins that also fare well in independent tests for accuracy in labeling and stated ingredients. Although this site sells only GNC products, reviews tend to be thorough and honest, and include pros and cons.
by Contributors to Walmart.com
Our AssessmentWalmart.com is a good resource for generic and other low cost vitamins. Experts say that lower-priced vitamins perform just as well as pricier brands, so these products are worth considering, especially if you're on a budget.
by Contributors to Drugstore.com
Our AssessmentDrugstore.com is home to a good number of user reviews of multivitamins, but their sorting feature makes it difficult to tell which supplement earns the best ratings. Several multivitamins attract a substantial number of ratings, but reviews are usually brief.
Vitamins and Supplements
by Editors of Pharmacy Times
Our AssessmentThis survey of thousands of pharmacists entails no product testing; rather, this is a yearly list of over-the-counter products that pharmacists recommend in dozens of categories. Several of the manufacturers in our report are also recommended here, but they do not recommend specific multivitamins, merely brands.
The Best Multivitamins for Men
by Editors of Men's Health
Our AssessmentThe editors of Men's Health consulted with two dieticians to round up a list of the best multivitamins for men, based upon specific criteria, such as prostate health, cardiovascular risks and prostate health. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, but most of the products in this roundup have been independently tested.