What is the best multivitamin on the market today? It can be maddening sorting through the seemingly endless list of vitamin products on the market today.
While there are good product rankings for the best multivitamin for men and the best multivitamin for women available (just click on the preceding hyperlinks to see product rankings), hopefully this short article can be a primer guide for you.
Why Is It Important to Choose The Best Multivitamin? Aren’t All Vitamin Supplements Really The Same?
To answer the question in the subtitle above, no, all vitamin supplement products are not the same. Some vitamin supplement products are quickly eliminated through urine and bowel movements.
In fact, an astonishing 90% of vitamin supplement products are actually urinated out? Don’t believe me? Try this simple test.
Take any over-the-counter vitamin brand, follow their recommended daily allowance and within an hour, sometimes less, you will urinate it out — and your urine will have a significantly darker yellow color.
Talking about the scatological is not pleasant but it is important in order to understand what is happening. Choosing the best multivitamin can make all the difference in your health and most importantly it will be noticeable to you with the benefits derived therewith.
So, why are most multivitamin supplement product nutrients lost through normal body elimination processes?
It’s because the vast majority of vitamin supplement products are not assimilated by the body. Moreover, it’s also because they are literally not capable of being utilized or assimilated. Yet the supplement industry are a literal multi-billion dollar a year enterprise.
How to Find The Best Multivitamin
UPDATED: October 20th, 2020
Without further adieu, here are the core things you should look for when selecting a top quality multivitamin:
- Product Development and Nutrient Reactions: The multivitamin should have undergone rigorous testing and its actual creation process should overseen by certified professionals. Moreover, quality vitamin products, unlike inferior vitamin products, work in a precise symbiotic synergism. Getting optimal assimilation is 0% art, 100% science. In other words, the multivitamin should be scientifically formulated and each batch should be certified (see point #2). This is a component of cGMP-compliant certification. It’s not the only requirement but is one of the more important mandates. (The term “cGMP” is an acronym for “current good manufacturing practices.”)
- Manufacturing Procedures: Top multivitamin products are made in cGMP compliant facilities. The best supplements are formed with cutting-edge equipment such as pharmaceutical blending machines or mixers not paddle/ribbon blender-type mixers. Why? Because pharmaceutical blending mixers equally distribute the nutrients so you don’t get pills that have too little nutrients or too much. By the way, here’s a simple way to determine the company is producing good products. Contact them, whether by phone or email, if they have or can produce a Certificate of Analysis (COA) and have it on file. Also, and lastly, find out if the supplement maker adheres to pharmaceutical cGMP compliance — this is the highest standard possible and is highly desirable.
- Optimal Delivery System: The supplement should have enteric coating for optimal assimilation in the human system.
- Product Quality & Freshness: It’s ideal that the vitamin tablets are made in smaller batches with the manufacturing process. It’s also advisable that the manufacturing NOT be outsourced out to other manufacturers. Why? Well remember, most manufacturers are unregulated by the FDA. While this has its pros and cons, a vast majority of supplements don’t even insert the claimed ingredients into the supplement. Thus, supplement fraud is rampant, and contamination is a legitimate threat (again, this is why you want pharmaceutical GMP compliance with the multivitamin maker of choice).
- Pharmaceutical Quality: You want a supplement that is pharmaceutical grade quality.
- Value for Money: For a pharmaceutical-grade supplement, expect to pay $45 to $50 or so per 30-day supply. You get what you pay for. In the long run, and paying for quality is always the wisest choice.
- Vitamins & Co-Factors, Standardized Herbal Extracts, Amino Acids, Active Enzymes, & Essential Minerals and Trace Elements. Ideally, a multi-vitamin should have not only vitamins, and be made from certified and tested raw ingredients, but it needs the necessary co-factors along with the other elements mentioned in this bullet point heading.
- Excipients. The “excipients” should be the highest quality. Just what are, “excipients”? Excipients are the binding agents; excipients are substances that are added to vitamin tablets that bind while not providing nutritive value. Examples of excipients include monoglycerides, magnesium stearate, modified food starch, hypromellose, acesulfame potassium, and others.
- Easy to Use.
- Product Delivery: The multivitamin or supplement should be easy to order and shipping should ideally be free.
- Money-Back Guarantee: The longer the guarantee, the better. Look for guarantees longer than 30 days. You want 120 days or more ideally. The longer the guarantee, the more convinced the manufacturer is of their product.
- Contact Information: It should be very easy to contact the company via phone and email; giving feedback should be simple to give.
There are four main areas of manufacturing that are relevant here, i.e., scientific formulation, potency of ingredients (I’ve already discussed that), type of facility, and verification of ingredients on label. This is really where the rubber meets the road and is critical to getting a top quality vitamin brand. Let’s discuss these now in more depth.
When doing a vitamin product comparison, the ideal supplement should be scientifically formulated yet literally almost all of the vitamin supplements on the market worldwide are not.
It’s critical that in a vitamin product with many nutrients be formed with scientific knowledge at the cellular level. Why? Well, did you know that some vitamins cancel each other out and some need other minerals in order to be efficacious?
For example, Vitamin D actually enhances calcium absorption in the body, and inhibits its excretion by the kidneys, yet boron is important for calcium utilization; vitamin B5 is critical to metabolizing amino acids.
In addition, a good vitamin will stimulate the liver to make CoEnzymeQ10 thus avoiding the need to purchase this important but expensive ingredient, (unless the user is taking a statin drug).
Type of Facility
Again, look for GMP certified facilities that are certified by government authorities. Do you think this irrelevant? Supplement fraud is utterly rampant.
Here’s one example.
As reported by Medscape January 24, 2000, “High levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been identified in five brands of shark liver oil capsules that are available internationally over-the-counter.” PCBs are toxic to the body.
In another study done by Time Magazine as reported July 31, 2000, 8 of 21 brands tested we’re found to have pesticides and lead. This dovetails into my next point, verification of ingredients.
Pharmaceutical cGMP compliant facilities verify not only purity and potency of ingredients, but they also validate the existence of label proclaimed ingredients.
Many so-called vitamin manufacturers actually don’t have the ingredients in the vitamin as stated on the label!
Why The Best Multivitamin Products Have Enteric Coating
I referred to enteric coating earlier in this article but now let’s discuss it in depth. Before we discuss this, however, please don’t underestimate the importance of the delivery system. This is absolutely vital! In fact, most don’t even consider it and it is the most important aspect of the vitamin outside of the formulation of the ingredients.
Without a good delivery system a supplement is rendered useless.
Many supplements will pass through the body with the active ingredients never being released. Other supplements will lose their efficacy when active ingredients are released in the stomach and they are converted to less potent ‘salt’ forms by the hydrochloric acid present in the stomach.
This is crucial because when some ingredients are combined they will help create other substances in the body. For a vitamin manufacturer to enteric coat their vitamins says a lot about the quality they want to give their customers for it is expensive and sophisticated to do so.
This enables the active ingredients to be released in the upper intestine (the duodenum), thus avoiding damage to any of the nutrients.
It binds various active ingredients with larger molecular size to selected enzymes which when released in the upper intestine break the molecules down to a smaller size to enable easy transfer of the nutrients through the intestinal wall into the blood stream and then on to the liver.
This delivery system enables the tablets to pass through your stomach undamaged by the harsh stomach acids. When your enteric-coated vitamin tablets go into the alkaline environment of the duodenum (the first part of your small intestine), the enteric coating dissolves in 20 to 30 minutes.
Once that is accomplished, the active ingredients of the vitamin tablets are released over a period of 25 to 35 minutes.
This happens before the tablets finish its journey through your duodenum. The end result is that the active ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream.
So, now you can see why you should only settle for the sophisticated enteric coated delivery system. To settle for run-of-the-mill vitamins is a waste of money for you’re almost literally flushing your money down the toilet.
Key Nutrients to Look For in Vitamin Supplements
When engaging in the rating of multiple vitamins, consider this: Optimum multivitamins need more than just basic vitamins and minerals. Look for other specialty nutrients that include:
- Potent herbal standardized extracts
- Antioxidant combinations
- Preventative ingredients
- Broad spectrum combinations of nutrients — important for creating a synergistic effect in the body.
It is only in the last 10 years or so that herbals have begun to be more accepted by the public. They’ve long been demonized by an entrenched Western medical establishment who wanted to maintain the status quo as well as their profit margins.
Did you know, for example, that the cholesterol lowering drug industry is a $20 billion dollar a year industry? If you came on their turf with herbal medicine interventions that not only lower your cholesterol but do it safely with no side effects at a literal fraction of the cost, that was and is most disconcerting to them.
It’s still egregious but progress has been made. Herbals like ginger, olive leaf, and red clover have potent compounds that improve blood pressure, thin the blood, and strengthen the immune system
There you have it. Follow these guidelines and you will not only save money but you will get the best supplement possible.
If you only remember one thing from this report, remember this: You want pharmaceutical grade quality supplements. Anything less is a waste of money and you’re being taken.
I hope this article has shown you the criteria you need to utilize in order to choose the best multivitamin possible.