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How effective are the multivitamins you take?

What are the best multivitamin brands on the market?

2007 Edition

The Multivitamin Guide

For the full report, please visit

Vitamin supplements are becoming increasingly popular.

According to a recent national health survey, as many as 78 million Americans use multivitamins on a regular basis.

But are you getting what you're paying for?

A study conducted at Yale New Haven Hospital tested 257 vitamin products. Only 49 were judged as having adequate ratios of nutrients.

Find out which multivitamin products really work.


The Multivitamin Guide

What are the optimal doses for each vitamin and mineral?

The "Blended Standard" represents the optimal quantities of vitamins and minerals individuals should be taking every day according to the latest research in the area of For the full report, please visit nutritional supplementation. This Standard includes the 39 essential ingredients, listed in the table below alongside with their recommended daily dose:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Vitamin A Vitamin D3 Vitamin K* Biotin Folic Acid Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 complex Vitamin B5 VitaminB6 Vitamin B12 beta-Carotene Coenzyme Q10 Lipoic Acid Para-Aminobenzoic Acid Vitamin C Vitamin E Bioflavonoids (mixed) Phenolic compounds Procyanidolic Oligomers 7500 IU 350 IU 180 ug 200 ug 400 ug 50 mg 43 mg 75 mg 75 mg 63 mg 300 ug 12,500 IU 45 mg 35 mg 35 mg 2,000 mg 500 IU 555 mg 25 mg 75 mg 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 n-Acetyl-l-Cysteine l-Carnitine Choline Inositol Lecithin Boron* Calcium Chromium Copper Iodine Iron Magnesium Manganese Molybdenum Potassium Selenium Silicon Vanadium Zinc 56 mg 750 mg 59 mg 125 mg 350 mg 3 mg 800 mg 275 ug 2 mg 100 ug 23 mg 450 mg 7 mg 63 ug 300 mg 150 ug 8 mg 75 ug 23 mg

* Not availab le in Canadian products

What are the findings of the comparison?

After Mr. MacWilliam assessed all 510 products he assigned each of them a score from 1% to 100%, 100% being the highest. The author believed that a score of 80% and above was commendable. Surprisingly only 8 out of the 510 products were able to surpass this benchmark. The products that scored above 80% are listed in the table below:

Company USANA Health Sciences Douglas Laboratories Vitamin Research Products Source Naturals Source Naturals USANA Health Sciences FreeLife Life Extension Foundation Product Essentials (U.S.) Ultra Preventive X Extended Plus Life Force Multiple Elan VitaI Essentials (Canadian) Basic Mindell Plus Life Extension Mix Score Rank 96.1% 1 95.4% 2 93.1% 3 92.8% 4 91.8% 5 90.2% 6 82.3% 7 81.4% 8

The top four manufacturers listed above - USANA Health Sciences, Douglas Laboratories, Vitamin Research Products, and Source Naturals ­ are considered to set the standard for nutritional supplement quality, potency and bioavailability.


The Multivitamin Guide

What is the score of the multivitamins you are taking?

In order to find the Product Score of the multivitamin product you are taking please refer to Appendix A where all 510 evaluated products are listed in alphabetic order alongside For the full report, please visit with their Product Score. The table below provides a summary of the Product Scores of some of the more popular vitamin brands available on the market.


Atkins Bronson Laboratories Centrum DaVinci Laboratories Dr. Julian W hitaker's Equate GNC Herbalife Jamieson Kirkland Signature (Costco) Lifestyles Mannatech Melaleuca Metagenics Nature Made Nikken Nutrilite (Amway, Quixtar) Nutrition Dynamics One A Day Puritan's Pride Purity Products Safeway Select Sundown Rite Aid Shaklee Solgar SupraLife Thompson TwinLab USANA Health Sciences Vitamin Power Vitamin World W algreens YourLife


Basic #3 Performance Edge for Women Forte Spectra W oman Forward Multi-Nutrient Complete Mega Men's Formula 2 Mega-Vim Level 4 Potency Daily Multivitamin Lifecycles for W omen Glycentials Vitality Pak (Mel-VIta, Mela-Cal) Multigenics Intensive Care Formula Essential Mega Bio-Directed Multi-Vltamin/Mineral Double X Day Start/Day End Essentials Active Green Source Iron Free Perfect Multi Focus Formula Super W omen's Multivitamin Complete Ultra W hole Source Basics with Iron Omnium Maxum Essentials Human Nature Green Multi Mega 6 Caps Essentials Power Source 100 Daily 3 W ith Antioxidant Factors Ultra Choice Premium W omen Super Multi with Herbs

Score Rank

46.1% 43.8% 4.7% 66.8% 74.7% 4.9% 21.1% 14.8% 9.0% 5.2% 14.5% 33.1% 6.2% 51.0% 17.9% 11.1% 30.0% 63.0% 5.1% 37.1% 68.9% 28.2% 8.1% 6.2% 30.5% 56.5% 48.9% 29.3% 56.2% 96.1% 26.9% 45.6% 22.1% 7.5% 104 120 442 17 13 430 255 319 376 416 323 181 402 82 292 353 201 32 419 156 16 209 382 403 200 62 91 203 63 1 215 108 247 391

Given that the benchmark for product excellence is 80%, it is obvious that the great majority of multivitamin products on the market do not provide adequate protection against diseases, such as cancer, arthrosclerosis, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. Using a multivitamin product with a score of 80% or above is strongly advised.


The Multivitamin Guide

How do the commonly-available vitamin brands compare?

The most commonly-available multivitamin brands are Centrum, GNC, One-A-Day, and Equate. The main reasons behind the popularity of these brands are their low cost and For the full report, please visit their widespread availability through a variety of retail outlets. Unfortunately none of the above products are very effective from a medical point of view. Centrum, One-A-Day and Equate multivitamins have Product Scores of 4.7%, 5.1%, and 4.9% respectively, while GNC multivitamins (which retail at a slightly higher price) have a Product Score of 21%. Another popular product, Double X from Amway, is on the other end of the price scale with a Cost-Per-Day of over $2.50 and a Product Score of 30%. The diagram below provides a visual depiction of the Price versus Effectiveness relationship of the most popular multivitamin brands, relative to the top-ranked nutritional supplements. For simplicity reasons only the top three nutritional supplements were included in this comparison. Price vs. Effectiveness Comparison


USANA Vitamin Research

Product Effectiveness

Douglas Labs

Amway Equate GNC

One-A-Day Centrum



Product Price


The conclusion that can be drown from the above diagram is that if "price" is your primary buying criteria, then Equate multivitamins should be on top of your list. If product "effectiveness" is your primary buying criteria, then the nutritional supplements from USANA Health Sciences will provide you with the best value for money. ***



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