How to choose the right multi-vitamins for you
A lab check was performed to check out the contents of 21 multivitamins, including name brands and store brands from Costco, CVS, Dollar General, Rite Aid, Target, Vitamin Shoppe, and Walgreens. Testers analyzed the contents to see whether they contained certain vitamins and minerals in the amounts printed on labels. They also dropped them into a stomach-acid-like solution to see whether the pills would dissolve properly in your body. (If they don’t, their nutrients wont’ be absorbed). Testers also checked for worrisome levels of contaminants such as heavy metals. None had them. And it turns out the store brands did just as well in the tests as Centrum and One A Day – and some cost less than half the price. TIP You can probably save money by skipping multivitamins if you et well and aren’t pregnant or on a restricted diet.
• KIRKLAND SIGNATURE DAILY MULTI
• KIRKLAND SIGNATURE MATURE MULTI
• KIRKLAND SIGNATURE SUGAR FREE CHILDREN’S CHEWABLE COMPLETE MULTIVITAMIN
All but two of the vitamins (the Not So Hot ones below) did well in the tests. But these three Costco multis had the lowest per-pill prices. They come in giant bottles! They were also the only ones with the seal of the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), an independent authority that sets industry standards.
NOT SO HOT
These two were the most expensive multis and the only ones with some samples that failed the dissolution test. Also, some samples were outside the testing guidelines, containing more of some nutrients or less of others than the label claimed: Some One Daily (Vitamin Shoppe) had more calcium and less vitamin A; some Whole Source (Rite Aid) had more zinc and vitamin D. Fortunately, those higher or lower amounts don’t pose a health concern.
The “USP Verified” seal indicates that the supplement manufacturer has voluntarily asked the USP labs to verify the product’s quality, purity, and potency. If the label just references “USP” without the seal, the product probably hasn’t been tested.
Buy big brands at Walmart – Walmart always had the lowest prices, with Target a close second. Drugstore prices vary widely from chain to chain. If you want to save even more, consider buying a store-brand multi. Compare labels to make sure you’re getting all the ingredients you’re looking for; formulas are similar but might not be identical. You will save a lot if you buy a store’s private-label brand instead of buying Centrum Ultra Women’s at the same store.