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Are you paying too much for vitamins?

According to some experts, there's almost no relationship between quality and price of multivitamins.

By Stacy Johnson Sep 28, 2011 11:22AM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.


We've been trained to think of price as an indicator of quality. But what to make of the vitamin aisle of your local drugstore, where prices range from $1 to $75 for a month's supply with similar ingredients?


A recent study by concluded: "There was almost no connection between price and quality" among popular multivitamins. In the video below, Stacy Johnson takes a closer look at the report. Check it out, and then read on for more.

As Stacy said, you shouldn't need vitamin supplements if you have a proper diet. Your body can only use so much of a nutrient, and getting too much of some can be unhealthy. But if a multivitamin is part of your daily routine, you shouldn't be spending more than $4 per month. 


Here are the top multivitamin recommendations from ConsumerLab:

Vitamin labels are sometimes misleading

When it comes to supplements, price isn't the only thing that should concern you. ConsumerLab also found that labels are sometimes flat-out wrong. The full report requires a $33-a-year login, but here are some of the details:

  • Eight of 38 vitamin supplements tested had significantly smaller quantities of nutrients than claimed.
  • Two supplements contained 50% more vitamin A than claimed.
  • Three brands' labels didn't meet FDA requirements and improperly listed ingredients.
  • One supplement (for dogs) had lead contamination.
  • Three supplements for children had doses higher than recommended.
  • Some of the vitamins that failed ConsumerLab's testing were also among the most expensive.

Why are some of these things so expensive? As the pharmacist in the video mentioned, one reason might be advertising budgets. And greed could be another. As ConsumerLab notes, multivitamins are a nearly $5 billion industry.


More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:
Sep 29, 2011 2:19PM

Try SWANSON PRODUCTS - great prices and high quality.  People need to contact their Washington reps. (REPS & CONGRESS) and tell them that vitimims do not need to be regulated.  There has been proposed legislation to make vitimins more like drugs that must be handled by pharmacys.  This would be disastrous for all of us!.


For healthy heart from Swanson try these products -


1. 100% Pure Krill Oil - 500mg - No. SWE059 1 per day

2. 100% Pure & Natural Ubiquinol - 100 mg(Enhanced Bioactivity CoQ10)  No. SWU377 1 per day

3. High Potency Astaxanthin - 4 mg - SWU693 2 per day

Sep 29, 2011 11:44AM
I wonder where they got their pricing for this article?  I looked up Natures Way Alive multi vitamin and the cheapest I could find it was 180 pills for 21.06 on Amazon.  That works out to be 10.53 a month.  Not 3.00 a month like the article states.
Sep 29, 2011 2:57PM
Vitamins should be regulated.  I know that the supplements industry thinks regulation is akin to killing their market, but the problem with supplements is that all you need is a supply of capsules, some powdered stock from china, and some illegal mexicans to put the powder in the capsules and you now have a supplements business.
No wonder supplement testing proves that whats on the label rarely is what actually is inside.   The industry is full of hucksters.

Sep 29, 2011 7:33AM

A independent test actually showed Centrum as being one of the worst for having the correct amount of vitamins in a random sampling. One of the best was Wal marts Generic  brands.


Sep 29, 2011 11:03AM

Then you get to the Natural Products industry where you pay $30 for a months supply. If you do some research you'll see that the good ones contain forms of mineral that are easy for your body to accept. The FDA does these same tests on these companies to make sure they meet label claims. There are honest companies like Health Solute Ions that makes a great (somewhat pricey) product, but others like Trace Minerals Research that just copy other products on the market. It's easy to copy someones label claims, but another story to copy another companies products. I read that lots of their claims are way off!

Sep 29, 2011 7:30AM
I think most multi vitamins lack strict quality control over the advertised dosage of the specific vitamins. In the tests I have seen Multi vitamins many times had too much of one vitamin and not enough of another. As a diabetic my doctor suggested to me to take specific vitamins rather then multi vitamins to get a better result. I also believe that if you are a person who eats right you may not even need vitamins because your getting enough from the foods you eat.
Sep 29, 2011 6:43AM
I buy any vitamin  on sale they work for us.
Sep 29, 2011 9:10AM

I have bought generic for many, many years.  I pay less than what the article is quoting.  I've also found a vitamin house on the net that is even cheaper!  Gotta love the net & all the places now within our reach whether or not they have a brick/mortar building or not!


One that was the best on the market as far as I was concerned was Rite Aid's Whole Source...but it is no longer!


A LOT of you folks don't NEED to take vitamin you spend at least 15 min. a day in the sun?....walking here there, standing in a window, doing outside chores, etc.?   That is all you NEED to get what D you need!...that's not counting fortified milk & other food sources!!!

Don't get caught up in what is the currant "rage"!

Sep 29, 2011 5:30AM
I pay 7$ for almost a year of multi-vitamins.  I don't think I am overpaying!  Centrum is the best!
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