Summary: What You Need to Know About Multivitamins
What did CL Find?
Twelve out of 27 (44.4%) of the multivitamin/multimineral supplements selected by ConsumerLab.com for testing failed
to get our approval. These are marked as "Not Approved
" in the results table
Some had lower
levels of nutrients than the label claimed, some had higher
amounts, and two took longer than permitted
to disintegrate ("break apart") in solution. All product deficiencies were confirmed in tests in a second independent laboratory (see What CL Found
Of particular concern is that several products provided more than or close to the Upper Tolerable Intake Levels (ULs), above which there is increasing risk of toxicity with regular use. For example, two gummy vitamins listing 400 mg of folic acid were each discovered to contained more than 200% of these amounts, i.e., over 800 mg of folic acid. Not only is this far above the daily requirement (240 mg of folic acid, or 400 mcg DFE), but it puts one close to exceeding the UL of 1,000 mcg of folic acid and potentially over it if consuming folic acid from other sources, like fortified breakfast cereals.
Our Top Picks:
Among products that were "Approved", including products tested through CL's voluntary Quality Certification Program
, Top Picks
were selected for the following 10 categories based on best product quality, appropriateness of dosage, formulation, and value:
COVID-19 and Multivitamins:
Each Top Pick
can help assure adequate intakes of vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc, which are important for proper functioning of the immune system without risking excessive intakes that can cause negative effects. (See more information about supplements and COVID-19
, the disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2).
What to look for in a multivitamin?
When selecting a multi, the most important thing is to be sure it lists the right amount of each essential vitamin and mineral. Check your own requirements using our RDA table
or the detailed information for each nutrient
in the Review.