Discount Multivitamins: Are They Just as Good?

Research show that most Americans don’t eat the recommended healthy diets, making slight nutritional shortages fairly common. Taking multivitamins can’t make up for an unhealthy diet but it can fill potential gaps and reduce certain disease risks. If you fall into the majority who might benefit from multivitamins, the next question might be how much to spend. The big name brands are trusted, but more expensive. So what about discount multivitamins in major store brands? Research suggests that both can be trusted to provide the vitamins they claim to provide.

Name Brand or Discount Multivitamin?

If you’re in the majority of Americans who don’t quite follow recommendations for eating healthy, you may need a multivitamin. Should you spend more and keep with the name brands, or are the major store-brand discount vitamins just as good? You can save your money and purchase the discount multivitamins. Earlier this year, Consumer Reports reported that its tests have found the big brand-name multivitamins and major store-brand multivitamins are both reliable. Both were found to contain the vitamins that the labels said they contained, and in the amounts that were listed on their labels.

Are Pricier “Special” Multivitamins Worth it?

An estimated 75 million Americans buy vitamins. Some may spend extra dough for megadoses of vitamins, or vitamins with exotic nutrients or herbs, or special formulations that promise to help with weight loss or with increasing your energy levels. According to Consumer Reports and the Harvard School of Public Health, these kinds of vitamin formulations are probably not worth the extra expense. Stick to the basics with multivitamins, buying one with vitamins A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, B12, folate, C, D, E, and K. The discount multivitamins you buy should contain vitamin amounts at or near levels in the government’s Dietary Reference Intakes guide. Huge doses of vitamins could make you sick.

Dollar Store Multivitamins

Consumer Reports also reported that of 18 tested brands of cheap multivitamins found in close-out or dollar stores, almost half did not contain the labeled amount of at least one nutrient. The tests also looked at dissolvability, which indicates whether the multivitamin breaks down fast enough to be absorbed by your body. Of the products that lacked the labeled amount of at least one nutrient, three of them didn’t dissolve properly. While bargain-basement vitamins are cheaper than name-brand products, Consumer Reports contends that they offer little or no savings over major store brands of multivitamins and may have an inconsistent product.

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