The Best Multivitamins That I Recommend

After years of research, I will list my top three best synthetic multi, the best liquid multi, the best multi powders, the best prenatal multi, the best natural multi, and the best multi for your children. Keep in mind that no multivitamin is perfect. Multivitamins are great for the convenience of taking in more nutrients that you may be lacking from your diet, but I would not supplement with one until I knew my MTHFR status and genetic pathways. For most people it is best to supplement with the individual vitamins and minerals one is lacking from their diet instead of taking a multivitamin.

Just in case, you missed it: How to Know Which Multivitamin Supplement is Best for You? Part 1

Top 3 Standard Multivitamins

1. Thorne Research Basic Nutrients 3-5

Advantages:
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin K1
  • 5′-Phosphate forms of B vitamins
  • Folate blend of calcium folinate and 5-MTHF
  • Methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin blend
  • Citrate, malate, and picolinate chelates of minerals
  • Selenomethionine form of selenium
  • Chromium chelidamate arginate form of chromium
  • Fewer fillers
  • Capsule form
  • Multiple-capsule dose
  • Different multivitamin formulas without copper, iron, and iodine
  • Decent price
Disadvantages:
  • Low amount of vitamin D3
  • No vitamin K2
  • Possible GMO vitamin C and vitamin E
  • No mixed tocopherols
  • No L-OptiZinc
  • All non-special mineral chelates; the mineral chelates should be glycinate instead of picolinate

I applaud Thorne Research for producing what I believe is the best multivitamin on the market. Thorne updates their multivitamin formula frequently and might eventually address all of the disadvantages I have listed one day soon. A recent example of this is that they changed their selenium from selenium picolinate to the superior selenomethionine.

Thorne also includes the best B vitamin complex on the market within their multivitamin. Basic Nutrients does have some vitamin K1 in their multi and uses decent mineral chelates containing picolinate instead of the standard aspartate found in most multivitamins. Finally, Basic Nutrients does not contain a lot of fillers, and it uses safer fillers including silicon dioxide and L-leucine.

There are a few things that Thorne has to change to make their Basic Nutrients multivitamin supplement perfect. They need to increase the amount of vitamin D and magnesium in the supplement. They also need to add some vitamin K2, add non-GMO mixed tocopherols, change the zinc picolinate to L-OptiZinc, and change some of their mineral chelations to glycinate.

Thorne Research Basic Nutrient Five is the multivitamin I am currently using and the one I recommend for most people.

2. Life Extension Mix Capsules

Advantages:
  • Multiple forms and high amount of vitamin C
  • Mixed tocopherols
  • Vitamin D3
  • 5′-Phosphate form of B vitamins
  • Natural folate from lemon peel
  • Pantethine (active form of B5)
  • Hydroxocobalamin
  • Calcium D-glucarate
  • Magnesium blend
  • OptiZinc
  • Selenium blend
  • Copper glycinate
  • Crominex form of chromium
  • A lot of extra supplements and fruit/vegetable extracts
  • Uses multiple capsules
Disadvantages:
  • Low amount of vitamin D3
  • No vitamin K
  • Folate from lemon peel though natural might not be as bioavailable as 5-MTHF
  • The greatest amount of magnesium in the blend is magnesium oxide, which is poorly absorbed
  • Sodium selenite, an inorganic form of selenium, is in the blend
  • Uses sodium molybdate, which is the cheapest form of molybdenum
  • Does not have multiple forms, like a multi without copper or with/without iron
  • High cost
  • Possible use of GMO vitamin E and vitamin C
  • Uses excess fillers (possibly GMO maltodextrin and stearate)

Life Extension technically has some of the best-recommended forms of vitamins and minerals in their multivitamin. However as a whole, the Life Extension multi has more negatives going for it than Thorne’s multivitamin does.

Some of the negatives associated with this mulivitamin are that we get a large amount of magnesium oxide in the multi, and it has very poor forms of certain minerals like sodium selenite and sodium molybdate. In addition, the Life Extension multivitamin can run upwards of $70 for a month supply, and 14 capsules of the multi have to be taken daily. There is also only one version of their multivitamin, as opposed to Thorne, which technically has 12 different versions. You are not able to get a form of Life Extension’s multivitamin without copper or also with iron.

I wish Life Extension would release a multivitamin without the added supplements and fruit extracts so that it would cost less. I also wish their multivitamin had fewer filler ingredients. The Life Extension vitamin would also be better if it used 5-MTHF folate, methylcobalamin, no magnesium oxide, no sodium selenite, and glycinate chelates for the rest of the minerals in the multivitamin (molybdenum, manganese.) If Life Extension made these modifications and charged around $40 a month for their multivitamin, they would have the best multivitamin on the market.

3. DFH Complete Multi

Advantages:
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin E mixed tocopherols
  • Vitamin K2
  • 5-MTHF, methylcobalamin (one mg dose highest out of any recommended multi)
  • All minerals are TRACCS chelated
  • Extra supplements and vitamins added (ALA, quercetin, TMG, choline)
  • Multiple capsules
  • Different forms of multivitamin offered (without iron, without copper, and without copper and iron)
  • Fewer fillers
  • Low price
Disadvantages:
  • No 5′-phosphate forms of B vitamins
  • Low-vitamin D3 amount
  • No L-OptiZinc
  • Low amount of magnesium
  • No se-methyl L-selenocysteine or selenomethionine
  • Chromium chelate is not polynicotinate
  • Stearate filler

The Designs for Health (DFH) multi could easily be the best multivitamin currently offered on the market if they fixed their listed disadvantages. It is one of the few multivitamins that included vitamin K2. This multi has one mg of both 5-MTHF and methylcobalamin, as well. DFH is also currently using the high-absorption TRAACS glycinate chelations for all of the minerals in their multivitamin.

If DFH replaced the selenium, zinc, and chromium with the minerals best specialized supplemental forms, their mineral profile in the multi would be perfect. DFH also needs to add the 5′-phosphate forms of some of the B vitamins in their multivitamin. Finally, DFH should remove the vegetable stearate filler from their multivitamin.

The Complete Multi from DFH easily deserves the number three spot in my recommendation for the best standard multivitamins.

Honorable Mentions:

Recommended Liquid Multivitamin

intraMAX

Advantages:
  • All the amino acids, fatty acids, digestive enzymes, probiotics, trace minerals, herbs, and fruit/vegetable mixtures you can imagine all in one convenient liquid multi
  • Contains mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols
  • Methylcobalamin, 5′-phosphate forms of B vitamins
  • Chromium polynictinate
  • Has a magnesium blend
  • Selenomethionine
  • Zinc blend
  • Vitamin K1
  • Contains no fillers
Disadvantages:
  • Cost ($70-80 for one month)
  • Must be refrigerated
  • No vitamin K2
  • Bacillus subtilis in the probiotic mixture
  • Extremely low amount of vitamin D3
  • No non-iron formula for men
  • Uses the sodium molybdate form of molybdenum
  • Has potassium aspartate
  • Added phosphate for unneeded phosphorus supplementation

Intramax is the best liquid multivitamin currently offered because this supplement throws in everything, including the kitchen sink. This liquid vitamin contains supplements (chlorella, MSM, fulvic acid, CoQ10, R-lipoic acid,) amino acids, fatty acids (omega 3, 6, 9,) digestive enzymes, probiotics, trace minerals, herbs (aloe vera, schizandra, licorice, ginkgo, and more,) and a fruit and vegetable mixture. Intramax also has a decent amount of magnesium in it.

I would recommend Intramax as the best high-end multivitamin period if they fixed some of the disadvantages I listed. I wouldn’t mind the paying the price for the multivitamin so much if they added vitamin K2, increased the vitamin D3, took out the iron in a different version for men, and changed some of the mineral chelations to their better forms. If they were able to do this, their liquid multivitamin would have it all. The best vitamins and minerals, supplements, amino acid blend, trace minerals, herbs, fruit and vegetable mixtures, with all the proper fatty acids that you can fit into a bottle.

Honorable Mention:

Recommended Powdered Multivitamins

(Both recommended powdered multis are tied for first place.)

1A. Life Extension Mix Powdered Multi (without copper)

Advantages:
  • Multiple forms and high amount of vitamin C
  • Mixed tocopherols
  • Vitamin D3
  • 5′-Phosphate form B vitamins
  • Natural folate from lemon peel
  • Pantethine (active form of B5)
  • Hydroxocobalamin
  • Calcium D-glucarate
  • Magnesium blend
  • OptiZinc
  • Selenium blend
  • Crominex form of chromium
  • A lot of extra supplements and fruit/vegetable extracts in the multi in powder form and sweetened with stevia
Disadvantages:
  • Low amount of vitamin D3
  • No vitamin K
  • Folate from lemon peel, though natural, might not be as bioavailable as 5-MTHF
  • The greatest amount of magnesium in the blend is magnesium oxide which is poorly absorbed
  • Sodium selenite, an inorganic form of selenium is used in the blend
  • Uses the sodium molybdate form of molybdenum
  • Doesn’t have multiple forms, like a multi without copper or with/without iron
  • High cost
  • Possible GMO vitamin E and vitamin C

The differences between the powder form of Life Extension’s multivitamin and the capsule form of their multi are the powdered delivery system and that the powdered multi have fewer types of fillers in the product.

1B. Klaire Labs VitaSpectrum

Advantages:
  • Multiple forms of vitamin A, some from algae
  • Mixed tocopherols
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin K1
  • 5′-Phosphate form of B vitamins
  • Folinic acid/5-MTHF blend
  • Methylcobalamin/adenosylcobalamin blend
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Zinc glycinate
  • Chromium polynicotinate/glycinate blend
  • Mineral chelates use glycinate
  • Great price
  • Powder
  • No sweetener
Disadvantages:
  • Low amount of vitamin D3
  • No vitamin K2
  • Selenium amino acid chelate is unknown
  • Boron amino acid chelate is unknown
  • Vitamin C and E are probably GMO
  • Iodine is from kelp
  • No riboflavin 5′-phosphate

This powdered multivitamin has distinct advantages, even more than some of the other recommended listed multivitamins above.

Klaire Labs has one of the best multivitamin powders I have ever seen for the cost. First, as far as vitamins are concerned, it has multiple forms of vitamin A, mixed tocopherols, vitamin K1, uses the 5′-phosphate forms of B vitamins, folinic acid/5-MTHF blend, and a methylcobalamin/adenosylcobalamin blend. Vitaspectrum also uses glycinate chelations of minerals, as well. Finally, the only “filler” added to the powder is natural berry-pomegranate flavor, and the powdered multivitamin has a decent price!

The only real disadvantage this powdered multivitamin has is that we do not know what form of selenium and boron the chelates are. All other problems could easily be forgiven if I knew what the chelations were and if they used glycinate.

Recommended Prenatal Multivitamin

Thorne Research Basic Prenatal

Advantages:
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin K1
  • 5′-Phosphate forms of B vitamins
  • Folate blend of calcium folinate and 5-MTHF
  • Methylcobalamin / adenosylcobalamin blend
  • Citrate, malate, and picolinate chelates of minerals
  • Selenomethionine form of selenium
  • Chromium chelidamate arginate form of chromium
  • Fewer fillers
  • Capsule form
  • Multiple capsules
  • Different multivitamin formulas without copper, iron, and iodine
  • Decent price
Disadvantages:
  • Low amount of vitamin D3
  • No vitamin K2
  • Possible GMO vitamin C and vitamin E
  • No mixed tocopherols
  • Not enough vitamin D3
  • No L-OptiZinc
  • All non-special mineral chelates; the mineral chelates should be glycinate instead of picolinate
  • Not enough calcium and magnesium
  • Iron picolinate instead of the superior iron bisglycinate

There is not much difference between the Thorne Basic Nutrients multivitamin and their prenatal vitamin.

Thorne still includes the best vitamin B complex on the market within their multivitamin. Their prenatal has the best source of folate, 5-MTHF, which is very important for fetal development and in protecting the fetus from neural tube defects. Thorne’s prenatal does have some vitamin K1 in the multi, and it uses decent mineral chelates containing picolinate instead of the standard aspartate found in most multivitamins. Finally, Thorne’s prenatal doesn’t contain a lot of fillers and uses safer fillers, including silicon dioxide and L-leucine.

With the prenatal, though, you will get lower amounts of B vitamins and not enough calcium and magnesium for pregnant women in my opinion. With Thorne’s prenatal, you also only have to take three capsules daily instead of six capsules daily with Basic Nutrients. Thorne’s prenatal also uses iron picolinate. They should instead use the superior iron bis-glycinate, which is known to cause less constipation than any other iron chelation. Even with these mentioned flaws, I still believe that Thorne’s prenatal is the best for pregnant women.

Recommended Natural Multivitamin

Genesis Today Organic Total Nutrition

Advantages:
  • 100% Organic multivitamin
  • From plant sources
  • No GMO
  • Natural folate
  • Only “filler” is xanthan gum
  • No yeast
  • Decent price
  • Only true “natural” multivitamin
  • Liquid
  • Organic chlorella/blue-green algae blend
Disadvantages:
  • Low concentrations of most minerals and vitamin K
  • No vitamin D
  • Plant-based nutrients might be hard to absorb because of phytic acid

Organic Total Nutrition is the closest to a natural multivitamin that one can get. All of the vitamins and minerals in this multivitamin come from food sources. It is also certified organic and 100% GMO free! The multivitamin is also yeast free and does not contain any vitamins and minerals derived from brewer’s yeast!

The main problem with this natural multivitamin compared to other multivitamins is that most of the supplemental values of this multivitamin are lower than needed. In addition, since it is vegan, it contains no vitamin D3 whatsoever. I would consider this multivitamin inferior even to most of the synthetic multivitamins out there, but this is the best natural multivitamin sold.

Recommended Children’s Multivitamins

Best Liquid Children’s Multivitamin: Natural Vitality Kids Calm (Due to manufacturing issues, buy only from a local store if it has a long cap.)

Advantages:
  • Vitamin D3
  • 5′-Phosphate forms of B vitamins
  • Methylcobalamin
  • Good amount of Natural Calm magnesium
  • Zinc picolinate
  • Fish oil
  • Fruit and veggie blend
  • Amino acid and Concentrace Trace Minerals blend
  • DMAE
  • Stevia
Disadvantages:
  • Folic acid
  • Low amounts of vitamin D
  • Low amounts of B12
  • Not all necessary minerals are in the multi
  • Potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate are preservatives in the liquid multi
  • No iron

I believe that Natural Vitality Kids Calm is the best standard children’s liquid multivitamin that is available currently.

The Natural Calm liquid multivitamin does have more magnesium in it than most adult multivitamins. This liquid multivitamin also has 5′-phosphate versions of B vitamins, uses methylcobalamin, and has a trace mineral blend. Finally, they used stevia to sweeten the liquid multivitamin instead of using sugar!

There are sadly many problems with this multivitamin, however. The biggest problems facing this multivitamin are that it uses folic acid the multivitamin is missing essential minerals including iron, and the use of sodium benzoate in the multivitamin which might combine with vitamin C to form the cancer-causing byproduct benzene.

Best Children’s Specialty Liquid Multivitamin

intraKID

Advantages:
  • All the amino acids, fatty acids, digestive enzymes, probiotics, trace minerals, herbs, and fruit/vegetable mixtures you can imagine all in one convenient liquid multi
  • Mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols
  • Methylcobalamin
  • 5′-Phosphate forms of B vitamins
  • Chromium polynicotinate
  • Magnesium blend
  • Selenomethionine
  • Zinc blend
  • Vitamin K1
  • No fillers
Disadvantages:
  • Cost ($70 – 80 for one month)
  • Must be refrigerated
  • No vitamin K2
  • Extremely low amount of vitamin D3
  • Sodium molybdate form of molybdenum
  • Potassium aspartate
  • Phosphate added for extra phosphorus

As you can tell by the advantages and disadvantages listed, there is little difference between the Intrakid liquid multivitamin and the Intramax liquid adult multivitamin discussed earlier. The only main difference in this one is that it has lower levels of some vitamins and minerals to accommodate the lower daily intakes for children.

Intrakid is the best kids’ specialty liquid multivitamin because this supplement throws in everything including the kitchen sink. This liquid vitamin has supplements (chlorella, MSM, fulvic acid, CoQ10, R-lipoic acid, etc.), amino acids, fatty acids (omega 3,6,9), digestive enzymes, probiotics, trace minerals, herbs (aloe vera, schizandra, licorice, ginkgo, etc.), and a fruit and vegetable mixture. Intrakid also has a decent amount of magnesium in the liquid multi, as well.

Same as with Intramax above, I would recommend Intrakid as being the best high-end multivitamin for children period if they changed some of the problems I have discussed above. I would not mind paying the price so much if they would add vitamin K2, increase the vitamin D3, and modify some of the mineral chelations. If they were able to do that, this kids’ liquid multivitamin would have it all. This multivitamin might have too much vitamins / minerals / supplements in it for most children, which is why I don’t recommend its use in all cases. Some of the extra supplements that are included in the multi, like most of the herbs and supplements are not known to be safe for use in children yet. Because of this potential risk, I would recommend its use for for a teenager instead of a younger kid.

Best Children’s Capsule Multivitamin

Pure Encapsulations Junior Nutrients

Advantages:
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin K1
  • L-5-MTHF
  • 5′-Phosphate forms of vitamin B2 and vitamin B6
  • The form of B12 in the supplement is methylcobalamin
  • The form of chromium in the supplement is polynicotinate
  • Selenomethionine
  • Forms of mineral chelates were citrate, glycinate, and malate
  • No fillers
  • Multiple capsules
Disadvantages:
  • Supplements in capsule form are usually difficult for young kids to take
  • No vitamin K2
  • Not enough vitamins and minerals dosage wise

The Pure Encapsulations Junior Nutrients Kids Multivitamin is technically the best standard multivitamin for children.

The Pure Encapsulations multivitamin uses great forms of B vitamins; the mineral chelations are top notch, and it has no fillers. The Pure Encapsulations Junior Nutrients multivitamin also is one of the few to offer vitamin K.

My only concerns with the supplement are that capsules can be difficult to swallow for younger children and that it does not have vitamin K2. I also wish the multivitamin had more magnesium, selenium, and vitamin D. Overall though; the Pure Encapsulations Junior Nutrients kids multivitamin is one of the best multivitamins that you can give your child or teenager.

See more from this series:

kralbet, betovis