How to Know Which Multivitamin Supplement Is Best for You? Part 2

How to Know Which Multivitamin Supplement Is Best for You? Part 2

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

  • 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
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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


  • 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
  • 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)

  • 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
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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.)

  • 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
  • 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


  • 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
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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:

  1. Thanks so much for this information. I have to let you know I concur on several of the points you make here and others may require some further review, but I can see your viewpoint.

  2. Hey John,

    I’m still looking for an optimal Multivitamine with the Tocotrienol-Form of Vitamin E. Do you have found some Multi with Tocotrienols?

    I found some Products but there are some other issues with the bioavailability of the other vitamins.

    What do you think about this German product The Vitamins are low-dosed, but Vitamin E with Tocotrienols and the bioavailability of the other vitamins seem okay… What is your opinion about the ingredients and the product?

  3. Hi there – interested to know to know your thoughts on Catalyst (by Mannatech)

  4. Hi John

    What do you think of Emerald Laboratories, CoEnzymated Complete?

    • It seems ok to me. Low amount of magnesium. I prefer K2 over K1. Not the worst I have ever seen, better than your standard multi.

  5. Why would you recommend multi-vitamins? Most informed nutritionists, naturopaths are against them.. not only do they not have the right amount of doses(for example 15mg zinc in your first recommendation), but the ingredients are questionable (even from “top tier” brands) and not bio available, people eat real food, you can save money and feel better, nature always has the right balance.

  6. Hi John,

    I’ve noticed Thorne has released a couple of relatively new products.

    1. A Basic 2 / Day :

    2. Basic Bone Nutrients :

    What are your thoughts on these products? My intention is take 2 of the Basic 2 / Day for breakfast and 2 of the Basic Bone Nutrients for dinner as the foundation of my supplement intake, along with a teaspoon of fish oil by Nordic Naturals.

    • Good question. I can’t seem to find an answer to this either.

  7. Hi John

    What do you think of Naturelo Prenatal Whole Food Multivitamin?

    I’m currently taking Thorne Research Basic Prenatal and was wondering if Naturelo would be better?

    Thanks so much

  8. i take life force multiple no iron from source naturals , the ingredients seem good and cost is reasonable. Any disadvantages for this one? Thanks!

  9. I looked on the website and the Klaire Labs multi is marketed for children with austism. I looked at the profile and it looked great. Would this be an okay multi for a 22 year old male?

  10. It does contain vitamin k2. 200mcg of k1 and 200mcg of k2.

  11. Thanks for this article, it is of great value. I was curious if you could see any issue or shortcomings with this non-methylated multi from methyl-life.

  12. John,

    What are your thoughts on the mykind multivitamins from garden of life from food if you could please let me know thanks so much :)

    • They are better than they used to be. I still do not recommend them fully, but they are not the worst natural multivitamins.

      • Ok thanks for your response what would you say are the negatives to them?

        • Ok thanks for your response what would you say are the negatives to them?

  13. What about jigsaw health vitamins? They have 3 different levels (basic, complete, and ultimate) and looks like you just need to add some Vitamin D and K2 and the rest is covered with these.

  14. It looks like Thorne has a Basic Natural Multi 2/day now that addresses many of the cons in your post. Would you now recommend this over the Basic Natural 3?

  15. Can you recommend anything without methyl donors? I react terrible to methyl B12 due to my COMT status.

  16. John, As i am a man over 40 (45), i would like thorne AI formula, is it a good choice.

    Many thanks for your help

  17. In pregnancy iron deficiency is often an issue.
    My understanding is that taking iron together with calcium (and with zink and magnesium) will decrease uptake of iron.
    Hence I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good option to take Thorne Basic Nutrients without iron and then add iron bisglycinate separately and possibly with an orange or a vitamin C supplement. What do you think?

  18. Do you have any thoughts on Legion Triumph Multivitamin?

  19. Hi John,

    Great article. I was wondering what you thought of Standard Process supplements ( Thanks.

  20. John,

    Have been following your work on this website for the past year. Your efforts are invaluable to us and just wanted to take a moment to thank you and also post a question. With regard to the section on children’s vitamin supplementation above, I get the idea that you are speaking about children and teens, but not babies/infants/toddlers. Couple questions:

    1) What would be your recommendation for baby supplementation – say new born to 2 years old (or to whatever age you feel they are old enough to follow the prescribed recommendations you have above?

    2) I’m considering give my newborn (expected Dec 2016) one drop of nascent iodine (Survival Shield x2/Detoxodine) per week (i.e. like one drop everyone Monday). Thoughts?

    3) Any thoughts on Child Ease sold at Infowars (I’m guessing its Dr. Group’s)?

    P.S. We will be breastfeeding exclusively, no formula whatsoever.

  21. What about nowfood adam multivitamin ? And Thorne fx ? And The Multi AM/PM Complex of thorne ? thanks a lot !

  22. And further.
    I choose for themselves –
    And for girls –
    Or what do you advise for us (non-vegetarians, not a raw food diet).
    The purchase will be with Iherb. Thank you.

  23. Hey. Oh how glad I am to have found your feedback. Me and my girlfriend want the child. Accepted What vitamins before conception? Age 30 years both. We plan to start in 2 months. We do not have a weight problem. No serious illnesses. thanks for the answer

  24. The Doctor’s Best Multiple looks like a good value for quality ingredients, what is your opinion?

  25. hello I was about to order Thorne Research, Basic Nutrients 2/Day, 60 Veggie Caps and a warning came up CA Prop 65 WARNING: These products contain a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. could u tell me more about this and if there is a different product that u recommend as a good mulitvitamin and mineral supplement but not one that requires 6 pills a day thanks so much

  26. Hi, I can see that you know a lot about multivitamins. Here is my question: I am considering to buy Thorn prenatal (actually order it from abroad, I am from Serbia) but I think that levels of certain vitamins like B6 (500%) and especially B12 (3334%) are way to high. Especially when newest research suggests the link between high B12 and folate in the blood of mother with increased risk of autism. I also understood that, high blood level of those occurs because of MTHFR Genetic polymorphism, that causes that mother and the baby do not get enough of folate nad B12 on a cellular lever. I have no way of testing MTHFR, and I think that having do much od certain vitamins is irresponsible, since it is estimated that 40% of population has that mutation. I am 9 weeks, and also have the beginning of Hashimotos. Also, didn’t eat gluten or soy for a year and a half, dairy for a year (my tsh was in normal range 3 and since I started dairy again it doubled (most likely much before pregnancy since I was advised to resume with dairy products by fertilty specialist so that I succeed in getting pregnant, I was on Metformin for it) I was three weeks ago advised to take synthetic medicine (that didn’t go very well, I had severe insomnia and shaking and extremely depressive thoughts) I have bad morning sickness. I am really struggling here. Currently I am taking Solgar D3 800 mcg, Folic acid 400, Fish Oil, and from last week TerraNova prenatals. My nutritionist suggested getting Nordic Naturals DHA And Thorn prenatal (I just have doubts about that and also do not know what would be good option for me, Code of life prenatals?) My iron also came higher than normal on lab test last week. I would really like to know what is your opinion or suggestion? (I’m 39)

    Thank You.

  27. Does Thorne Research Basic Nutrients III have too much Vit. A? IS EXOS Performance Nutrition – Multi-Vitamin Elite better? Or its not good for women over 60 due to copper content?

  28. Very informative. What do you think of this multi from a NY based store? They sell all your recommended brands, but their store brand is cheaper.

    Willvite – Willner Chemists (4 tablets per day)

    Ingredient Per Two Tabs Per Four Tabs

    Vitamin A (acetate) 2,500 IU 5,000 IU
    Natural Beta Carotene (D. Salina) 7,500 IU 15,000 IU
    Vitamin C (ascorbic acid/calcium ascorbate) 375 mg 750 mg
    Vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol) 400 IU 800 IU
    Vitamin E (d-alpha tocophneryl succinate) 150 IU 300 IU
    Vitamin K2 (as MK7) 30 mcg 60 mcg
    Vitamin B1 (thiamine) 15 mg 30 mg
    Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 15 mg 30 mg
    Niacin (as niacinamide) 25 mg 50 mg
    Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 15 mg 30 mg
    Folic Acid 200 mcg 400 mcg
    Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin) 100 mcg 200 mcg
    Biotin 150 mcg 300 mcg
    Pantothenic Acid (d-calcium pantothenate) 25 mg 50 mg
    Calcium (carbonate and citrate) 400 mg 800 mg
    Iron (rice chelate) 4.5 mg 9 mg
    Iodine (from Norwegian kelp) 75 mcg 150 mcg
    Magnesium (oxide and aspartate) 300 mg 600 mg
    Zinc (amino acid chelate) 10 mg 20 mg
    Selenium (L-selenomethionine) 50 mcg 100 mcg
    Copper (chelated copper gluconate) 1 mg 2 mg
    Manganese (chelated manganese gluconate) 2.5 mg 5 mg
    Chromium (as picolinate) 50 mcg 100 mcg
    Molybdenum (chelate) 75 mcg 150 mcg
    Potassium (amino acid chelate) 25 mg 50 mg
    Choline Bitartrate 25 mg 50 mg
    Inositol 12.5 mg 25 mg
    PABA (para amino benzoic acid) 5 mg 10 mg
    CoQ10 10 mg 20 mg
    Boron (citrate, aspartate, glycinate) 0.5 mg 1 mg
    Lutein 1 mg 2 mg
    Silicon (from horsetail) 175 mcg 350 mcg
    Vanadium (sulfate) 5 mcg 10 mcg
    Lycopene 1 mg 2 mg
    Grape Seed Extract 12.5 mg 25 mg

    * Willvite (regular, with iron) provides 50% US Daily Value per 4 tablets, or 25% Daily Value per 2 tablets.

    • I do not like it is tablets. I do not like it has iron, men generally do not need supplement form and it feeds overgrowth for a lot of people. I do not like the use of folic acid. Poor forms of magnesium. Non 5-phosphate forms of b vitamins. Gluconate chelates. I would give this multi a C-.

  29. Thanks for all the information you provide!

    I am considering which prenatal to buy and see that you recommend Thorne’s product and have a question regarding the amount of vitamin A included. One is supposed to take 3 capsules per day, and this means 2000 IE vitamin A as palmitate. Is this not too much? I thought one should avoid the palmitate form of vitamin A during pregnancy.

    I don’t mind buying supplements separately, and wonder what you would recommend to replace a pre-natal multivitamin. I already have the following from Thorne: iron bisglycinate, Folacal, Magnesium Citramate, Vitamin C with flavonoids, Zinkpicolinate, B12 Methylcobalmin and D-1000.

    Another, related, question: KI have Thorne’s folacal and wonder if it is ok? It contains calcium folinate and I notice that it is no longer listed on Thorne’s website. Which would be the best separate to take for folate?

  30. Thanks- This is very helpful, I have come across many of your posts on bulletproof forum.
    I am wondering, given that I don’t mind taking separate vitamins (as opposed to multivitamin) do you have a post recommending ideal brands/amounts to choose for individual vitamins/minerals?

    • Sign up for my newsletter and you will get a free copy of my supplement guide that has some information on that.

  31. My OB refused to test me so I did 23andme. I ONLY had 2 miscarriages instead of her 3 and have a tongue tied baby. Along with depression and heart disease in my family which I guess has some relevance. I downloaded the raw data and these were the interpreted results:
    MTHFR C677T rs1801133 GG -/-
    MTHFR 03 P39P rs2066470 AG +/-
    MTHFR A1298C rs1801131 GG +/+

    I wanted to discuss what to do going forward with my new PCP but the appointment is a month out and even then I feel like my concerns are going to get shut down and Im going to get referred to a geneticist & this is just gonna waste a few months of my time but I want to be doing something right now. I just dont know what I should be taking. Ive been taking Rainbow light for a while. My son is 8 months old almost and I took it probably for a good year before that. So now I need new prenatals to take while nursing and so that Im prepared before conceiving again. I need to figure out which prenatal to take along with any other supplements.

  32. How about Nutreince by caltonnutrition? It seems to address most of your concerns:

  33. Hi there,

    I just purchased the Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal. I didn’t see you mention that one although there is a picture of the brand at the top of the page. Do you recommend this multi? Many thanks.

    • No, the amounts in the multivitamin are a little low and it is a “natural” multi derived from yeast. I recommend talking to your doctor about using Thorne’s Prenatal and taking 1 -2 capsules daily.

  34. What are your thoughts on Controlled Labs’ Orange Triad?

    It’s highly rated on,,, LabDoor, etc.

  35. Forgot to mention, I’m also taking some extra folae – Life Extension’s Optmized Folate, 1000mcg veggie tabs.

  36. Any thoughts on Optimal Prenatal by Seeking Health?

    I’m just starting it, was taking Thorne’s Basic Prenatal before and now I wonder if it was a good idea to change it.

    I’m homozygous for MTHFR C677t.

    (Some info that I don’t know if will matter to you… Have high homocysteine, beta thalassemia – minor. I’m also supplementing with Ovega 3 (vegan EPA/DHA), Sunflower Lecithin Softgels by Now Foods and Now Foods’ TMG tablets.)

    • I see no issue with it but I would recommend that you take 4 capsules instead of 8, too much manganese for you and baby.

      • Thank you! But comparing the 4 capsules of Optimal Prenatal with Basic Prenatal, should I go back to Basic after this bottle ends?

  37. Everyone out there should check out Mother Earth Labs- products. They make a product similar to Intra Max, but half the price. They have a few other supplements. Their sales staff is courteous and helpful. Everything is non gmo and organic. No synthetic vitamins. Made in the USA.

  38. What do you think of pure vitamin club?

    • Not worth the price at all.

      Folic acid, basic mineral chelations like magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, and sodium selenite.

  39. Hello,

    I started taking this vitamins some months ago and I have been feeling out of the blue very anxious, nervous, stress out and some heart palpitations.

    I am wondering if maybe is a side effect of this multivitamin. Also is there a brand of probiotics you recommend taking and do you think it is really necessary to take probiotics? Do you honestly think we need to take vitamins on a daily basis? I was thinking the other day my great grandparents didnt take any and my grandparents either and they lived long so I was wondering if vitamins are a scam and we really dont need to take them. Thank you so much for your feedback.

  40. Hello, I’m from Korea, so only decent supplement I can get my hands on is through iHerb. All your recommended children supplements are not available there. Therefore, I’d like to ask your opinion on Thorne Children’s Nutrients.

    Would you recommend ?

    I am aware that this multi is low on magnesium, vitamin k2, vitamin d3.
    But how much of Mg, Vit K, Vit D3 is recommended, say, for a 14 year old?
    Should 4 year old take this much too?

    Also is this multi low on some other nutrients?

    What are nutrients that aren’t in their optimal form? Should they supplement more of the same nutrient with the better forms?

    How many pills should 4 year old take as opposed to 14 year old?

    Thank you in advance John. I really appreciate your work.

    • I’m sorry, I wish I could edit my previous comment. But Last thing I want to ask you is what other special supplement other than the basic nutrients should kids take in conjunction with this one to promote growth? Would calcium-d-glucarate, pqq, Co10/Idebenone, arginine/ornithin, GABA promote growth?

      • Lorn, I apologize I cannot make any recommendations for children. I would say that for most children unless they are ill I would not supplement with anything else other than the vitamins and minerals they are lacking from their diet and possible fish oil if they are not getting in enough Omega 3’s in the diet. It depends if they are male you do not want to give them a multivitamin with iron unless they are anemic. I would recommend that your 14 year old take Thorne Basic Nutrients 3, two capsules and maybe your four year old take one. Of course run everything by your doctor.

  41. Hi, John
    I read on Livestrong that magnesium glycinate can be harmful to one’s immune system, can all forms of glycine do the same?

  42. The only multivitamin my kids would touch is this one they absolutely love the taste of it! I trust this brand a lot would you be able to tell me if this is good quality stuff inside?


  43. Hello,
    I have a 12 year old son who is diagnosed ADHD. I want to start him on a very high quality multivitamin/mineral. I am torn between
    “Pure Encapsulations Multi t/d” and
    “Pure Encapsulations Junior Nutrients”.
    My main concern is his age. I want to make sure he is getting enough of all the nutrients, but due to his age I’m not sure if I need to give him the adult or junior version. Also, I know he probably needs Calcium/Magnesium as well so will probably supplement that separately.
    Do you have a suggestion or thoughts?
    Thank you so much.

    • It is tough to recommend a multivitamin without knowing your son’s MTHFR status and gut health. You could have him supplement with Thorne Research Basic Nutrients Three and if he does not improve his health or some issues get worse discontinue because of the use of methylated b-vitamins. Have him take one to two capsules instead of the full dose of six capsules. There should be enough calcium in his diet as long as he consumes dairy or eats fish with bones. Of course, run everything by his doctor first. Good luck!

  44. Thanks for your info and hard work.

    I somehow stumbled on the Thorne Basic Nutrients III formula, which isn’t commonly available where I live, and am finding it good. I can feel the difference versus multis I’ve taken before.

    I was very happy to see the adenosylcobalamin/methylcobalamin combo since both active forms are optimal for a balanced B12 intake. I’ve had B12 absorption issues and so need the active forms rather that hydroxocobalamin or cyanocobalamin.

    I’ll be looking forward to Thorne making further enhancements to their formula as you suggest. Right now, I’m happy to have come across it.

  45. I am having a lot of trouble finding a good all round multi vitamin/mineral without iodine but that also contains iron. I would like it as natural as possible with not excessive amounts of one vitamin in and preferably in a powder form. Please help!
    Kind Regards

    • Why iron? Supplemental iron should be procured from the diet, rarely supplemental. If you have low iron / ferritin levels and are not a vegetarian or vegan, you might be having gut overgrowth issues.

  46. Hello,

    I found an other multi which is not listed here. What’s about the Exos Multi ( It has a lot of high quality vitamine forms and some other ingredients like Green tea.

    What is your opinion about that?

  47. Hello,

    i´ve got another question.

    Why there are no multi-supplements on the market who contain tocotrienols?

    I´m searching for a high quality product with tocotrienols! Do you know some supplement?

    • Because of the expense. Tocotrienols are more expensive and most supplement companies would not want to pay for both in a supplement.

      I have not seen a good multivitamin that uses tocotrienols.

  48. Hello,
    whats about the multi from purity products ( It seems that this product unifies a lot of advantages, e.g. mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols. What ist your opinion about this product?

  49. Hi John,

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. What do you think about Dr. Ben Lynch’s Optimal Multivitamin? What are your opinions on his Seeking Health line of supplements in general?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Seeking Health is a great brand, top tier company. There are different optimal multivitamins that Seeking Health offers, which one are you referring to.

      • This one:

        The Vitamin D is low, but I think that may be on purpose. Would this multi + vit D + some krill oil be a good stack?

        I’m curious because there are so many things in this multi, that I’m wondering if the quantity of each, the form of some of the minerals (Krebs cycle?), and the synergy/competition make it positive overall.


        • Why not go with the Thorne multi. This multivitamin is slightly above average. Calcium carbonate, magnesium aspartate / oxide, aspartate chelates, high manganese. If you get it just take 2 – 4 capsules daily.

          • Hi John,
            I understand why you recommend the Thorne multi, however, nowhere does it state that the product id NON GMO. GMO products are neurotoxins defeating the purpose of supplementing yourself. Do you know otherwise?


          • It used to be on the label. They still claim that their two a day multi is GMO free. The supplements themselves would be GMO free even if the vitamin C is produced from GMO corn or the vitamin E is produced from soy due to the removal of proteins in the final product. It depends on how discretionary you are if you do not want any supplement to be made from GMO sources, the two a day is still labeled non GMO. I will contact them.

  50. Learn your stuff! Thorne is crap and whey? Because:

    – Vitamin A (12,500 IU from Mixed Carotenes and 2,500 IU Palmitate): palmitate is synthetic!

    – Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid): this is no vitamin C. The only C is with the co nutrients and that is from camucamu, and other berry’s. Ascorbic Acid is synthetic!

    – Vitamin E (as d-Alpha-Tocopheryl): there must be the beta’s and so in with it. So it’s synthetic

    – Vitamin K (as Vitamin K1): k1 is synthetic. You must have K2 out of foodsource!

    – Thiamine (as Thiamine HCl): is synthetic!

    – Pantothenic Acid (as Calcium Pantothenate): synthetic

    Go for brands like NutriGold. They are the real deal…

    • There is no multivitamin that is food based.

      “Natural” multivitamins is one of the biggest scams running in natural health today. A “natural” multivitamin is comprised of a bunch of brewer’s yeast compressed into supplemental form. Most “natural” multivitamins are made from feeding Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a yeast, synthetic vitamins which they retain in their cell walls. The problem with using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a vitamin carrier is twofold.

      The first problem is that people who are allergic or sensitive to yeast will be sensitive to these multivitamins.

      Second, the forms of the vitamins and minerals that you will absorb from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae medium are the same synthetic vitamins and mineral chelations that standard multivitamin use.

      The main issue with this is that you don’t know what synthetic vitamins the companies are feeding the yeast (Protip: I doubt they use the best forms of synthetic vitamins.) In addition, most mineral amounts from these “natural” multivitamins are low, because it is currently a difficult process to extract minerals from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Most of the “natural” multivitamins have extremely low levels of one of the most important minerals for supplementation—magnesium. All of these are reasons I cannot recommend most “natural” multivitamins to anyone.

      On vitamin C:

      You are right K1 is not great and K2 is definitely better.

      Just because something is synthetic does not mean it is bad, just like if it is natural doesn’t meant it is always good.

      • Actually their is a multivitamin that is food based. Only thing that was based on Saccharomyces cerevisiae is methyl cobalamin B12. Everything else is food based.

        These are produced by the cutie, Alicia Silverstone, in partnership with Garden of life, called My Kind.

  51. How about multivit for MTHFR?

    • Do you know your methylation status?

      • Yes C677T Homozygous mutation, however, not anemic and MCV is wnl also. Curious that have always been nauseated after taking High potency B multivitamin! and could never get that explained–is this the folate or unmethylnated reaction? Lucky me, been taking sublinqual B12 methrlcobalamin.

        Appreciate your bang for the buck listings, as certainly maximizes supplements’ $$.

        • Any other mutations, what was all tested as far as your methylation pathways?

          Most people should not take a multivitamin unless they are an undermethylator.

        • Taking B vitamins in methylated forms will be of great help to you. Stick with methylcobalamin and stack with methylfolate. You may need to take more than the average person.

  52. Hey john, what about dr mercola whole food plus vital minerals

  53. This is such a comprehensive study, and I appreciate it.

    However, one component listed as an advantage is actually a disadvantage for anyone with cancer or an autoimmune disease (which places one at a 400% higher risk for cancer). Methionine in any form (such as in selenomethionine) acts as a cancer fertilizer according to Dr. Russell Blaylock. Selenium Citrate would be a far safer form in those cases.

    Ideally, I think the perfect multivitamin would not have iron, copper, sodium selenite, selenate, or any aspartate or methionine forms. It wouldn’t have carotenoids which can increase inflammation for autoimmune situations (Blaylock, again) – or at least it would have different formulations so there would be an option to select one without those carotenoids. The ideal multivitamin would contain folate, but no folic acid, since folic acid also poses risks. It would also contain no glutamine – another huge health risk (a huge problem in the GI-Revive product, where DGL Plus is a far safer alternative).

    I would love to learn if there is ever a formulation developed that meets all of these criteria (and of course it goes without saying that it should be free of fillers and allergens).

    Thanks so much for the thorough research into these products. This is the best discussion I’ve ever seen on the topic, and I can’t thank you enough for that.

    (BTW, “fewer fillers” listed in the Thorne Advantages would be grammatically correct, but “less fillers” is not. Forgive my OCD observation, but maybe it will prove helpful.) :-)

  54. Hey John,

    Any thoughts on Exos Nutrition? They’re manufactured by Thorne –

  55. Any thoughts on Integrative Therapeutics products?

  56. Do you recommend basic nutrient V over the offshoot thornefx AM/PM?

    If you do like the basic nutrient V better, what is the best way to get it? with out a doctors/nutrionist recommendation it looks like the best way is amazon?

    I read both part one and two of best multivitamins. looking at others and what they say I am sold on trying thorne but don’t know if i should trust amazon or go for one of the affiliate sellers of the fx am/pm stuff?

  57. For the DFH Complete they do not list stearate on the website. I have pasted the link below. I know I stay away from them because they do use magnesium stearate in a number of their products. I for one do not like this product and for me it acts as a laxative and I already have problems with my stomach so this is not a good thing. I do appreciate the information as it has helped me to decide a good chromium supplement for myself. You might want to go back as some of the links are not working in part 1 or part 2.

  58. Hello, I’m an Italian woman.
    great reportage but I have 2 questions:
    1) Top 3 Standard Multivitamins: you say life extension mix Doesn’t have multiple forms, but I take it for 2 years, the formula without copper and there is also a formula with copper
    2) in the first part you advice “The More Capsules, the Better” and life extension mix are 14 capsules during the day, while the No. 1 Thorne Research Basic Nutrients 3-5 is concentrated in a single capsule.
    explain that?
    Hello excuse grammatical errors.

  59. Thanks John!

    Amazon reviews of the Kids Natural Calm Multi say that there are two different formulas. Sometimes they get one, sometimes the other when they order. Labels are all the same, but noticeable differences in the product.

    Any comment?

    • Interesting I have read reports about it. What some Amazon sellers are currently selling must be a bad batch. I recommend buying it at a local store with a big long cap for now.

  60. Filler, Thorne produces a better one called Al’s Formula. The NOW vitamin is ok. but I hate that it still uses folic acid.

  61. Thank you for the very informative post. This is the best resource I have seen for good information on multi vitamins.

    Question, I use Now Food Adams Mens Multi vitamin in soft gel form. It seems to hit several of your suggestions and has extra stuff for men (e.g. Saw Palmetto, Plant Sterols, Lycopene, Nettle Root & CoQ10). Would you suggest to stay with it or switch to one of your recommendations?

    Also, I am not sure of the extra men stuff is useful or just filler. (Note I am a 39 male.)

    Here is the link to the supplement facts

  62. I am releasing a new supplement guide that has the latest information on multivitamins.

  63. Wow. What a great analysis. Given how much information is out there on multivitamins — much of it contradictory or just wrong — this stands out as one of the most helpful blog posts I’ve read anywhere this year.

    Question: Do these same “top” recommendations remain current as of June 2014? You reference how several winners and runner-ups are often retooling their formulas.

  64. It looks like Life extension has a 2 per day that has most of the main ingredients that the mix does, but not all the added fruit extracts and extras. Its much cheaper, and might be good for people who won’t take 14 pills a day.

  65. Thanks for the hard work here, it really helped me narrow down something that can get my family and I 70% of the way there. Part 1 was awesome too. I contacted Klaire labs about the boron and selenium in their powdered multi, and got this info (with a little back and forth)

    “In further answer to your question, the selenium amino acid complex isan organically bound form is which selenium is complexed with various
    amino acids derived from rice. Boron amino acid complex is Borganic(tm)
    glycine from Albion Laboratories, in which boron is complexed with the
    amino acid glycine. Please note that neither selenium nor boron form
    true mineral amino acid chelates.”

    • The selenium chelate makes me sad, because a brown rice chelate isn’t the best. Boron being a glycinate on the other hand, is a very good chelate.

  66. Could you provide some more info on why you don’t recommend the Pure Encapsulation multivitamin for adults? Thanks!

    • If they change the aspartate chelations in the minerals, it might be one of the best ones offered. They have been updating the multi for quite a while now.

  67. Could you provide some more info on why you don’t recommend the Pure Encapsulation multivitamin for adults? Thanks!

    • I like Pure Encapsulations products but their multi-vitamin is still not the best. Only one form of vitamin E, low amounts of D3, aspartate chelations of some minerals. It’s better than it was but it still has a way to go.

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