The 10 Best Multivitamins In 2018

Anders Nedergaard
af Anders Nedergaard - PhD & MSc in human biology

Looking for the best multivitamin? Candidlab have thoroughly analysed the products content of vitamins and minerals in accordance to British peoples need. Furthermore rated the price according to the market. See the shocking top 10 and find the best and cheapest now, here.

best multivitamin 2018

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  • Self Omninutrition Multivitamin

    1. Self Omninutrition Multivitamin

    Self Omninutrition Multivitamin
    Total score 7.6
    Total score

    1. Self Omninutrition Multivitamin

    Self Omninutrition Multivitamin is the best multivitamin available on the market. It is an effective vitamin supplement, which covers almost all of your daily requirements of both water- and fat soluble vitamins. In addition, Self Omninutrition Multivitamin is a cheap product when the good quality is taken into account.

  • 2. Olimp Vita-Min Multiple Sport®

    Olimp Vita-Min Multiple Sport®
    Total score 7.0
    Total score

    #2 Olimp Vita-Min Multiple Sport®

    Olimp Vita-Min Multiple Sport® is the second best vitamin supplement in our tests. This pill also covers the majority of your daily needs for vitamins and partly minerals. The price is also very advantageous with a daily price of 0.18 pounds, at the labeled recommended daily intake.

  • 3. Centrum Advance

    Centrum Advance
    Total score 7.0
    Total score

    #3 Centrum Advance

    Centrum Advance have ended up in third place although it obviously has a reasonable level of vitamins and minerals and has a reasonable price. This product ranks number 6 for vitamins, 6 for minerals and1 in price, due to the price for a daily serving of 0.13 pounds.

  • 4. Scitec Nutrition Multi Pro Plus

    Scitec Nutrition Multi Pro Plus
    Total score 6.5
    Total score

    #4 Scitec Nutrition Multi Pro Plus

    Scitec Nutrition have developed a multivitamin that belongs in the middle third of the current product available on the market. Lack of optimal dosages of minerals is the primary reason for this pill not ranking in the top third in our tests.

  • 5. Myprotein Alpha Men

    Myprotein Alpha Men
    Total score 6.3
    Total score

    #5 Myprotein Alpha Men

    Myprotein has made a pill which is expensive compared to other products on the market. The price is the primary reason this vitamin only ranks in the middle third of our tests. Myprotein Alpha Men has a daily price of 0.35 pounds and that is dragging it down.

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We review multivitamins based on the quality of their vitamin- and mineral content as well as price. Each of the those three factors are equally weighted in the combined total score. We will go through the process for evaluating quality of content below, while our systematic approach for assesing and calculating the price score can be found on the page ‘how we review’.

The premise for our vitamin- and mineral quality score is that it should reflect how well a product is at protecting the consumer from developing deficits of specific vitamins or minerals without oversupplying them. Our algorithm takes into account which types of micronutrients the product contains, the dosage of that micronutrient and finally scaling the individual vitamin- or mineral score by the national intake for the respective ingredients. For example, in Denmark the median intake of D-vitamin is roughly one third of what it ought to be. Therefore the contents of Vitamin D in a supplement is scaled up by a factor roughly three.

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What are vitamins and minerals really?

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Vitamins are by definition organic substances which are essential for humans. This means that we need to consume these vitamins through our diet, or supplements, to maintain bodily functions and health. We typically need them in quantities of milligrams or micrograms, which is why they are called micronutrients. Vitamins usually “work” as cofactors in some of the countless chemical reactions taking place in the body. Some of the fat soluble vitamins, especially vitamin D, also have hormon-like properties in the body.

The minerals that belong in the micronutrient group are the ones that are essential to us, but are not covered by the macronutrients (our bodies get hydrogen, carbon and oxygen from fat carbohydrates and proteins and sulfur and nutrigen from proteins). We need to supply our bodies with these minerals to function properly. Most minerals are used in the active centers of proteins, where their electrochemical properties come to use, while a few work exclusively as electrolytes. Iron, for example, is the oxygen binding group in hemoglobin, while chloride is exclusively and electrolyte.

Neither minerals nor vitamins are “used up” as part of our metabolism – like we burn the macronutrients to CO2. Vitamins and minerals can be subject to oxidation, but they are generally simply replaced on a regular basis and excreted in the urine.

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What is the need for micronutrients?

best multivitamins

Before we describe how we calculate the quality score, we need to discuss how much you really need of the individual micronutrients. Indeed, there is not a worldwide consensus in scientific circles about this specific topic and it is quite difficult to really research.

For one thing, it is difficult to design good studies where you know exactly what the participants are consuming (allowing the researchers to calculate micronutrient intake). It is, furthermore, difficult to unambiguously attribute certain physical symptoms to high or low intake of certain nutrients. This is despite this being a scientific area where there are literally tens of thousands of scientific articles.

However, there are some recommendations for how little or how much to eat of different micronutrients. In the United States, these recommendations are presented as the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) and in Denmark (and scandinavia), recommendations from Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR), which is updated every 8 years. These recommendations define the various limits for upper, lower, current and recommended intake based on both human and animal studies.

These recommendations are made in the form of 4 different threshold values. The 4 values are lowest intake (LI), average needs (AR), recommended intake (RI) and upper tolerable level (UL). These are defined in the Nordic Food Recommendations as follows (1):

– Lowest intake (LI) is defined as the intake of the individual micronutrient, below which most people will develop clinically significant deficiency symptoms.
– The average need (AR) is defined as the intake that will be sufficient to ensure a normal state in half of the population. AR also corresponds to the estimated average need (EAR) from the United States and the UK.
– Recommended intake (RI) corresponds to the intake that is sufficient in the majority of the population. They have chosen to define this numerically as 2 standard deviations above the average need, if you know the variation in individual needs. In the absence of the specific variation, NNA allows the coefficient of variation to be 10-15% and use this to calculate RI (which leads to an RI that is 20 to 30% higher than AR).
– Highest tolerable intake (UL) is defined as the maximum intake you can sustain over an arbitrary longer period before signs of poisoning manifest.

Therefore, in our quality score, we had to take these thresholds into account for each micronutrient and deciding up to what levels the score should increase and at what level the score should start decreasing again (which would be neccessary for supplement that are overdosed on certain vitamins).

In addition to providing reference values for recommended intake, NNR 2012 also contains a comprehensive literature review on how to measure the intake of different food constituents and their relevance to health.

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How we review multivitamin supplements

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Parameters in the formula

The score for both vitamin- and mineral quality is a combination of each individual micronutrient and we take the following into account:

– How much of the certain micronutrient it contains compared to the recommended intake
– How great the biological activity is in the specific supplied susbstance
– How big a portion of the chemical form it is bound in is actually the active nutrient
– How much below the recommended intake the local population is for each specific nutrient

Score in context to ingredient dosage

Minimum-, recommended- and maximum intakes (LI, RI and UL) for micronutrients has been established as in the available scientific literature. Each micronutrient is score on a linear scale, where a dosage of zero would get zero percent and a dosage corresponding to the recommended intake (RI) would trigger 100%.

Many supplements, especially from the US, have very high dosages. Some products even come close to what you would consider safe – too high dosage of a micronutrient is possible. Therefore, we have decided that micronutrients that as dosages approach the maximum intake (UL), the score should decrease. We have choosen that micornutrients get a full score (100%) for their dosages until the halfway point between the recommended intake and the upper limit. Once a micronutrient dosage passes the halfway point the score will decrease linearly as it approaches the UL threshold, where it reaches a score of zero percent again.

We do this to make sure that multivitamins are encouraged to contain sufficient dosages. However, we do not want to endorse supplements that contain dosages in a range that could potentially lead to symptoms of poisining.

Below you can see a figure that explains how we score each micronutrient.
Different variations of the same active substance

Most macronutrients can be found in several different versions. For example, you typically supplement D2 Vitamin in the United States while the most used in Europe is D3. Something similar applies to vitamin A, that can be found both in the form of retinol and beta carotene. In addition, Vitamin E exists in organic and synthetic versions with various degrees of biological activity between them.

The various biological activities are well described for the fat soluble vitamins, but barely very detailed for the water soluble vitamins. We have adjusted the weighting of the different forms where we know differences in biological activity to exist.

Adjusted weighting for the normal intake

Finally, we have chosen to to scale the scores of ingredients based on intake deficiencies at that national population level (in relation to the nutritional recommendations). We did this by dividing the median intake among adults with the recommended intake (RI) for a given country and subsequently multiplied the score for the individual micronutrients with this factor.

This means that the micronutrients that we consume the least (compared to the recommendations) will be weighted higher. On the contrary, the nutrients we get in excess from our diets already, will be weighted lower.

In the Scandinavian countries for example, the average intake of vitamin D is far below the recommended intake, which is why that specific vitamin will be weighted more in the score. Simply put, because there is a higher likelihood that it will be of benefit to the average consumer.

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The final vitamin and mineral score

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Thus, the final quality score is an average of the content of the individual micronutrients, which are weighted by the biological activity of the specific individual ingredients, the proportion of the individual compounds actually constituted by the active substances and the likelihood that the individual ingredient will be of health benefit to the individual. The latter is achieved by scaling the individual micronutrient substance by a factor that corresponds to the recommended daily dose of a given micronutrient divided by the populations median intake.

What is the point of multivitamins?

In fact, real insufficiencies of vitamins and minerals are rare in the Western world. When looking at large population surveys, intake of multivitamins, vitamins and/or minerals has generally not been shown to be associated with protection against disease or a lower risk of dying (5). If we consider illnesses causes by specific deficiencies then we would, naturally, see that supplementing vitamins helped. However, when we observe the whole population it is difficult to point at any health enhancing properties.

One exception, especially in Northern Europe is, as mentioned above, Vitamin D insufficiency. Insufficienct Vitamin D intake is associated with increased susceptibility to infectious diseases and muscle pain. Another example could be iron, where deficiency is sometimes seen in women, especially in childbearing age and among those who exercise a lot. It appears as anemia and fatigue. The same is true for vitamin B12, but this is most common in vegetarians / vegans who forget to supplement vitamin B12 (as there is only vitamin B12 in animal sources).

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Reference list

should i take multivitamins
  1. Nordic Council of Ministers. Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2012: Integrating nutrition and physical activity. Nordic Council of Ministers; 2014:
  2. Pedersen AN et al. Danskernes kostvaner 2011-2013 [Internet]. DTU Fødevareinstituttet, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet; 2015:
  3. Pedersen AN et al. Danskernes kostvaner 2003 – 2008 [Internet]. DTU Fødevareinstituttet; 2010:
  4. Lyhne N et al. Danskernes kostvaner 2000-2002 [Internet]. Danmarks Fødevareforskning – Afdeling for Ernæring; 2005:
  5. Macpherson H, Pipingas A, Pase MP. Multivitamin-multimineral supplementation and mortality: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2013;97(2):437–444.

Last modified: 4. September 2018

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