Adding supplements to your wellness regimen feels like a logical trend to follow (healthy people must take lots of vitamins, right?). But before you hit up your local health food store—or if your medicine cabinet already looks like an at-home pharmacy—you might want to consider taking a less-is-more approach.
According to Luke Bucci, PhD, lead scientist and vice president of research and development at Ritual (and the boatloads of research he has backing him up), most of the 20-plus ingredients in standard multivitamins are nutrients people aren’t even deficient in—and that doesn’t even address the countless individual supplements people often add to their nutrition regimens.
“People think ‘the more vitamins, the better,’ and that they’ll just pee out what their body doesn’t need,” he says. “You’ve probably heard that before, but it’s not totally true. Too much is just as bad—or sometimes even worse—than too little.” Yikes.
“People think ‘the more vitamins, the better’…but that’s not totally true.”
So how do you know which ones to take? Dr. Bucci has the research to answer that one, too. “Our team of in-house scientists identified the essential nutrients women actually need, and put them in a single non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free capsule without any synthetic fillers or colorants.” It’s such a unique approach that there is even a patent pending on their encapsulation.
With Ritual, you only need to keep one vitamin bottle in your cabinet to get your necessary dose of omega-3, magnesium, iron, folate, and boron, plus vitamins B12, D3, K2, and E—and nothing else.
Still not convinced? Keep reading for four reasons you might want to ditch your current multivitamin—plus, what to replace it with.
1. Delivery method matters
Those candy-like gummies were likely the only way to get you to take your vitamins as a kid, but the sugary chews aren’t doing you any favors as an adult. Not only are they probably packed with added sugar, but both gummies and typical tablet multis can be tough for your body to absorb, causing nausea and preventing the active ingredients from doing their job.
To make sure the nutrients your body needs are properly absorbed, Ritual developed its signature beadlet-in-oil technology for its multivitamins. This encapsulation keeps oily nutrients (think omega-3s and K2s) in their most absorbable forms and away from dry ingredients (like B12 and magnesium). The vegan, delayed-release capsule that houses these nutrients bypasses your stomach, arriving at the optimal place for absorption (AKA, now your vitamins will actually work).
“When oil and powder mix, it can cause funky reactions that degrade the nutrients over time,” Dr. Bucci says. “Beyond freshness, that cool snow globe effect is just a bonus.” Every Ritual bottle also contains a clear minty tab insert, infused with real peppermint oil that smells and tastes ah-mazing.
2. All ingredients aren’t created equal
If you get a Facebook friend request from a rando, you’re probably going to ignore it, and your body feels the same way about unrecognizable forms of nutrients. #Rejected.
The nutrients are useless if they never get absorbed into your cells, which is why the Ritual team followed Mother Nature’s cue when choosing the types of ingredients to include.
“We use the bioidentical, active forms of each vitamin in the forms found in healthy foods,” Dr. Bucci says. “Doing so makes Ritual’s ingredients well-recognized and absorbed, distributed, and utilized efficiently by your body.”
Instead of using cheap forms of vitamins (like synthetic folic acid) to save money, Ritual taps the highest quality forms, regardless of price. For example, Ritual uses 6S-5-MTHF (food-form folate) instead of the folic acid used in 90 percent of other multivitamins—because 40 percent of women have a gene variation that makes the standard folic acid not work as well in their bodies. Translation: Why bother putting that stuff in your body?
P.S. Ritual explains the science behind the selection of each nutrient form on its website, so you can dive into the research if you want to really understand what the vitamin is doing in your body.
3. Additives aren’t your friends
Adding adaptogens to your latte? Delish. Adding weird fillers, potential carcinogens, and plastics to your multi? Not so much.
“At Ritual, we do our best to keep our vitamins free and clear of the junk lurking in many other vitamins,” Dr. Bucci says. “Most of those ingredients (called excipients) are there to make it easier (cheaper) for companies to make the pills or make them look prettier—all unnecessary.”
The use of nasty excipients is rampant, which is why Ritual stands out for being free of the additives that most other vitamins contain, such as artificial colors (allergenic), carrageenan (may irritate gut), mineral oil (may cause vitamin deficiencies), parabens (known hormone disruptors), and many more like talc, titanium dioxide and even furniture varnish. Any questions?
4. Low quality vitamins are a waste of money
Real talk: Why would you spend money on vitamins your body can’t use?
Seems like a no brainer, but buying high-quality vitamins, minerals and omega-3s individually can get super pricey—which is what makes Ritual such a steal. “Think of it as the little black dress of vitamins,” Dr. Bucci says. “By carefully controlling ingredient sourcing, using judicious amounts [instead of] megadoses, and selling direct-to-consumer, for just $30 a month Ritual delivers nutrients that would cost $250 to buy individually.”
So you get all the nutrients you need, without having to sacrifice any of your other wellness habits (like cutting into your matcha latte or yoga class budget). Ready to clean out your medicine cabinet yet?