Stop paying so much for vitamins

@Money September 9, 2011: 5:27 PM ET
vitamin costs

(MONEY Magazine) -- Few health products have more price variation than supplements. Scan the drugstore aisle and you'll see some multivitamins priced at $1 for a month's supply -- and some at $73.

The more expensive ones often contain higher vitamin levels than those recommended by the U.S. government, but "they aren't necessarily better," says Paul Thomas of the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements.

A recent study of 38 popular multis by independent testing firm ConsumerLab.com found that 13 didn't even contain the levels claimed on the label.

Send The Help Desk your questions about cutting health care costs.

Of those that do contain established RDAs of key vitamins, according to the study, the best-priced ones are listed below.

Multivitamin buys for:
  • All adults
  • Nature's Way Alive! Daily Energy
  • Cost: $3.17 a month
  • Savings vs. similar brand: 32%
  • Women
  • Walgreens One Daily for Women
  • Cost: $1.95 a month
  • Savings vs. similar brand: 24%
  • Men
  • Berkley & Jensen Men's Daily
  • Cost: $1.02 a month
  • Savings vs. similar brand: 60%
  • Children
  • Flintstones Plus Bones Building Support
  • Cost: $3.55 a month
  • Savings vs. similar brand: 24%

NOTE: Savings vs. multivitamins studied that had similar content.  To top of page

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