How do we know that multivitamins are doing their job?


We’re throwing around brands and names for multivitamins but how do we know they do what it says on the tin?


Consumer labs does independent verification, perhaps we as a forum should pool some money, subscribe, and read everything they have to offer?

Either that or just sit back and take the bad with the good.


You mean, miss all of our micros?


This is my one big setback, right now. This is the reason why I haven’t built my recipe yet.

It was brought to my attention through an old thread on this forum a few months ago the deficiencies in multivitamins through the manufacturing process, and this is the closest I can find to the original article.

A quote from the article:

The actual amounts in the pills ranged from 9% to 140% of what was on the label. When researchers tested five pills from each bottle and averaged the results, levels were closer to 100%, but in a third of cases, they were still too high or low by the standards set by one independent testing group, the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP).

So … I’m not sure what to do about that. Someone else in the old thread said that you could always strictly source from FDA-Approved and Inspected facilities, but I’m not sure which ones those are.


@GodRaine: Jesus Christ! That’s a serious issue!


If this is true, and I’m only qestioning @GodRaine because as a good pseudo-scientist I should always question everything, then most people on DIY Soylent should really make sure they’re getting their micros.


I rely pretty heavily on [this][1] multivitamin, for my [recipe][2].
I’ve committed to blood tests for the first month, would they be able to show the accuracy of the multi vit when I get them back?

9-140% is scarily dodgy though…


Isn’t there a standard?


actually, it’s somewhat ok for one pill to contain from 9% to 140% of some ingredients as long as five of them level that out to 100%. nothing too scary there.

the actual pros of consuming multis is a completely different question.


What you’re referring to is the quote from the article:

When researchers tested five pills from each bottle and averaged the results, levels were closer to 100%, but in a third of cases, they were still too high or low by the standards set by one independent testing group, the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP).

A third of cases is still 33%. That’s a big enough number for me to still be worried.

Beyond that, I would ideally like to see further studies into this problem, aside from having just one.


The testing five pills from each bottle thing is interesting. My current method, born out of some concerns about what I’ve read about the oxidation paradox, is to grab several from a bottle, crush them, and add it all into a mix that will last me several days. I find it reassuring that I’m not going to miss my target amounts by too much or too often with that method.

That said, even if I was making my mix one-day-at-a-time, I suspect (with absolutely no real knowledge to base my speculation on) that problems with under or over dosing on micros is a bigger concern if done consistently and chronically, not so much if varying daily.

Lastly, while I am (and I think everyone else here, is too) striving to get as optimal as possible, being outside of an unspecified “standard” only a third of the time is far better than what my diet would otherwise be.


I’d say you’re better off as well if you buy a USP-certified multivitamin. I know Costco’s own brand (Kirkland) is USP certified.


That appears to be what the article I’ve referenced concludes as well. Thanks for the top, @j8048188.


Who or what is USP? blah blah word limit.


The USP is the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, which apparently sets the standards for Multivitamins, and if I’m understanding it correctly, these standards are what the FDA use to enforce compliance with multivitamin manufacturing companies. Companies that have the USP sticker on their labels appear to be communicating that they comply with these standards in their manufacturing processes.


Reopening this thread instead of starting a new one…

I’ve been wondering this too, after being on DIY Soylent for a little over a week now. Initially I felt great because I was getting sustenance on the regular for a change, but as the week progress I started feeling less and less good, which I think is pretty likely caused by improper vitamin intake. I’ve been eating around 80% Soylent and crushing up a Kroger multi in my daily Soylent; a brand which I chose because it was on sale and came to $.02 a day.

So I did some Googling, and stumbled across this:

Which I found a little alarming, especially considering how far down the popular Kirkland brand multi is. (And apparently the stuff I’ve been using might as well be made of rainbows and dreams.)

After further poking around, I’ve decided to go with rank 12 on the list, Opti-Men, as a compromise between cost and quality. Well, actually I went with Opti-Women, because 1) I’m a woman, and 2) Opti-Women has roughly the same numbers but only requires 2 caps a day instead of 3, which makes it the cheaper alternative.

Anyone else concerned about this sort of thing, or have conflicting info, or preferred multis? Or just anything to add?


I’m still doing muggle food but wanted to weigh in this. I get my vitamins from this outfit: . It lets you design your vitamins based on desired daily doses (and they ship to Canada). Right now, I’m taking five capsules daily. When I get onto Soylent (either the real stuff or DIY) I intend to take out the stuff that is already in the Soylent from the formula (most of the vitamins and minerals I think) and continue taking the remainder of the formula.

I do notice an improvement in functioning since I started to take them regularly. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t have deficiencies or because my formula also includes herbals for depression and anxiety (neither of these is major with me, just irritating) and a couple of nootropic things.

I will probably be a permanent customer unless Soylent develops into a customized formula sometime down the road.



i just sent them an email as follows:

I am interested in your custom vitamin packing process - when I assembled an order for the blend i would like, it came out to 13 capsules per day.

i assume your equipment first blends the raw vitamins and then separates them into capsules, and puts those capsules into a bottle.

I would like to be able to order a blend in a powdered form, to use to add to smoothies.

is it possible to do this?

ie either receive each days dose in a powdered form in a single ziplock bag (ideal), or just the entire batch in a bottle that can then be weighed. (not ideal as i suspect the individual particles would separate over time)

if it’s possible to adapt your process to offer this as an option, for a similar price to the capsule version, i am sure you would have a ready market from the thriving DIY soylent community, which you can visit at

i found out about your service on this thread on the forum:

the only comment i would make about your website (besides the missing per day ziplock bag option mentioned above) would be that it would be nice to be able to customize a slightly finer granularity for some of the vitamins, as the minimum dose of some of the options excedes RDA for that vitamin.[/quote]

i shall let you know if they respond.


here are screenshots of the test order that i cancelled, if anyone is interested


That would be brilliant. If they had good quality control and decent price, I could drop 4 ingredients out of my DYI soylent. Hopefully they will read this thread and figure out they have a ready made customer base. The individual daily bags (or something similar) would be critical as you mentioned.



Did you happen to see what the total cost came to?