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Ritual Vitamins Review: Is this the future of vitamins?

We review Ritual’s multivitamins and subscription service to assess quality, convenience, value and more

Last Updated: Aug 13, 2020

Ritual review

Ritual is an online vitamin brand that began with the goal of producing a multivitamin using high-quality, trusted ingredients. The inspiration for the company happened when the founder was looking for a prenatal vitamin she could trust and realized that many of them had questionable ingredients.

According to the FDA, most people get all of the nutrients they need from their diet, but some gaps need to be filled, especially for vegans, vegetarians, and women who are pregnant. Ritual understands this and has developed its products to help fill these gaps. The company leaves out the extras that other multivitamins don’t and is completely upfront about what is in its products and why.

Are Ritual’s vitamins a good choice for you? Are they a good value compared to competitors? We thoroughly tested Ritual’s products and service and will share all details below to help you decide.

Review Summary

Pros

  • Science-backed formulas created with the guidance of a research and development board
  • No dyes or synthetic fillers
  • Vegan capsules are non-GMO and free of gluten and major allergens
  • Delayed-release capsule can be taken without food
  • Apple Watch app to help you keep track of your vitamin regimen
  • You can cancel a subscription at any time
  • Ritual is dedicated to transparency
  • Ritual gives our readers $10 if you bundle two or more products in an order

Cons

  • More expensive than other vitamins
  • Requires subscription
  • Only 5 products available at this time

Bottom line

If you take a multivitamin and are concerned about knowing the full ingredients in it and where those ingredients come from, Ritual is the best option out there. The company is extremely transparent about ingredients and sourcing. When it comes to what ingredients it includes and excludes from the product, Ritual uses a science-backed approach. While the subscription structure might seem inconvenient for some people, Ritual opts for this approach in the hopes that taking a daily vitamin will become a habit (or, ahem, a ritual). Ritual’s honesty, transparency and commitment to scientific integrity are refreshing to see in a dietary supplement.

Our Top Picks

Ritual

Ritual is a great multivitamin choice for adult men and women of all ages who care about science-backed supplementing and transparent sourcing.

Ritual has analyzed thousands of scientific studies in order to formulate multivitamins that intelligently fill gaps in the diets of Americans, by age and gender, without including excessive or counterproductive ingredients. Its dedication to transparency and honesty is admirable.

Why you should trust us

Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary online. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

We extensively test each health service we review. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally this review of Ritual, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

How Ritual works

Multiple things make Ritual different from ordinary multivitamins, which is evident as soon as you see one of its vitamin capsules. Most multivitamins that you buy over-the-counter are in the form of large tablets. Ritual vitamins are specially engineered capsules that contain tiny beads in oil, which Ritual claims delivers nutrients to your body more effectively. These vegan capsules are delayed-release, so they dissolve lower in the gut, meaning you can take them on an empty stomach, and they’re less likely to cause nausea. They are free of GMOs, gluten, and major allergens and contain no artificial colors or fillers.

Transparency

Ritual is very particular and transparent about its supply chain, providing information about where each ingredient is sourced right on its website. For example, the vitamin D3 in all of its products comes from Nottingham, UK; the folate from Pisticci, Italy; and the vitamin E from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Do you want to learn more about the source of folate in Italy, for instance? Ritual provides that level of information as well. The manufacturer of this ingredient is Gnosis. Its folate – called Quatrefolic – is a biologically active, methylated form of this B-vitamin, which is important because around 40% of people have a genetic mutation that actually prevents them from being able to absorb folic acid. This is just one of many examples of Ritual’s dedication to transparency and quality.

This brand is also honest about results, stating that the changes you experience from taking a daily multivitamin happen slowly. Rather than promising a miracle cure, the company states that it may take three to four months to feel a difference.

Science-backed

Another of the main principles at Ritual is that the company believes in the science behind the idea of better ingredients for better health. Each of the ingredients in each of Ritual’s multivitamin products is chosen based on analysis of thousands of independent scientific studies.

Ritual even invested in a university-led, double-blind clinical trial with Auburn University to study its proprietary product – the Essential for Women – and made the results available on its website. The results after 12 weeks were very impressive – for instance:

  • Vitamin D levels rose by 43%
  • Omega-3 DHA rose by 41%

And as for vitamins themselves, they are carefully designed so that their nutrients dissolve in a great place for absorption – the small intestine. (Many people don’t realize that when we eat, the small intestine is where the majority of our absorption of minerals and nutrients occurs.)

Privacy considerations

Ritual does not collect much data, but it does store your payment information. Per Ritual, the website is Level PCI compliant and meets the highest security standards.

Pricing

ritual multivitamins

Ritual has a total of five products with consistent pricing. Its Essential 18+ vitamins for women and men are $30 a bottle and its Essential 50+ vitamins are $35. Ritual also has a prenatal vitamin that’s $35. If you bundle two or more products, you save $10 the first month.

Ritual vitamins are only available in monthly subscriptions. This means you cannot order a bottle or two off of the website. That said, delivery is free, and you can cancel at any time. Ritual also offers a 30-day guarantee, and if you don’t love the product, you can get your money back.

HSA, FSA and health insurance

Ritual does not have an option for paying with an HSA, FSA, or health insurance. The company accepts major credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. According to the IRS, anything that is beneficial for general health, including vitamins, is not considered a medical expense and would not be eligible under an HSA or FSA.

Essential for Woman 18+

The Essential for Women 18+ is carefully formulated for women ages 18-49 and contains the following:

  • Folate
  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D3
  • Iron
  • Vitamin K2
  • Boron
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium

Notice that this product does not contain calcium and vitamin C. Again, Ritual is completely transparent about why it chose to leave out these nutrients, explaining that the company believes in a food-first approach to vitamins and only aims to fill in the gaps of your diet; most of us in the United States get enough calcium and vitamin C from dietary sources.

By focusing on gaps in our dietary nutrition, Ritual also helps your body make the most of nutrients you ingest in food. Let’s consider calcium, for instance – a person could have more than adequate amounts of calcium from dietary sources. Most of us do. But without sufficient boron, magnesium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2, the calcium may not be able to bring the help we anticipate for our bone health.

Essential for Women 50+

Ritual’s Essential for Women 50+ is designed for the needs of post-menopausal women and includes eight ingredients:

  • Folate
  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin K2
  • Boron
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium

The difference between this vitamin and the Essential for Women 18+ is that the Essential for Women 50+ has more magnesium and vitamins K2, B12, and E. It also doesn’t contain iron and has less folate.

Essential Prenatal

The Essential Prenatal is a popular product and is frequently out of stock, though you can sign up to be on Ritual’s waiting list so you can add it to your monthly subscription when it is available. This formula includes the following 12 nutrients:

  • Folate
  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin B12
  • Choline
  • Iodine
  • Biotin
  • Vitamin D3
  • Iron
  • Boron
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K2
  • Magnesium

In contrast to the normal women’s multivitamin from Ritual, its prenatal formula notably contains more iron, slightly more magnesium, slightly more omega-3, more vitamin D, and three unique ingredients – biotin (in large quantity), iodine and choline. These adjustments are all based in scientific research and for the benefit of the mother and child.

For instance, research suggests that iodine insufficiency in pregnant women is tied to cognitive and motor development issues for children. Biotin, meanwhile, tag-teams with folate to protect genetic integrity, and studies indicate that choline plays an important role in fetal brain development. Insufficiencies among pregnant women are common for all three of these important nutrients, which is why Ritual includes them.

Essential for Men 18+

Ritual’s multivitamin for men ages 18-49 includes the following 10 ingredients:

  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D3
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin K2
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin E
  • Boron

The formula for men differs from the Essential for Women 18+ in a few ways, all based on each gender’s unique needs. Men have higher recommended daily intakes of zinc and vitamin A than women, yet American men tend to get insufficient quantities of them from dietary sources, so Ritual includes these in its Essential for Men 18+. Because men have a lower recommended daily intake of iron than women, the men’s multivitamin does not contain iron.

Essential for Men 50+

  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D3
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin K2
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin E
  • Boron

While this vitamin has the same ingredients as the Essential for Men 18+, the doses of five nutrients differ in this formula designed for men ages 50 and over. The Essential for Men 50+ contains more folate, magnesium, and vitamins E, K2, and B12. These changes support bone health and make up for the most likely dietary gaps experienced by men over 50.

A word about the FDA

The FDA does not approve any vitamin or supplements and treats them as a subset of food rather than pharmaceuticals. This means that no supplement or vitamin brand can claim that it treats illness or is FDA-approved. That said, the companies that make multivitamins are held to certain standards when it comes to manufacturing and labeling and must comply with certain FDA regulations regarding these things.

What is impressive about Ritual – and speaks to its mission of transparency – is that it devotes an entire webpage to explaining the details about what the company is allowed to claim under the rules of the FDA. While all vitamin and supplement manufacturers have to abide by these same rules, it is rare to find a company so open and honest.

Getting started with Ritual

Signing up with Ritual is easy. Everything is done on the Ritual website, which has a clean, simple design that’s easy to navigate. Browse the products, choose what you want, and add them to your cart.

If you choose a single product, the website reminds you about the bundling offer and gives you suggestions of what to add to your cart. You don’t need to enter any discount codes – the $10 savings is automatically applied. Ritual even reminds you that this discount only applies to your first month, so you’re not surprised with your next month’s payment.

After you are done shopping, Ritual prompts you to create an account before processing your order. This allows you to manage future deliveries and cancel your subscription if necessary.

How we evaluate health products and services

At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For health-related products and services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:

Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) and product(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service and/or product high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?

User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device/program/app/website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?

Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?

Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?

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