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9 Multivitamins compared - is your’s worth the money?

9 Multivitamins compared - is your’s worth the money?


By Awesome Supplements, Read time: 15 minutes

Is your multivitamin doing its job or are you being ripped off? Has it even crossed your mind to check?

To answer these questions, we put 9 companies under the multivitamin ingredient microscope to delve a little deeper, and help you uncover if the one you have, is doing what you want it too. 

A multivitamin is something that many of us take daily to ensure that we’re topped up with the essential vitamins and minerals to support and maintain optimal health, recovery and performance.

We may all approach the purchase of these multivitamins a little differently. Some may read the labels and start comparing products whereas others may log on to a website they trust (we recommend for impartial supplement and nutrient advice) or simply pop into their local supermarket or health food store and buy something off the shelf. Others may simply go by price.

After all, a multivitamin is a multivitamin isn’t it?

Sadly, this isn’t the case. Now before we get into the 9 company analysis, let's explain some terms, and ensure you understand the angles we are approaching this blog from, as context is key. 

Understanding NRVs and Optimal Health

All vitamins and minerals have what is known as an NRV (Nutrient Reference Value). This used to be known as an RDA (Recommended Daily Amount). Now, what is important to know is that these NRVs are set at a level to prevent deficiency, rather than promote optimal health. So whereas it’s good to achieve the NRV of a vitamin or mineral, sometimes a little more could be required to keep us fighting fit, particularly when you look at how we live our lifestyles. i.e. If you exercise a lot, work a lot or do a physical job, play sports, have an active social life etc, keeping good health is often a necessity to help us fire on all cylinders - as these activities, especially exercise and stress, can deplete some nutrients faster - and thus increase your requirement for them. You may also be thinking that you get your full need of vitamins and minerals from a balanced diet. But how do you know? 

As a company that dedicates its business to health, we definitely recommend getting as much good nutrition as you can from whole foods. But we all will struggle to absorb all the NRVs we need from our food as certain foods have compounds that inhibit absorption - especially how some foods are prepared and cooked.

Certain factors can also limit absorption, such as stress and some foods that can eaten together which then compete for absorption. For example Iron can be inhibited from drinking iron rich foods with coffee or tea. Then there is our age, genetics and our diets in general, particularly people following plant-based or vegan diets.

It is well-documented that anyone following a plant-based diet will struggle to absorb and get enough vitamin B12 , zinc, iron, calcium and iodine. Also, everyone living in the UK should supplement their diet with Vitamin D due to the lack of sunlight we are exposed to during the winter months. And most high exercisers tend to be deficient in magnesium due to its role in the ATP energy cycle. 

Now, as well as vitamins and minerals being given an NRV, we also should consider that (just like calories), we are all going to require varying amounts. After all, we are not all the same age, weight and gender. We also all have different levels of physical activity and different genetics. So supplementing our diet can benefit us in many ways, either way, getting as close to optimum is important, and in the table below, you can start to see how many brands are very far removed from what is considered optimum, in some really key nutrients. 

What is important to know, and will move beyond the scope of this blog, is what vitamins are truly needed in optimum amounts, but also, what nutrients are needed as co-factors in other vitamins absorption. For example, for Vitamin D (the UKs most common nutrient deficiency) to be absorbed effectively, you need Vitamin K, which very few multi-vitamins have, making their inclusion (which as you can see if very low as it is) almost pointless. 

The nuances of a multivitamin are important, the details matter. This is where the role of optimum vs sufficiency is so important. The UK government, for example, recommends 400iu of Vitamin D as sufficient to not develop symptoms, but the research on what is optimal is 2-3000iu per day, thus, a question you can ask yourself is, does your multivitamin give you this? If not, question the quality of that multivitamin.

The same could be said with many vitamins and minerals. What the government says the NRV is isn't what is often optimal, and we ONLY dose on what the research shows is optimal here at Awesome Supplements. After all, who wants to just be sufficient!? 

This is why we have a lot of pride in what we've created with Awesome defence, which you can compare below... 



Awesome Defence


Holland & Barrett High Strength Multivit

Feel Multivit

Protein Works Essential Multivitamin

Sainsbury's A-Z Multivitamins & Minerals

Centrum Advance Multivitamins

Solgar Vivolife Vegan Multinutrient
Biotin 100% 100% 0% 120% 100% 100% 125% 0% 0%
Calcium (Carbonate) 50% 0% 38% 6% 0% 25% 20% ? 38%
Copper (Gluconate) 100% 30% 0% 100% 0% 100% 50% ? 0%
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) 100% 100% 0% 100% 0% 100% 100% 0% 0%
Iodine (Potassium Iodide) 80% 33% 0% 100% 0% 100% 67% ? 100%
Iron (Ferrous Bis-Glycinate) 143% 100% 0% 100% 0% 100% 36% ? 43%
Magnesium (Citrate) 80% 27% 15% 12% 0% 27% 27% ? 0%
Maganese (Citrate) 125% 0% 0% 100% 0% 100% 100% ? 0%


100% 100% 100% 136% 0% 100% 55% ? 109%
Vitamin A (Retinol Acetate) 75% 25% 100% 125% 100% 100% 100% ? 94%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Hcl) 100% 100% 100% 455% 100% 100% 127% ? 0%
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalmin) 500% 1000% 400% 2400% 100% 100% 100% ? 800%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 100% 0% 200% 357% 100% 100% 125% ? 100%
Vitamin B3 (Niacinmide) 150% 100% 100% 125% 100% 100% 125% ? 0%
Vitamin B5 (Calcium Pantothenate) 1667% 100% 100% 167% 100% 100% 125% ? 0%
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hcl) 100% 100% 429% 357% 100% 100% 143% ? 0%
Vitamin C 100% 250% 100% 125% 100% 100% 125% ? 0%
Vitamin D3 1250% 500% 500% 220% 100% 100% 100% ? 1500%

Vitamin E (D-Alpha Tocopheryl)

200% 42% 100% 100% 100% 100% 125% ? 0%

Vitamin K1 (Phytonadione)

667% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% ? 0%

Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone-7)

667% 100% 0% 147% 100% 100% 40% ? 67%

Zinc (Citrate)

150% 100% 100% 125% 0% 100% 50% ? 80%


Want to explore Awesome Defence? Click here, our Advanced Multivitamin aimed at making you as AWESOME as humanly possible, so you can achieve optimal health, recover from exercise, and support your immune system. 

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