Nutrilite is an organic vitamin and mineral supplement that dates back as far as the 1930s. The supplement's concept stems from observations of the role of vitamins and nutrients that are used in traditional Chinese medicines and their impacts on the general health of the population.
Many alterations have taken place since the supplement's origin and the form that is marketed today was introduced in 2007. But Nutrilite is still just a vitamin and mineral supplement. The pertinent question is: Why should we care?
Shop shelves are crammed full of all kinds of vitamin supplements; Nutrilite does not occupy a market position with any unique selling points. The use of the ‘organic’ buzz-word doesn’t give any added validity to the product. We’re going take a further look into Nutrilite to decipher its success as one of the longest surviving nutritional supplements.
“The best of nature; the best of science”.
Nutrilite claims to be the “world’s best-selling brand of vitamins and dietary supplements” according to the market researcher Euromonitor. Amway, the current distributor of Nutrilite, is a behemoth global giant.
The supplement line features a combination of vitamins, mineral, and phytonutrients from over 170 different plant-based sources.The product delivers a blend of 12 vitamins, 10 minerals and 20 fruit and vegetable concentrate that aim to provide broad antioxidant protection.
Nutrilite’s branding and advertising focuses heavily on its naturally-sourced ingredients and organic production, with claims that the brand works to “grow, harvest and process plants on their own organic farm”. Nutrilite states that they certify their farms to meet the standard required by top quality sustainable organic farms worldwide.
As ever, the correct answer is: it depends on what you want from it.
This product is a multivitamin, and other than providing you with micronutrients that your diet might not already be providing you with, what else can we expect it to do?
As a vitamin supplement, Nutrilite does have a large appeal. Most of the dosing is 100-150% of your daily intake, which is a major plus point as so many vitamins on the market are under-dosed and it’s great to see doses that are generally consistent.
The only nutrients that don’t hit 100% are:
We’ve got some reservations as calcium and Iron are two of the most important supplementary compounds in the diet . However, it is possible that this is to compensate for the fact that iron overdose can cause serious health problems while calcium consumption is generally only mildly-deficient in the modern diet.
It’s never bad to supplement your diet with multivitamins to prevent yourself from developing an inadvertent deficiency. With that said, if you are coming up seriously short on your essential micronutrients, it might be time to rethink your diet as a whole. There should be nothing stopping you from obtaining sufficient quantities of everything that your body needs from the food you are eating.
Although the organic aspects of Nutrilite don’t add any significant health benefits for the consumer, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The less processed, artificially synthesized products you can put into your body the better.
Plus, if the farming guidelines that Nutrilite’s manufacturers claim to use are truly as good as they sound (and are closely adhered too), this product might have a better impact on the environment.
One issue that is worth highlighting is a repeated trend of Nutrilite being pulled from the market for short durations of time over its history of distribution due to false sales claims.
The FDA has become involved and actively seized shipments of Nutrilite on numerous occasions on the grounds that the administration believes that the product booklet and packaging was making false claims that the supplement would cure various diseases, while another FDA reports suggest their products are at high-risk of Arsenic tainting .
This is obviously not correct based on the discussion of ingredients so far. While there are indisputable health benefits to consuming enough vitamins and minerals, including the prevention of many common deficiency-driven diseases, Nutrilite isn’t going to cure anything.
To reiterate, Nutrilite is only a multivitamin, and its benefits, over and above eating a well-balanced diet, are nominal .
The scientific claims made by Nutrilite itself are extensive, but the research completed by outside researchers and medical associations are less easily-located. It doesn’t help that they don’t actually link any significant studies proving their superiority to other vitamin companies.
Although the manufacturer claims to possess “leading global scientists in the field of nutrition”, all the qualifications in the world likely mean nothing when the company paying your salary is asking for positive results .
Outsider evidence-based studies seem to show that Nutrilite is on par with many other vitamin supplements on the market. Some more pessimistic reviews claim that in a worst-case scenario, the product could be harmful.
These claims are a result of the potential for excessive dosing of (Beta)-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly vitamin A, which can have detrimental health effects. We’re generally not convinced by these reports as overdosing on common vitamins is rare and less detrimental than chronic deficiencies.
Most of the evidence available does suggest small benefits (or harms) in niche subgroups of the population. However, for the vast majority of the population, the case is closed: supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) vitamins and/or minerals has no clear benefit.
Multivitamins should never be taken as a plant-food replacement. Satiety levels of supplements are low-to-nil, and removing vegetables from your diet will quickly drop dietary fiber content to unhealthy low levels.
With this in mind, the pricing of Nutrilite begins to look extortionate: $88 for 2 months worth of multivitamins. The real problem here is that a standard off-the-shelf multivitamin isn’t likely to set you back any more than $20 and last you for the same length of time.
Considering the historical problems seen with Nutrilite's manufacturing processes being exaggerated and the actual effects being, at best, unremarkable, we’re not sold on the $60 price hike. It might be more expensive to grow organic crops, but the end-user (I.e. you; the customer) is gaining no real benefit for their extra cash.
A cheaper method for improving dietary intake of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients is to eat more plant-based foods. How many vegetables do you think you can get for that $88? (Spoiler: it’s a lot)
Related to Nutrilite: Phentaslim Review (New 2020) - Why we rate it as #1
The final word on Nutrilite: Worth A Try. However, this is a judgment on multivitamin supplements in general and definitely not Nutrilite in particular.
If Nutrilite is what you fancy trying and you’re happy to hand over the money then go for it – it’s not any better or any worse than anything else out there. Just make sure you’re still getting a well-balanced and nutritious diet, no matter what supplements you are choosing.
Plant foods are important, more natural, have additional benefits and they're almost always much cheaper! Will this product help you to lose weight? It’s unlikely. The combination of vitamins and minerals can contribute to improved health and a variety of other improved markers but their interactions with health are all indirect and easily met by other foods and supplements that carry a lighter price tag.
You are far more likely to achieve weight loss by focusing on your diet and changing the food you’re eating. This is just an added extra, a luxury for those who can afford it and have more money than sense! http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/147323000703500301
Emily has spent the last 8 years comparing, reviewing and analyzing ingredients in the supplements industry. She has worked extensively with dieticians, nutritionists and personal trainers to separate fact from fiction and help people achieve their fitness goals. In her free time she works and enjoys the outdoors with her husband and 2 children. You can contact her via the "About Us" page.
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