Ritual Vitamins Review: A Transparent and Traceable Supplement Company with a Minimalist Approach

Ritual Vitamins Review

Ritual Vitamins is one of the many new subscription-only supplement companies making waves in the wellness world. And, for the most part, these waves are well deserved. Ritual offers their customers complete transparency and traceability of every single ingredient they put into their product, so there's never any doubt about product quality, origin, or safety. They also believe that food should be the primary source of our nutrients, so they've created a minimalist supplement that only fills common nutrient gaps.

Is less actually more? In this Ritual Vitamins review, we'll look at this approach and how it stacks up for all ages and life stages, including a Ritual prenatal vitamin review, a Ritual postnatal vitamin review, plus a review of Ritual for women, men, and children.

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Ritual Vitamins Lineup

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Essential for Women Multivitamin 18+

Multivitamin for Women

SPECS

  • Dosage: 2 capsules daily
  • Main ingredients: D3, E, Folate, B12, Iron, Magnesium, Boron, DHA, K2
  • Intended users: Women ages 18-49

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Essential for Women 18+ is a combination of only nine nutrients that Ritual believes are essential for health and are lacking in most women's diets. Ritual has intentionally left out calcium and vitamin C (among others) because they believe that most women in this age group get enough of these nutrients in their diet. Instead, Ritual focuses on nutrients that help promote calcium absorption and utilization (D3, K2, magnesium, and boron) that most people do not get enough of through diet alone.

Women's 18+ is the first Ritual vitamin to earn third-party verification from the prestigious United States Pharmacopeia (USP), an independent scientific non-profit organization committed to verifying medicinal and supplemental product safety and quality.

What We Like

  • Omega-3 DHA from microalgae for heart and brain health
  • Folate and B12 are both methylated, which makes them more bioavailable
  • Includes B12, which is typically low in those following a plant-based diet
  • Provides 250% DV of D3, which is important for bone health and immunity

What We Don't Like

  • Only provides 7% DV of magnesium
  • K2 should be taken along with vitamins A and D in a specific ratio (Ritual has no vitamin A)
  • Not enough variety of nutrients: missing many B vitamins, trace minerals, etc.

BUY: Multivitamin for Women

Essential for Women Multivitamin 50+

Multivitamin for Women Over 50

SPECS

  • Dosage: 2 capsules daily
  • Main ingredients: D3, E, K, Folate, B12, Magnesium, Boron, DHA
  • Intended users: Women aged 50+

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The Essential for Women 50+ relies on mostly the same lineup of nutrients found in the 18+ formula, with a few adjustments. Most notably, the 50+ formula is without iron, as it is unnecessary (and potentially dangerous) to supplement iron for women once they are no longer menstruating. The quantity of folate has been reduced to provide 100% DV, as opposed to 250% DV in the 18+ formula. There is twice as much B12 and magnesium in the 50+ version as in the formula for younger women. Read more on the importance of B12 as you age here.

Like the version for younger women, this multi does not provide calcium but does provide nutrients to support calcium absorption and utilization. Considering how important bone health is for aging women, this is surprising. Again, Ritual has made this very conscious decision based on studies indicating that most women consume adequate calcium in their diet. But consuming 1,000mg of bioavailable calcium each day is not easy and near impossible for those who follow a dairy-free diet. So this multi may come up short if you don't regularly eat cheese plates, large bowls of yogurt, and drink big glasses of milk.

What We Like

  • Omega-3 DHA from microalgae for heart and brain health
  • Folate and B12 are both methylated, which makes them more bioavailable
  • Provides D3, K2, boron, and magnesium to support bone health

What We Don't Like

  • Does not provide any calcium
  • Only provides 14% DV of magnesium
  • K2 should be taken along with vitamin A and D in a specific ratio (Ritual has no vitamin A)
  • Not enough variety of nutrients: missing many B vitamins, trace minerals, etc.

BUY: Multivitamin for Women Over 50

Essential for Women Prenatal Multivitamin

Prenatal Vitamin

SPECS

  • Dosage: 2 capsules daily
  • Main ingredients: D3, E, Folate, B12, Biotin, Choline, Iron, Iodine, Magnesium, Boron, DHA, K2
  • Intended users: Pregnant women and those intending to become pregnant

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Ritual Essential for Women Prenatal offers a healthy dose of only 12 very important nutrients for women who are either pregnant or who intend to become pregnant, landing this prenatal on our Best Prenatal Vitamins for 2022 list. Folate and choline support neural tube development in the fetus, and choline is vital to fetal brain development (along with omega-3 DHA, also in this formula). The formula provides nutrients to support blood production (iron, folate, and B12) because blood volume increases by about 50 percent by the end of the third trimester.

Like all of Ritual's other formulas, the prenatal does not supply calcium (or many other nutrients) but does supply nutrients to support calcium absorption and utilization (D3, K2, magnesium, and boron). So what happens if you experience morning sickness, like many pregnant women do, and cannot consume your normally healthy diet for at least part of your pregnancy? This is where Ritual falls short because a pregnant woman's diet may not be optimal, even when she desperately wants it to be.

What We Like

  • Folate and choline for neural tube development
  • Choline and DHA for brain development
  • Biotin to support gene expression
  • Folate and B12 are both methylated, which makes them more bioavailable. Both are needed for DNA synthesis.
  • Iodine to help support reproduction

What We Don't Like

  • Many women experience morning sickness and may not be able to eat an adequate diet, therefore there may be more nutritional gaps in their diet that Ritual does not fill
  • No zinc included even though zinc is important for fetal development
  • No vitamin C included even though absorption of iron is enhanced with Vitamin C
  • Not enough variety of nutrients: missing many B vitamins, trace minerals, etc.

BUY: Prenatal Vitamin

Essential for Women Postnatal Multivitamin

Postnatal Vitamin

SPECS

  • Dosage: 2 capsules daily
  • Main ingredients: Vitamin A, C, D3, E, Folate, B12, Biotin, Choline, Iron, Iodine, Magnesium, Zinc, Boron, DHA, K2
  • Intended users: Women for six months postpartum and/or through lactation

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Ritual has taken the basis of its prenatal formula and added vitamins A and C and zinc to help provide support for new moms and breastfeeding moms. This formula is the only Ritual formula to offer all four fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), each of which plays an important role in the development of babies—including eye development and creating strong and well-formed bones.

This formula also provides 200mcg (69% DV) of iodine. Iodine helps regulate thyroid function, and because some pregnant and postnatal women are affected by thyroid dysfunction, iodine is an important nutrient at this stage.

However, this formula does come up short in some key nutrients. Lactating women should take 550 milligrams of choline daily, but this supplement only supplies 10 percent of that (55mg). It can be difficult for many women to consume enough choline-rich foods in their diet. One egg provides approximately 140 milligrams of choline, but unless you eat four eggs per day, you may be coming up short.

What We Like

  • Postnatal includes vitamin A and C, plus some trace minerals to support immune function
  • 350mg Omega-3 DHA to support healthy breast milk
  • Choline and Omega-3 to support brain health
  • Included B12 is important for new moms and babies

What We Don't Like

  • Vitamin C is in a synthetic form (ascorbic acid)
  • Provides only 10% DV of choline

BUY: Postnatal Vitamin

Essential for Men Multivitamin 18+

Multivitamin for Men

SPECS

  • Dosage: 2 capsules daily
  • Main ingredients: Vitamins A, D3, E, Folate, B12, Magnesium, Zinc, Boron, DHA, K2
  • Intended users: Men ages 18-49

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Ritual's Essential for Men Multivitamin supplies 10 key nutrients that Ritual has identified as those most often not consumed in adequate amounts in the diet. Like the women's multi, this men's multi includes a healthy dose of vitamin D3, an immensely important nutrient for bone health and immune health, and one that very few people get enough of through diet (or sunshine) alone. This multi also supplies a good amount of DHA for brain health, plus methylated (i.e., bioavailable) folate for energy metabolism and blood health.

Once again, Ritual's formula has left out some key nutrients—like vitamin C and many B vitamins necessary for energy metabolism. As well, this multi only supplies a small amount of magnesium (30 mg or 7% DV) and low levels of vitamin A (180 mcg RAE or 20% DV). Interestingly, Ritual states that, according to studies, only 9.2 percent of men are meeting the recommended intake for fruits, and only 7.6 percent are meeting the recommended intake for vegetables. Considering these low figures, it is surprising that this multi does not include more nutrients to help fill these dietary gaps.

What We Like

  • Includes vitamin A, E, and zinc
  • DHA from microalgae, so it's safe for vegan/vegetarian diet
  • Plenty of D3 for bone health, immunity, and muscle function

What We Don't Like

  • Not enough variety of nutrients: missing vitamin C, many B vitamins, trace minerals, etc.
  • Only provides 7% DV of magnesium

BUY: Multivitamin for Men

Essential for Men Multivitamin 50+

Multivitamin for Men Over 50

SPECS

  • Dosage: 2 capsules daily
  • Main ingredients: Vitamin A, D3, E, Folate, B12, Magnesium, Zinc, Boron, DHA, K2
  • Intended users: Men aged 50+

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Ritual has taken their Essential for Men Multivitamin 18+ and bumped up the quantity of a few key nutrients to make this 50+ formula. They have not added anything extra or removed anything. This 50+ supplement supplies a bit more vitamin E (10 mg or 67% DV), double the folate (400mcg DFE or 100% DV), double the B12 (16 mcg or 667% DV), double the magnesium (60 mg or 14% DV), and a bit more K2 (100 mcg) than the version for younger men.

Once again, this multi is a great source of omega-3 DHA for brain health, K2 for bone health, and D3 for bone health and immunity. But, just like in the version for younger men, this formula is missing a few key nutrients that many men may be consuming inadequate amounts of in the diet—such as vitamin C, calcium, and trace minerals.

What We Like

  • Includes vitamin A, E, and zinc
  • DHA from microalgae, so it's safe for vegan/vegetarian diet
  • Plenty of D3 for bone health, immunity, and muscle function

What We Don't Like

  • Not enough variety of nutrients: missing vitamin C, many B vitamins, trace minerals, etc.
  • Only provides 14% DV of magnesium

BUY: Multivitamin for Men Over 50

Essential for Kids Multivitamin 4+

Multivitamin for Kids

SPECS

  • Dosage: 3 gummies daily
  • Main ingredients: Vitamin A, C, D3, E, Folate, B12, Choline, Iodine, Zinc, Fiber and Prebiotic Blend, DHA, K2
  • Intended users: Kids aged 4+

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Ritual's Essential for Kids Multivitamin is an easy-to-take (read: they'll actually ask for it) orange-flavored gummy. It's sweetened only with monk fruit (so there's no sugar) and is vegan. The gummy contains most of the same nutrients found in Ritual's other multivitamins. You'll recognize the same high-quality omega-3 DHA from microalgae to support brain health, K2 and D3 to help build strong bones, plus zinc and vitamin C to support kids' busy immune systems.

Ritual has also added 5 milligrams of fiber and a prebiotic blend, which is great for supporting digestive health.

Compared to other leading kids' multivitamins, Ritual tends to supply less quantity of some nutrients, including vitamin A and folate. However, Ritual does provide considerably more K2 and choline than competitors, both of which are extremely important for kids. And Ritual provides omega-3 DHA for brain health, which is rare to find in a kids' multivitamin supplement.

What We Like

  • Omega-3 DHA from microalgae to support brain health
  • K2 and D3 to help build strong bones
  • Zinc and vitamin C to support kids' busy immune system

What We Don't Like

  • Vitamin C is in a synthetic form (ascorbic acid)
  • Some nutrient content may be lost in the heating process of making gummies

BUY: Multivitamin for Kids

What is Ritual?

Ritual was founded in 2016 by Katerina Schneider after she could not find an ideal prenatal vitamin when she was pregnant. The company has grown to include a scientific leadership team with considerable qualifications and a scientific advisory board that helps to guide the company's direction around current research and product innovation.

What makes Ritual stand apart from the rest is its complete ingredient transparency and traceability, as well as its minimalist philosophy on what goes into its products. Ritual allows the consumer a complete look at what is going into the supplements, showing the specific nutrient form, source, supplier, and manufacturing location. And instead of creating supplements that supply the whole gamut of vitamins and minerals, Ritual believes a supplement should only fill nutrient gaps in a diet.

Their prenatal vitamin, for example, supplies only 12 nutrients—significantly less than most traditional prenatals.

What to Look for When Buying Ritual Vitamins


Ingredients List

Ritual's complete transparency and traceability make it easy to decipher exactly what ingredients are in each product. The specific form of the nutrient is shown, so you know that what you are taking is a quality, bioavailable nutrient. Ritual offers a limited but specific grouping of supplements by gender, age, and life stage.

Third-Party Testing

According to their website, Ritual does use a third-party lab to test for heavy metals, microbes, allergens, and other parameters as warranted. The products are also non-GMO project verified, and some products are Informed-Sport Certified. Ritual uses manufacturers that are National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified to follow Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs).

Price

Most Ritual products are $30-$35 for a one-month supply, or about $1-$1.15 per day, with discounts available when you bundle products. Ritual is available by mail only and shipping is free for subscribers.

Claims

Ritual really doesn't make any unfounded claims about their product. Instead, they share research-based statements about how specific nutrients can help the body and evidence to support why they selected the specific set of nutrients in each supplement.

That being said, Ritual has built its entire concept of minimalism around the idea that most people consume adequate diets and only minimal supplementation is needed. Food first is an excellent idea in theory; whole foods do provide far more bioavailable and bioactive nutrition than what can be made into supplements. It is absolutely possible—preferable, in fact—to get all of your needed nutrition in the diet.

However, many people consume less-than-ideal diets, relying on poor-quality food or following restrictive diets (including vegetarianism, veganism, dairy-free, and others) that may prevent adequate consumption of many nutrients in the diet. For this reason, Ritual may fall short in meeting some people's needs. If you consume a diverse diet rich in healthy animal and plant foods, then Ritual may be a good supplement for you.

FAQs About Ritual Vitamins


Is Ritual a good company?

Unequivocally, yes, Ritual is a good company. Ritual is the first supplement company to offer complete ingredient transparency—from source to bottle—so you know exactly what you are putting in your body. They are also going to extreme lengths to ensure that the supplements they select are top quality and are in the most bioavailable form for better absorption and utilization.

How long does it take for Ritual vitamins to work?

No supplement is a magic pill. The way in which your body responds to Ritual (or any other supplement) depends on many factors; your age, diet, and digestive health, among other things, will affect how quickly your body is able to absorb and utilize a supplement. Some people will feel a change, while others will not, even though the supplement is working.

Does Ritual help with hair growth?

Ritual does contain some nutrients that may help with hair growth; fatty acids (such as the omega-3 DHA found in Ritual), vitamins A, D, B12, biotin, and iron all support hair growth and may help prevent hair loss.

Can I take Ritual vitamins before bed?

Like all multivitamins, Ritual is best taken in the morning or by midday. When your body enters a state of rest, digestion stops. So if you are taking a multivitamin before bed, you are not digesting and absorbing the nutrients properly.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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