Ritual Vitamins is a clear multivitamin made “for skeptics, by skeptics.” Ritual claims to be the “only daily vitamin” that a woman needs, with nothing that you don’t need.
With only 9 ingredients that will cost you $30 a month, does this multivitamin offer anything to make it unique and worth the high cost?
Our team of researchers dove into this multivitamin’s ingredients and side effects. We read the science behind the product. We gathered customer reviews. We’re here to share the truth behind this supplement with you.
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What is Ritual Vitamins?
The focus of Ritual Vitamins is a multivitamin (Essential for Women) primarily marketed towards women. That is only part of the company’s model, though.
One other part is the focus on transparency and ensuring that the ingredients they source to make the supplement are clear and well understood.
Finally, like their website, the supplement is focused on clarity and simplicity. As stated on their webpage, the manufacturer claims that the product is “put together with no unnecessary ingredients and with nutrients in their best forms” with a challenge to encourage consumers to “go ahead and look under the hood – we want you to.”
One can order Ritual Vitamins through the official website. The product comes packaged in a bottle containing 60 capsules – which is one month’s supply – at the cost of $30. This enters you into a monthly subscription service.
Ritual Vitamins contain nine essential ingredients.
Ritual has recently released a new supplement called Essential Prenatal. This supplement is supposed to support both the baby and mother before and during pregnancy through 12 essential nutrients. This supplement is available for $35 a month. Another new supplement, as of early 2020, is Essential for Women 50+ which also sells for $35 a month.
Update: An Apple Watch app is now available for Ritual Vitamins.
This is how much it costs to start on the respective program. We always recommend trying a product before making a large investment.
= Initial product cost is less than $5
= Initial product cost is between $6 and $50
= Initial product cost is between $51 and $150
= Initial product cost is $151 or more
How Did Ritual Vitamins Start?
The story of the founder of Ritual Vitamins is part of what makes the product compelling from a marketing standpoint. Katerina Schneider, a former venture partner in an investment firm, was four-months pregnant when she began to question the contents of the multivitamins she was taking and the lack of transparency behind those products.
For example, she noted that it contained aluminum and titanium dioxide, also contained in laundry detergent. Ms. Schneider stated in an article: “I realized that most people didn’t know if the vitamins they were taking had what they needed, or where the ingredients in those vitamins came from or even what they were, nor did they know if they worked.”
In 2016, Ms. Schneider launched her company after attracting more than $1 million from various angel investors. The company began to ship their product in July of that year.
More recently, the company has raised about $10.5 million in venture funding “to attract talent, scale the business and build in-house technology for customer experience and support.” The company is based in Los Angeles, CA.
Again in 2019, the Ritual vitamin company received a $25 million Series B funding . According to TechCrunch, the company has so has received about $41.5 million in funding so far.
The timing of her company’s launch may also be fortuitous since there is more of a push in the consumer food industry for the “clean label” or “free of” movement these days.
Ritual Vitamins CEO Katerina Schneider
Katerina Schneider is the founder of Ritual Vitamins. She created the company in 2015 with a core commitment to helping women feel their best and lead a more healthy and happy life. Katerina is the Chief Executive Officer of the organization.
Ritual is the manufacturer of a daily multivitamin for women. The product has been scientifically researched and delivers a blend of nutrients designed specifically for a woman in all of the stages of life. Katerina Schneider launched Ritual Vitamins when she had her first baby and discovered that other vitamins were not filling her needs. The Ritual supplement is made with the highest quality of ingredients, and it is vegan certified, non-GMO, and gluten-free.
Katerina Schneider is a graduate of Brown University.
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Ritual Vitamins Claims
What is truly interesting about Ritual Vitamins is that they do not appear to market themselves as a better product regarding performance outcomes, but more on the basis that they are built on transparency and simplicity, as previously mentioned.
It seems that they are hedging their bets that women consumers are more interested in having a better feel for where the ingredients come from and are validated as to what they need, rather than obtaining some kind of exotic health boost, etc.
For instance, when we looked at Ritual Vitamins FAQ page, under the question of “when will I start to feel something?”, the answer is pretty simple and does not promise anything grandiose:
“The benefits you ‘feel’—happier mood, maintained energy—are just bonuses when it comes to improving foundational health. While many people feel a difference within 1-2 weeks, some don’t notice anything at all, and that’s okay.
“It’s what’s happening inside your body that counts, and the timeline for better health is pretty cool. The water-soluble nutrients (Fe, Mg, folate, B12, boron) start working right away to support your heart, nerves, and more.
“Fat-soluble nutrients take longer—except for D3. All in all, it takes 3-4 months for your whole body to reach a healthy new equilibrium.
“By the time [Essential for Women] EFW reaches neurons—the cells in your brain that signal mood—it’s already helping many other cells in your body (heart, immune, bone and more!).”
The other thing that helps to support any claims is the research section that they advertise on their website. This section appears to highlight articles not just about their product, but the benefits of “hydration” and possessing an attitude of “positivity.”
Ritual Vitamins seems to be a single stop to supply information that they believe their consumers want to know.
On their website, they give a detailed outline on the benefits you should experience after continued use. On month three, Ritual claims to “fill in the gaps” with your nutrition, meaning you should have more energy, better immunity, and healthier skin. By month six, red blood cells and internal organs start to feel the benefits and may develop more support through the use of the vitamin.
After a year, calcium levels should start to rise and support bone health. With continued use after that, the vitamins supposedly promote healthy aging by fighting free radicals in the body, maintaining tissue strength, and promoting youth from within.
The differing measurement units that they use for their ingredients feel a little confusing since they list items in “IU,” “mcg” and “mg.” An IU measurement, for instance, varies between vitamin types but is a small fraction of a milligram (mg) typically.
Ritual Vitamins also uses Vitashine, which is a verified vegan D3 ingredient made from lichen.
There are a few other points about the ingredients that are worth mentioning, based on claims about Ritual Vitamins:
Ingredients have transparency.
The multivitamin uses the same molecular forms found in our cells and healthy foods.
Use vegan/vegetarian, non-animal ingredients (probably a nod to the founder’s vegan values).
Rigorous third-party testing could not find microbes, contaminants (pesticides, herbicides, PCBs, BpA or solvents), mycotoxins and virtually no heavy metals in any of our products.
Branded ingredients provide greater attention to detail.
Finally, Ritual Vitamins policy on transparency even goes to displaying a supply chain map of where their ingredients are sourced. Here is where the ingredients are sourced:
Folate: methylated 4th generation folate in Pisticci, Italy
Omega-3: vegan DHA from microalgae in Saskatoon, SK
Vitamin B12: methylated b12 from Bridgeport, Connecticut
Vitamin D3: vegan-certified from lichen in Nottingham, UK
Iron: ferrous bisglycinate chelate from Ogden, Utah
Vitamin K2: pure and non-soy version of K2MK7 from Oslo, Norway
Boron: food-form from Momence, Illinois
Vitamin E: mixed tocopherols from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Magnesium: chelated form of magnesium from Ogden, Utah
Ritual Essential for Women 50+ contains folate, omega-3, vitamin B12, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, boron, vitamin E, and magnesium.
Do Ritual Vitamins Work?
This is an excellent question and one that any multivitamin manufacturer has to face. We mentioned the answer to a question on their FAQ page, regarding when a person may start to feel results.
The other issue is that there has been little regulation or oversight from the FDA on the multivitamin market, in general. In a quote from an author posted within an article on Wired.com, “In theory, vitamins have to be held to a labeling standard.
“But the FDA doesn’t have the manpower to really regulate that,” says Dr. Paul Offit, a pediatrician and author of Do You Believe in Magic? Vitamins, Supplements, and All Things Natural: A Look Behind the Curtain.
“For all intents and purposes, it’s a system that goes on trust.” In response to Ritual’s claim on their nine ingredients, one physician had this to say about it: “We need all these nine ingredients,” says Kathleen M. Fairfield, an internal medicine physician at Maine Medical Center.
“But there’s very little science to say a person should be taking a multivitamin of this composition. I don’t think there’s much science at all that suggests we’re not getting enough Vitamin K, for instance.”
But looking more specifically at a few of the significant components of Ritual Vitamins, the largest ingredient concentration is Omega-3. The research has been fairly consistent in showing the value of Omega-3 in one’s diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for brain memory, performance and behavioral function.
The second primary ingredient appears to be Folate, which has been shown to be an essential substance for women.
The final ingredient that we took a closer look at is magnesium. Magnesium activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate levels of calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D and other important nutrients in the body.
So with all this knowledge, it may be an act of faith to put one’s trust in any multivitamin – possibly even the one promoted by Ritual Vitamins, although the vital ingredients they are using are proven to be beneficial to the human body.
Still, it may be a stretch to consider that ensuring the body intakes these nutrients may make one feel “happy” and healthy enough to lose weight, but that may be taking things a bit too far.
How to Use Ritual Vitamins
The steps for taking Ritual Vitamins appear quite simple. Essentially, one takes two capsules per day either in the morning or afternoon. Once you finish the 60 capsules, then you have completed one month’s supply.
Apparently, the capsule makes it easier to use as well. Beadlets within the capsule deliver the nutrients in their best format and their “delayed release formulation” helps prevent nausea from consuming on an empty stomach.
Additionally, since the ingredients are compacted into one capsule, less pills are required every day, making it easier and more convenient, according to Ritual. There is also a mint tab in every bottle to ensure freshness and improve the taste of the pill.
Potential Ritual Vitamins Side Effects
There have been a few studies on possible side effects of taking vitamins and multivitamins. Many show little to no effect of taking vitamin supplements, but a few indicated some potential harm.
According to the journal Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, taking supplements of vitamins A, E, D, C and folic acid “would be rational to limit these supplements consumption to those having deficiencies of the mentioned vitamins.”
As far as we can see, there are no specific product warnings for Ritual Vitamins. On the official Ritual Vitamins website, there’s a fairly standard clause stating, “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.”
Since the vitamin is made for women, men who take the supplement may not experience the same benefits. This is because the vitamin is formulated to support the nutrients many women lack.
Any Ritual Vitamins Lawsuits?
There are no pending or previous lawsuits against Ritual Vitamins.
However, one article from The New York Times found their advertising techniques to be a bit questionable. According to the article, they paid for reviews from websites like Well+Good and PureWow then used the quotes for their social media ads.
After claims of misleading their customers, Ritual’s founder Katerina Schneider came out and said the company did not believe they were misleading anyone.
Ritual Vitamins Alternatives
In the market for multivitamins, there are dozens of alternatives available on the market. It can be a little overwhelming.
As for whether multivitamins are an answer for good health, the jury is probably still out on that decision. From what we have studied and presented here, it can be seen that many medical experts are highly skeptical as to the effectiveness of taking a multivitamin.
What is suggested by many physicians is to eat regular foods that contain these vitamins. It can also be a tastier and more exciting alternative than taking a pill.
Time magazine printed an article in 2015, which highlighted specific foods that could provide particular nutrients. The Daily Mail also had an article about what real foods to take instead of intaking a vitamin.
Harvard University presented a helpful guide from a nutrition seminar held there in 2013. It goes into some detail about why people may think they need a multivitamin and a list of suggested eating and drinking habits to follow.
Even with what we have found and presented here in our review of Ritual Vitamins, we do applaud their efforts to follow a model of transparency and using “clear labels.”
Their claims of potential benefits are not overly made, and it is refreshing to see this in a market that has been saturated by many exaggerated, and even false, claims of almost miraculous results by taking their products.
The other part of the Ritual brand we think is good is an emphasis on verifying the source of their ingredients, rather than going with the lowest cost supplier which may or may not have the best quality standards.
The price for Ritual Vitamins is not beyond what is available on the market. So if you choose to purchase and use Ritual Vitamins, we think that one could do far worse when it comes to shopping around for a multivitamin.
Finally, if you do take a supplement, it is important to remember it is just that – a supplement. It should not be a replacement for proper diet and exercise.
Where to Buy Ritual Vitamins
It looks like, as of mid 2019, Ritual Vitamins are only for sale from the official website. The products were not found on Amazon.
What Users Are Saying
“It simply works. More energy, skin, hair, nails improved. Give it a chance… noticed a difference in 2 months. I’ve been in them for 6 months!“
“This vitamin did not make me nauseous at all, but over a 3 week period I started to break-out on my hair scalp, back, chest, legs out of nowhere. I have an occasional flare up due to hormones caused by my monthly cycle, but this was extremely different. I went from 0 pimples to finding new ones everyday for the past 3 weeks. My dermatologist said that this was a side effect of B12, why aren’t there any warnings about possible side-effects on their website? I was very disappointed and hope they warn consumers about the possible side effects some of the ingredients contained in their vitamins might have. I stopped taking the vitamins and the break outs have stopped too.”
“I don’t think they are the “golden hour” answer that is advertised but I did notice I felt generally a lot better each day. I have been taking these for 3 months and do not see any significant problems with them. If you are purchasing these because you are hoping for a miracle, I will tell you that miracles are not bottled. Vitamins are just vitamins.“
The Bottom Line on Ritual Vitamins
So, is Ritual Vitamins beneficial to overall wellness? Well, we like that it addresses the needs of women and that it contains natural ingredients. Although there’s science supporting the claims, we’re concerned about customer reviews talking about high price and limited results.
While there are benefits of Ritual Vitamins, there are also alternatives offering clinically-tested weight-loss systems that can be individualized to meet your needs.
One of the best weight-loss systems we have ever seen is one called Noom. Their program offers human coaching, customized health tips, personalized meal plans, and more to help you lose weight in a healthy way.
Also, Dietspotlight readers cab get a free trial of Noom as a sign of confidence in their system, so make sure to check it out!