Ritual claims to cut out the fillers and to give women what they need in a multivitamin. Our research team got to work, diving into the ingredients and side effects of this supplement. What we found was pretty boring. Other multivitamins actually promise the same benefits – and have more ingredients to support them. What about the scientific research? We found none on this formula. What we did find was the truth behind this supplement, and now we’re sharing it.
Ritual can be purchased through Amazon.
What is Ritual’s Multivitamin?
The focus of Ritual is a multivitamin (sometimes referred to as “Essential for Women” on their website) 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’s product online via their webpage. The product comes packaged in a bottle containing 60 capsules – which is one month’s supply – at the cost of $30.
We also did a recent preliminary review of Ritual detailed below.
Ritual’s multivitamin is composed of nine essential ingredients, which are displayed so visually and colorfully on their webpage. We’ll get into these later on.
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How Did Ritual Start
The story of the founder of Ritual 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.
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’s Multivitamins Claims
What is truly interesting about Ritual’s multivitamins 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’s 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, which helps your brain the next day if you have low levels. 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 seems to be a single stop to supply information that they believe their consumers want to know.
We mentioned that there are just nine ingredients that makeup Ritual’s multivitamin, listed below:
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.
There are a few other points about the ingredients that are worth mentioning, based on Ritual’s claims about the product:
- 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’s policy on transparency even goes to displaying a supply chain map of where their ingredients are sourced.
Does Ritual’s Multivitamin 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.
But beyond what Ritual says, the evidence on the efficacy of multivitamins, in general, is not good. In one particularly scathing study conducted on a review of a range of multivitamins and their impact on preventing chronic or other diseases, the results seemed to indicate that “most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided.”
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 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’s multivitamin, the largest ingredient concentration is Omega-3. The research has been fairly consistent in showing the value of Omega-3 in one’s diet. In fact, “research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function.”
The second primary ingredient appears to be Folate, which has been shown to be an essential substance for women during pregnancy. Also, “folate (vitamin B9) is an essential nutrient required for DNA replication and as a substrate for a range of enzymatic reactions involved in amino acid synthesis and vitamin metabolism.”
The final ingredient that we will examine in the Ritual multivitamin is Magnesium. The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that “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, although the vital ingredients they are using are proven to be beneficial to the human body.
Ritual Multivitamin’s Benefits and Results
Ritual’s multivitamin product is still relatively new to the market, and so the benefits and results have yet to be entirely determined as to long-term effects. However, some anecdotal feedback can be found on Ritual’s Facebook page. Some comments are highlighted below:
“Just started. So shocked at how happy I feel. I really thought aging meant you stopped feeling things due to exposure to the same nonsense for decades. I am genuinely happy.” (November 18, 2017)
“Just received my second month supply in the mail today. So far,I’m very pleased with the vitamin. I usually by this time of year get really down with SAD. I feel they are helping with that, so I am thankful!!!!” (October 20, 2017)
What is interesting to note about these comments is the feeling that the multivitamin may provide a sense of being “happy,” as opposed to feeling healthier, which is something that is advertised by Ritual. However, these are just two random comment posts that we pulled.
Details on Ritual’s Multivitamin and Weight Loss
Ritual does not advertise their product as a form of weight loss supplement. It is meant just to supply nutrients that the body needs.
However, there have been some studies that indicate that taking a multivitamin may have some impact on weight loss. “According to the Healthier Life website, a study reported that multivitamins and supplements containing chromium, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 promoted weight loss in overweight people.”
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 (Take) Ritual’s Multivitamin
The steps for taking Ritual’s multivitamin appear quite simple. Essentially, one takes two capsules per day (no indication of what time of day). Once you finish the 60 capsules, then you have completed one month’s supply.
Potential Ritual Multivitamin’s Side Effects
There have been a few studies on possible side effects of intaking vitamins and multivitamins. Many show little to no effect of taking vitamin supplements, but a few indicated some potential harm. One study stated: “Our recommendation is that taking high-dose supplements of vitamins A, E, D, C and folic acid is not always effective for prevention of disease, and it can even be harmful to the health.”
Dr. Larry Appel from Johns Hopkins University gave his opinion that for young women who are or hope to become pregnant, supplements that contain “folic acid prevents neural tube defects in babies when women take it before and during early pregnancy. That’s why multivitamins are recommended for young women.” But then he also added: “I don’t recommend other supplements,” Appel says. “If you follow a healthy diet, you can get all of the vitamins and minerals you need from food.”
Ritual Multivitamins Product Warnings
As far as we can see, there are no specific product warnings for Ritual’s multivitamin. On their webpage at the bottom, there is a fairly standard clause which reads: “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.”
Any Ritual Multivitamins Lawsuits?
There are no pending or previous lawsuits against Ritual. The company is still reasonably young. But they have made an effort not to promise or make grandiose claims about their product and what it can do. Perhaps this lesson has been hammered home from previous lawsuits, like the large settlement made in 2008 that was paid out by the company Airborne due to false claims made for their supplement.
Ritual Multivitamins Alternatives
In the market for multivitamins, there are dozens of alternatives available on the market. It can be a little overwhelming.
For the sake of our site and looking at weight loss, this product may not be the answer you were looking for. As part of our previous review of Ritual, we did make one suggestion for a weight loss product, and that was Burn HD.
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.
An example of what they recommended and its benefits are listed below:
Vitamin A RDA: 800micrograms (mcg)
Sources: 100g veal liver (800mcg), 2 eggs (211mcg), 100g tuna (372mcg), 100g red peppers (212mcg), 1 orange (8mcg)
Why we need it: Essential for vision, skin, mucous membranes, growth, immune system and reproductive ability. Also protects against a range of cancers.
Deficiency signs: Mouth ulcers, poor night vision, acne, frequent colds, flaky skin, dandruff.
To get enough: Animal livers and all orange or red vegetables. Eat at least five servings a day.
Prevention.com went so far as to simplify it down to five foods that one should take instead of vitamins.
Harvard University presented this helpful guide from a nutrition seminar held there in 2013. It goes into some detail about why people may think they need a multivitamin, its effects on some disease prevention and finally a list of suggested eating and drinking habits to follow.
Even with what we have found and presented here in our review of Ritual, 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’s multivitamin product is not beyond what is available on the market. Also, the vitamins that contained within are probably quite beneficial for young women who may wish to be or are pregnant. So if you choose to purchase and use Ritual’s multivitamin, 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.
The Bottom Line – Does Ritual Work?
So, is Ritual 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.
If you want to get started improving your health and shedding those extra pounds, we suggest going with an affordable supplement using ingredients backed by science, and supported by positive user feedback.
Among the best products we’ve seen this year is our supplement called Burn HD. The four clinically-tested ingredients have results often found in journals such as Obesity and the Journal of Medicine.
Also, we’re so confident that you’ll love our supplement that we’re offering a 2-Week Sample, which is a good sign.Learn More About Burn HD »