Quality vitamins and supplements are hard to find. Store brands and generics often contain contaminated ingredients, unnecessary fillers, or are mislabeled entirely. Knowing which supplement brands offer pure and powerful products can help ensure you get the nutrition you need to thrive.
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Supplements are more popular than ever before and there are now a staggering number of options to choose from. The FDA’s guidelines governing supplement manufacturing is less stringent than other comparable industries. In many ways, it takes areactionary stance rather than aproactive role. In other words, they only step after there’s already an issue. It allows us better access to more nutritional products but also requires we make more effort to research the vitamin and supplement brands we buy from—to assure we’re getting a quality product.
Best Overall Supplement Brand
Thorne Research has continued to maintain pioneer status in the supplement industry for years. Their products are sensibly-formulated, made with the strictest NSF-compliant guidelines in mind, and easily accessible through online retailers. We can't find enough good things to say about this supplement brand.
The Best Supplement Brands
This guide includes brands that range in quality, availability,and pricing. Each of these vitamin and supplement brands brings something unique to the table and stand out among comparable brands. Brandsnot included here shouldn’t be regarded as “bad” or “low-quality” and should be assessed using the principles and characteristics of other quality brands. In other words, just because your favorite brand isn’t featured here doesn’t mean we think it is low quality.
These are brands relied upon by health professionals to deliver clinical-strength results. Almost all of these brands are available only from licensed health professionals such as doctors, nutritionists, or integrated practitioners. They are produced in FDA-registered GMP facilities, are free of common allergens like Gluten, shellfish, or dairy, and bring with them many certifications from third parties such as NSF International or The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP).
Pure Encapsulations supplements are ultra-pure, hypoallergenic, and independently tested for potency. These supplements live up to their name by providing one of the purest and uniquely-blended products on the market. They operate their own dedicated facility that is NSF-Certified GMP. Pure Encapsulations' supplements are certified to be free from wheat, gluten, eggs, peanuts, glazes & coatings, GMOs, hydrogenated oils, and many more common allergens.Full Review →
Thorne Research is an example of a brand that leads by example. They operate their own NSF-Certified GMP facility and have a team of dedicated doctors and analysts continually working to create optimal formulations. Thorne is also one of the few brands that operate a facility that is NSF Certified for Sport as well. This means any products labeled as such as guaranteed to be free of traces of substances that would disqualify one from the professional athletic competition.Full Review →
Klaire Labs is renowned among health professionals as offering the purest and most potent probiotics on the market. They adhere to strict cGMP practices, are NSF-registered, and certify that all their products are Non-GMO and allergen-free. Even their dairy-derived species are suitable for consumption by those with lactose intolerance! Many of Klaire Labs' probiotics contain clinically-studied bacteria to ensure results comparable to those in clinical conditions. If you're buying their products online make sure they ship on ice to preserve potency!Full Review →
Douglas Laboratories operates their own manufacturing facility that is both NSF-Certifed GMP and NSF Certified for Sport. They are another example of companies that characterize social responsibility through programs such as their Growing Together, involvement in developing nations, and support of employee initiatives. They’ve been around for more than 60 years and know a thing or two about making incredible supplements. Notable products by Douglas Labs are their Kleane Athlete line and their free-form amino acid products.Full Review →
Metagenics is a stellar example of quality supplements and responsible corporate operations. They hold dozens of patents, partner with dozens of universities, and have authored dozens of peer-reviewed papers all in the name of pushing forward our collective understanding of nutrition and health. They’re pretty impressive. They truly are one of the best vitamin and supplement brands on Earth and we’ve never met anyone with a bad thing to say about them.Full Review →
Designs for Health
Designs for Health got their start as a nutritional consulting company nearly 30 years ago. They’re referred to by many as “The Paleo Company” and feature a generous lineup of Paleo-friendly nutritional products such as protein bars, IgG powders, and even detox kits. They’re NSF-Registered, have their own manufacturing facility, and market directly to licensed healthcare professionals. Designs for Health is one of the best vitamin brands on the market but we will warn readers that they are slightly expensive, even among doctor-trusted brands.Full Review →
Vital Nutrients maintains an in-house team of qualified health professionals to formulate their products in accordance with scientific data for maximum potency and efficacy. Their manufacturing facilities are FDA-registered, cGMP compliant, but not NSF-Registered GMP. Before one of their products hits the shelves, it is tested for Microbiological contaminants, residual solvents, heavy metals, aflatoxins, pesticides, melamine, PCBs, Dioxins, and GMOs. Overall, Vital Nutrients has a well-deserved place on this list and is recommended by professional health practitioners globally.Full Review →
Biotics Research uses specialized quality assurance teams to rigorously test their products through cutting-edge methods such as high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). They're an FDA-registered facility with GMP practices exceeding those outlined by the FDA but are not currently NSF-Registered GMP. Biotics Research has been around for 40+ years and has been mentioned as one of the best vitamin and supplement manufacturers by nearly every practitioner we've spoken with.Full Review →
Standard Process is one of the most unique supplement brands on this list. They've been around since 1929, are family-owned, have a whole-foods-first approach, and maintain a 420-acre certified organic farm from which they source their raw ingredients from. Standard Process has a tremendous catalog of vitamins and supplements sold as some of the most uniquely formulated blends we've ever seen. They've been trusted by health practitioners for decades to deliver high-quality results.Full Review →
There are many other pharmaceutical-grade manufacturers out there that offer truly magnificent products at very reasonable prices. With the rise in consumer demand for toxin-free health products, as well as the growing interest in treating health conditions naturally, it is becoming easier to find these products. The following list details some of these companies that offer amazing products, and often manage to find a way to do so in an affordable way.
- Ecological Formulas
- Gaia Herbs Professional Solutions
- Herb Pharm
- Transformation Enzymes
These companies all put quality above price considerations and commit themselves to provide non-GMO ingredients, non-allergenic and gluten-free supplements. Most of these brands can be found in local health food stores or some larger chain stores such as Whole Foods or The Vitamin Shoppe. Each of these brands is also available online at many retailers such as Amazon which can save you a considerable amount of money on cost and shipping.
Where to Buy
Many of the vitamin and supplement brands listed here aren’t available for purchase in local stores. Practitioner brands, such as Thorne or Pure Formulas, require that retailers have a licensed health professional on staff to sell their products. Some local health food stores fall into this category—but there aren’t many! There are several avenues by which one can go about getting these types of quality products and each has their advantages and disadvantages.
The highest quality supplement brands are often only available directly from doctors, nutritionists, or other licensed professionals. Many professionals maintain their own supplement store where you can shop once you’re a registered patient. Licensed professionals can also give you a referral code which allows you to order directly from supplement brands’ websites (the ones that don’t offer public sales.) In most cases, however, you’ll not find brands such as Pure Encapsulations, Thorne, or Metagenics in local health food stores.
Many brands listed here offer sales directly to consumers through their websites. These products come directly from the manufacturer and are guaranteed to be of the highest possible quality. We recommend buying from trusted online retailers who demonstrate trustworthiness in their handling of these products, such asPureFormulas.com.
Many of the brands listed here don’t authorize individual sellers on Amazon and therefore increase the risk of mishandled or outdated products. If you are buying on Amazon we suggest doing so from the iServe storefront—an authorized reseller of many of the brands listed here.
Below you’ll find some articles that will help better explain supplement quality and other important considerations to make when buying supplements. Some are meant to help you find the best products available and others will help better explain the importance of manufacturer Trust and quality within the supplement industry.
Understanding GMP: A Guide to Quality Dietary Supplements
Probiotics 101: How to Avoid Wasting Money on Spoiled Supplements
Best Protein Powder: Our List of Top-Rated Protein Powders
The Best Nootropics for Cognitive Enhancement
The supplement brands on this list represent some of the most powerful compounds on the market and are often recommended by licensed health care professionals in the treatment of their patients. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a licensed professional before altering your diet, supplements, or current medications in any way. You shouldn’t consider this article as advice on which supplements are the best suited for your individual needs—just which supplement brands offer you the purest, most powerful, and trustworthy product available on the market.
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