You might be wondering: With so many supplements on the market, just how do we decide which products deserve a Best of Supplements Award? It's no easy feat! This year, we asked Better Nutrition readers like you to vote for their favorites via email and through our Facebook page. We also created an advisory board (see p. 37) and asked members to weigh in on products in 16 categories. When all of this feedback was combined with staff and manufacturer favorites, we were left with a winner's circle of 50 outstanding supplements. Find out what makes these products unique-and more important, what makes them worth adding to your supplement regimen.
Allergy & Sinus
North American Herb & Spice
Fans of this product say nothing works like SinuOrega to resolve chronic sinus congestion. The nasal spray boasts a potent blend of oils, including wild oregano.
Xylitol Sinus Nasal Spray
Xylitol's unique molecular structure makes it ideal for cleaning, soothing, and protecting sinus and nasal passages. Use daily to prevent sinus problems, colds, and allergies.
Anxiety, Stress & Energy
If you're looking for an all-in-one formula for anxiety, stress, and even depression, this would be our choice: B vitamins, GABA, L-theanine, and magnesium are important nutrients for regulating mood.
Stress can cause all kinds of health issues. To blunt the effects of stress on the body, we love this high- quality form of rhodiola, ecologically harvested from the pristine alpine meadows of Siberia.
Michael's Naturopathic Programs
Adrenal Xtra Energy Support
Adrenal support is key for boosting your energy. This blend of adrenal nutrients and herbs, such as ashwagandha and rhodiola, delivers lasting energy.
Developed to help improve focus and concentration in children 4 and up, this liquid contains a range of brain-supportive nutrients, including DHA, GABA, B vitamins, and phosphatidylserine.
Made with a proprietary extract of saffron (Satiereal), this formula has been clinically shown to boost mood and promote weight loss through appetite suppression and craving control.
You get exactly what the label promises with this product-a sharper mind, along with better memory and focus. Carefully selected brain boosters are used, including phosphatidylserine and ginkgo.
Detox & Cleansing
This No. 1-selling detox product helps your body get rid of toxins more efficiently than it can on its own. It's also called "The Great 8" for its eight gentle herbs, including burdock and slippery elm.
Himalaya Herbal Healthcare
A classic blend of three Indian herbs, triphala works wonders for constipation, detoxification, and overall digestive health.
Healthy Start System
This three-part system, which includes a powder and two capsule formulas, is a great way to introduce beneficial bacteria to your gastrointestinal tract. Follow directions for best results.
Liver Take Care
Daily support for your liver is vital to overall wellness, and this formula has you covered-milk thistle, cilantro, wasabi, and other herbs target liver health and help the body rid itself of environmental toxins.
Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics
These portable probiotics help improve nutrient absorption, flora balance in the gut, immune health, and more. An award-winning microbiologist from Japan developed the formula.
PB 8, which contains eight types of healthy bacteria, is a 25-year-old formula made with inulin, a pre-biotic that helps feed good bacteria in the gut.
Quality of Life
With zinc, carnosine (PepZin GI), artichoke, ginger, and DGL, this is a truly cutting-edge blend of natural remedies for indigestion, regularity, heartburn, and stomach health.
Taken with meals, these enzymes help your body absorb more nutrients from food and assist in breaking down hard-to-digest ingredients in meals.
Essential Fatty Acids
Wild & Whole Alaskan Salmon Oil
Made by a company with four generations of family fishing heritage, this unrefined salmon oil provides a full spectrum of omega-3s, plus astaxanthin and vitamin D3.
Ultimate Omega Xtra
One serving gives you a whopping 1,400 mg of omega-3 fats and 1,000 IU of vitamin D3-both essential for optimum health. The product is third-party tested for heavy metals.
Super Critical Omega
These high-potency, ultra-pure fish oils boast an enteric coating guaranteed to prevent burping and the addition of lipase, an enzyme that helps the body digest fat more efficiently.
Greens Plus Organics
This blend of green foods, superfruits, sea vegetables, and probiotics contains more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than five servings of fruits and vegetables-and just 30 calories per scoop.
Paradise Herbs & Essentials
Delicious, sugar-free cocoa and 42 organic and pesticide-free ingredients, including green foods and freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, make this formula a standout.
We love the combination of DDS probiotics with nutrient-dense spirulina, which is an excellent source of vegan protein, vitamin B12, and other key nutrients.
Heart Health & Cholesterol
Ubiquinol is a form of CoQ10 that's more potent and efficient, and Healthy Origins uses the highest quality ubiquinol from Kaneka QH. For energy and overall heart health, this nutrient can't be beat.
Beta-Sitosterol Plant Sterols
Protect your heart and lower your cholesterol naturally with this proprietary blend of plant sterols (potent cholesterol-lowering nutrients) and fish oil.
Heart-healthy Aged Garlic Extract (made from organic raw garlic) is combined with a proprietary blend of curcumin and phosphatidylcholine for a healthy inflammation response.
Hair, Skin, & Nails
Hair, Skin, Nails
Wildly popular, this patent-pending product helps boost your body's production of collagen for healthier, stronger nails and hair, and smoother-looking skin.
One Better Nutrition reader says this product "completely transformed" her hair, making it stronger, shinier, and healthier. What more could you ask for in a hair vitamin?
As we age, our collagen production slows, causing signs of aging such as wrinkles. This supplement, with types I & III collagen, helps reverse signs of aging and improves hair, skin, and nails.
Echinaforce is hands down the best-researched form of echinacea. Give children these chewable orange-flavored tablets at the first sign of a cold or flu.
Kid's One Daily
This whole-food multivitamin and mineral is made with FoodState Nutrients-i.e., fresh and local foods from trusted farmers. There's no soy, gluten, dairy, or GMO ingredients.
This super concentrated liquid features black elder berry extract, a powerful herb for immune health. Keep on hand to help prevent and treat colds and flu, and provide year-round immune support.
We love that this formula contains lysine, a powerful antiviral amino acid, along with propolis, garlic, olive leaf, astragalus, and echinacea. You can take this daily to support immune health.
Rainbow Light Herbal Prescriptives
"Counter Attack always stops my cold symptoms," says one Better Nutrition reader. The formula, with andrographis, and berberine, was developed by fourth-generation herbalist Christopher Hobbs.
Red Bee Propolis
NaturaNectar uses an exclusive form of antioxidant-rich Brazilian Red Bee Propolis (from beehives), which has been clinically shown to support immune and cardiovascular health, metabolism, and more.
This standout product uses a clinically proven form of oral lavender essential oil to help melt away stress and tension. Take any time for anxiety relief without drowsiness. It's also non-habit forming.
Seven stellar ingredients, including boswellia, turmeric, white willow bark, and type II collagen, are combined in this new formula. Designed to help promote joint comfort.
Pain, Joint & Bone
Curamin by EuroPharma
Fans of Curamin describe it as a "life-changing" supplement. The blend of BCM-95 curcumin, boswellia, DLPA, and nattokinase is clinically proven to reduce pain.
This boasts eggshell calcium, which was shown to build bone density in 4-8 months and to be more absorbable than other forms of calcium carbonate. It also contains vitamin D3 and magnesium.
Extreme Edge (full line)
These three professional-strength products-Pre Workout, Carbo Load, and Post Workout-are made with synergistic, all-natural ingredients, such as undenatured, hormone-free whey protein.
Garden of Life
RAW Organic Protein (Vanilla)
Made with only vegan ingredients, such as seeds and grains, this powder has 17 gm of protein per serving, live probiotics and enzymes, and no gluten or dairy.
All-in-One Nutritional Shake (French Vanilla)
Developed by Brendan Brazier, a vegan and Ironman triathlete, this delicious shake features plant-based proteins, along with vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins & Minerals
Ester-C Effervescent (Natural Orange)
One packet has 1,000 mg of Ester-C, the nonacidic, easy-to-digest form of vitamin C. Use daily for immune support. It also has B vitamins and electrolytes for energy.
Best Fully Active Folate
Folic acid is needed for mood and brain health. Doctor's Best uses Quatrefolic, a human-identical form of MTHF, which is the body's most fully active folate nutrient.
This formula combines more than 70 trace minerals (important for bones, muscles, teeth, hair, skin, and nails) with vitamin B12 and biotin in an easy-to-absorb liquid.
Organic Life Vitamins (Fruit Flavor)
This yummy liquid is one of our favorite multis. It's made with whole food-based vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and 24 organic veggies, superfruits, and fruits.
Nelson Bach USA
Spatone Pur-Absorb Iron
Many iron supplements can cause side effects such as constipation. But this is a 100 percent natural liquid form of the mineral, shown to have a higher absorption rate and fewer side effects.
Almased Synergy Diet
A scientist and holistic therapist created Almased to improve the metabolism of his patients in Germany in 1985. The powder contains soy protein, honey enzymes, and skim milk yogurt, and it's safe for diabetics.
Raspberry Ketone 1234
This is a weight-loss and antiaging formula in one. Raspberry ketones, African mango, resveratrol, green tea, and other ingredients help tame appetite and speed up fat loss.
PGX is a patent-pending blend of highly purified fibers that have been shown to help promote satiety, curb food cravings, and normalize appetite and metabolism.
SafSlim (Delicious Tangerine Cream Fusion)
Designed to target belly fat, SafSlim contains a proprietary blend of non-GMO, expeller pressed, high-linoleic safflower oil known as SAFActive 78. It works by mobilizing stubborn fat and reducing appetite.
Our Advisory Board
As part of our selection process, we worked with supplement experts who helped us pick our final list of winning products. Here is some background information on each member of our panel.
Jack Challem has been writing about research on nutritional supplements for more than 35 years and is the author of more than 20 books, including No More Fatigue (Wiley, 2011) and The Inflammation Syndrome (Wiley, 2010). He is also a fine-art photographer. Visit him on the Web at nutritionreporter.com and jackchallem.com/photography.
Karolyn A. Gazella
Karolyn A. Gazella has been publishing integrative health information since 1992. She is the publisher of Natural Medicine Journal (naturalmedicinejournal.com), a peer-reviewed e-journal for health-care professionals, and Wellness Times (wellnesstimes.com), a consumer website featuring natural health solutions. Gazella is the author or coauthor of several books, including her latest book with Lise Alschuler, ND, Five to Thrive: Your Cutting-Edge Cancer Prevention Plan (Active Interest Media, 2011). She is also the co-host of the Five to Thrive Live! radio show featured on The Cancer Support Network. For more information, visit FivetoThrivePlan.com.
Lisa Turner has been researching and writing about supplements, nutrition, and natural cooking for almost 20 years. She's the author of five books on food and nutrition, including Mostly Macro and Meals That Heal, and the creator of the iPhone app The Healthy Gourmet. Lisa has degrees in natural healing, shiatsu, and acupressure. She teaches holistic nutrition and culinary arts at Bauman College in Boulder, Colo. Visit her online at inspiredeating.com, to learn more about her work.