These 75 supplement gems-chosen with the help of naturopaths, herbalists, and health food store owners-beat out hundreds of other products
These days, with the dizzying array of natural products to choose from, we can't help feeling like grown-up kids in a candy store. Today, however, we're more likely to reach for vitamin-fortified gummy bears or an energy elixir fortified with antioxidants and green foods powder-how cool is that? These selections dazzled us with their innovation, convenience, and effectiveness, including new offerings that made us wonder, "Why didn't they think of that before?" as well as tried-and-true standbys. So without further ado-drum roll, please-here are our top 75 picks.
How We Chose Our Winning Products
It's not an easy job selecting 75 winning supplements for our Best of Supplement Awards-there are hundreds of high-quality products on health food store shelves! How did we do it? We had a lot of help. Here's a quick overview of the criteria we used to help us make our final selections.
Advisory Board: We did extensive surveys and interviews with health food store retailers and holistically oriented physicians, naturopaths, herbalists, natural health experts, and other practitioners. We would especially like to thank and acknowledge the following people:
Tori Hudson, ND
Sam Russo, ND
Karta Purkh Singh
Khalsa, DN-C, RH
Carolyn Dean, MD
Michael T. Murray, ND
Lise Alschuler, ND
Manufacturer nominations: Manufacturers were also invited to nominate their top products. Editorial picks: The editors of Better Nutrition also used store sales information (i.e., what products are selling at health food stores).
Supplements for Promoting Relaxation and Fighting the Effects of Stress
Solaray Mega B-Stress. Timed-released tabs are formulated to work all day to deliver the calming and mood-boosting effects of B vitamins.
Wakunaga Kyolic Stress & Fatigue Relief Formula 101. This is a unique blend of aged garlic extract, GABA, and vitamins B1, B6, and B12 designed to naturally promote mental, emotional, and physical balance in an increasingly hectic world.
THREE-TIME WINNER. Peter Gillham's Natural Vitality Natural Calm. This anti-stress drink in raspberry-lemon or original restores healthy magnesium levels essential for relaxation.
Supplements for Strong Bones, and Osteoporosis Care and Prevention
Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Calcium. A vegan/vegetarian favorite, marine algae supplies a rich natural source of plant-form, organic, whole-food calcium along with naturally occurring minerals like magnesium and silica known to strengthen bones.
Country Life BONE Solid. Genius! A natural form of calcium called MCHA along with other minerals, K1, K2, and D3-this is a combination that your body recognizes as being closest to its own bone composition.
Supplements for Looking Younger, Boosting Energy, and Preventing Disease
Buried Treasure Active 55 Plus Senior Complex. Get everything you need to feel energized and healthy with this great-tasting liquid multi, designed for anyone over age 55. The impressive whole-foods complex includes herbs, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
ReserveAge Organics Collagen Booster. A facelift in a bottle, this innovative formula features collagen, which helps improve the body's production of collagen and reveals smoother, younger-looking, and more radiant skin-no kidding! It also contains age-defying resveratrol from organic red grapes.
Life Extension Resveratrol with Pterostilbene. This high-quality formula captures all the benefits of resveratrol, including promoting healthy DNA, helping extend lifespan, and regulating blood sugar levels. It also boasts trans-resveratrol, the best form for optimal assimilation.
THREE-TIME WINNER. Essential Formulas Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics 12 PLUS. Created by a famous Japanese microbiologist, this vegan, shelf-stable probiotic mixes traditional Japanese fermentation skills with advanced technologies and uses vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, and seaweed as culture mediums.
Flora Udo's Choice Advanced Adult Probiotics. Formulated by health expert Udo Erasmus, Udo's Choice Advanced Adult Probiotics contains nine strains of probiotics designed for seniors, with higher levels of bifido bacteria to meet the specific digestive needs of seniors. Keep refrigerated for best results.
ReNew Life Ultimate Flora Critical Care 50 Billion. We love ReNew Life's entire line of probiotics, but the Critical Care 50 Billion is a standout with its 50 billion live cultures per capsule-you would need to take 10 capsules of many other brands to get the same amount of probiotics.
Fish Oils and Essential Fatty Acids
THREE-TIME WINNER. Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega D-3. This is the ultimate investment in your health-two softgels feature a whopping 1,280 of omega-3 fats plus D-3.
THREE-TIME WINNER. Barlean's Swirl in Mango-Peach. We love the entire line of Omega Swirl products from Barlean's but there's something extra sweet about this newer flavor, Mango-Peach. One serving gives you more than 1,000 mg of fish oil.
Natural Factors Rx Omega-3 Factors. A favorite with shoppers and natural health doctors, Rx Omega-3 Factors is pharmaceutical grade and supplies more than 1,000 mg of fish oil concentrate in one softgel.
Supplements for Building Stamina and All-Day Energy
THREE-TIME WINNER. Paradise Herbs & Essentials ORAC-Energy Greens. This truly amazing mix is packed with good stuff, including green foods powder, berry and superfood concentrates, and probiotics. You get the antioxidant power of 24 fruits and vegetables in one serving, which can be conveniently stowed in your gym bag to be mixed with water or juice.
HerbaSway HerbaGreen Tea. Fantastic find! Few people have time to brew the many cups of green tea shown in studies to provide benefits. Enter this potent green tea extract that mixes easily in your water bottle for a powerful antioxidant energy boost.
Metabolism and Weight Loss
Supplements for Slimming Down and Curbing Appetite
Irwin Naturals System-Six support six systems in the body that assist weight loss-giving you more energy, improving your mood, enhancing metabolism, carb burning and more with an incredible combination of thermogenic herbs, vitamins and minerals, and green tea.
THREE-TIME WINNER. Garden of Life fucoTHIN uses a compound found in seaweed plus pomegranate to boost metabolism and fat burning.
Lane Labs AdvaCAL 1000. The clinical research on AdvaCAL is impressive: this powerful calcium formula helps increase bone mass,
build bone, and strengthen bones, particularly among postmenopausal and elderly women.
TWO-TIME WINNER. Maximum Living Mineral Rich Plus Aloe. It tastes great and it supplies more than 70 trace minerals, essential minerals, and vitamin B12 and biotin. The liquid form boasts superior absorbability with the addition of aloe.
Cleansing and Detox
Supplements for Total Body Detox
TWO-TIME WINNER. ReNew Life CleanseSMART fully supports your body in detox, addressing seven channels of elimination with 22 herbs and minerals.
Christopher's Original Formula Liver & Gallbladder Formula effectively cleanses these primary organs of elimination with a specialized blend including barberry bark, wild yam, ginger, and peppermint.
TWO-TIME WINNER. Nature's Secret Ultimate Cleanse works in two steps: Step 1 is a multi-herb digestion and detox formula, while step 2 is a multi-fiber cleanse.
Supplements for Keeping Children Healthy
Hero Nutritionals Yummy Bears D3. Give your kids a full-spectrum multivitamin in a tasty candy form, with added vitamin D3 for strong bones and immune health.
TWO-TIME WINNER. Nutrition NOW Rhino Gummy Bear Vitamins. Kids love the taste of these little bears-almost too cute to eat! Each bottle contains an assortment of Orange, Cherry, Strawberry, Lemon, White Grape, and Tropical Punch flavors, not to mention the full range of important vitamins and minerals for growing bodies.
Gaia Herbs Chia Fresh Daily Fiber. Gaia Herbs Chia Fresh Daily lets you fill up on fiber and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids from chia seed, which is also rich in phosphorus and potassium. Please note: The packing has recently changed on this product.
Sunsweet Naturals SupraFiber. Your daily fiber drink never tasted so good than with this fruity fiber elixir, rich in insoluble and soluble fiber and a unique fiber blend from prune, blueberry, açai, and acacia fibers.
Health Plus Inc. The Original Colon Cleanse. Cleanse your colon, detoxify your body, and boost your immune system with this popular fiber-based formula, which features soluble fiber from psyllium husks.
Supplements for Improving Digestive Health
Enzymedica Digest Gold + Probiotics. Get a comprehensive blend of digestive enzymes with specially coated probiotics for optimal digestive health-all in one capsule!
Enzymatic Therapy DGL Ultra, German Chocolate Flavor. These tasty tablets instantly provide soothing relief from digestive problems, including acid reflux. DGL is a form of the herb licorice, known for its digestive-healing properties.
Life's Fortune Full Spectrum Multivitamins & Mineral. Fans of this whole food-based multivitamin swear it provides more energy and vitality than any other multi. The truly comprehensive formula is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, enzymes, and superfoods such as spirulina.
New Chapter Organics Every Man's and Every Woman's One Daily. These are not your average multis. Packed with organic ingredients from superfoods, including nutrient-rich broccoli and kale, these one-a-day formulas are perfect as the foundation of a healthy nutrition program.
Supplements for Female Wellness
Emerita Menopause Plus Formula. A combination of proven herbs including black cohosh, red clover, and chaste tree, supply phytoestrogens and help women achieve balance.
UAS Labs Cran-Gyn DDS supports both urinary tract and gastrointestinal health with a proprietary blend of cranberry extract and D-Mannose, plus 5 billion CFU Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures.
TWO-TIME WINNER. Jarrow Formulas Fem-Dophilus. Two probiotic strains, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri, protect vaginal and urinary tract health.
Supplement for Sexual and Overall Wellness
Sprunk-Jansen Masculine. Increase your libido and stamina without drugs with this safe herbal formula, based on traditional Greek and Arabic medicine. It also helps boost energy and reduce mental fatigue.
Supplements for Easing Seasonal Allergies and Sinus Problems
Natural Factors Aller-7 Formula. If allergies are making you itchy, scratchy, sneezy, and dopey, relief is one the way. This all-in-one formula combines seven potent hay-fever-fighting herbal extracts that really work.
Xlear Nasal Spray with Xylitol. Xylitol, a natural sweetener, also has unique hydrating properties that can keep nasal passages from getting dry and irritated. This convenient carry-anywhere spray soothes sinuses anytime.
Supplements for Protecting Your Heart and Preventing Cardiovascular Disease
Nature's Plus Pomegranate Extended Release gives you the heart-protective antioxidant ellagitannins, ellagic acid, and punicalagi of pomegranate in a convenient, sustained-release tablet.
Bioenergy Life Science Corvalen D-Ribose. This doctor-recommended d-ribose supplies the heart, and all the body's cells, with essential energy.
NOW Foods Ubiquinol. Don't take chances with just any CoQ10. This highly bioavailable form of CoQ10 is essential for heart muscle function.
Mega Food Adrenal Strength. Help your body fight the effects of stress with this adrenal-nourishing formula, packed with vitamins and herbs. You'll notice better sleep, immunity, energy-and more.
North American Herb & Spice Oreganol. This potent antimicrobial is made from wild oregano grown in remote high-mountain regions of the Mediterranean. Oreganol P73 is the original wild oregano blend. A medicine chest essential!
Ridge Crest Herbals ClearLungs. Whether you have a bad cough, asthma, allergies, bronchitis, a respiratory infection, or just want to bolster your defenses during cold and flu season, this Chinese herbal formula is hard to beat.
Boiron Children's Chestal Honey Homeopathic Cough Syrup. Not just for kids, this rich, honey cough syrup soothes sore throats while helping to quiet coughs. You'll love the taste-and the fact it's safe for children and free of side effects.
Nelson Bach Arnileve, Multi-Action Sport Cream. From muscle aches and pains to stiffness, tendon injuries, and bruising, Arnileve, with arnica and other homeopathic remedies, works fast to stop pain.
Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW Organic Green Super Food. Described as raw veggie juice in a bottle, this cutting-edge product is a vegan source of chlorophyll, trace minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and probiotics. Plus, it contains 35 raw organic greens, sprouts and veggies.
TWO-TIME WINNER. Greens + Wild Berry Burst. We are sold on the refreshing, fruity flavor of this nutrient-dense formula-made with high-ORAC green superfoods and fruits extracts, including açai and pomegranate.
Supplement for A Good Night's Sleep
Source Naturals NightRest with Melatonin combines GABA, taurine, and melatonin to promote a relaxed mental states of calmness and serenity, as well as relax muscles and induce sleepiness.
Blood Sugar Balance
Supplements for Helping Prevent Type 2 Diabetes and Regulating Blood Sugar
Solgar Cinnamon Alpha Lipoic Acid. Solgar combines two powerful nutrients for blood sugar regulation-cinnamon and alpha lipoic acid-in one easy-to-take formula. Ideal for anyone concerned about type 2 diabetes.
THREE-TIME WINNER. Natural Factors PGX. This breakthrough formulation of fibers helps lower the glycemic index of foods, promote healthy blood sugar levels, curb appetite, and regulate metabolism. Great for anyone trying to lose weight.
Michael's Naturopathic Glucose/Sugar Metabolism Factors with Nopales, Advanced Formula. Nutrients such as chromium, essential fatty acids, bitter melon, and gymnema help support your body's production of insulin, pancreas function, and utilization of glucose.
Hair, Skin, and Nails
Supplements for Looking Beautiful
Biominerals BioSil ch-OSA Advanced Collagen Generator (from Natural Factors). Featuring a proprietary blend of silicon and choline, this product works like magic to strengthen nails and hair, and promote younger-looking skin. Research also shows
it helps build bone mass.
Natrol Shen Min Hair Nutrient, Original Formula. Used for centuries in China, the Shen Min hair complex is a specific blend of two Chinese herbs known to promote strong, beautiful hair. It also helps your hair grow faster.
Genuine Health Perfect Skin. Let your skin glow with this dermatologist- and naturopathic-formulated product. The mix contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals and is designed to help promote clear, blemish-free skin.
TWO-TIME WINNER. Carlson Labs Ddrops. There can't be an easier way to supplement with this essential vitamin-one tasteless drop provides 2,000 IU of vitamin D3. Take one to two drops daily.
Continental Vitamin Co. Superior Source No Shot B12. Just one tiny tablet under the tongue is all you need to get a burst of energy and your daily fill of vitamin 12. For optimal results, try first thing in the morning before eating breakfast.
Supplements for Improving Memory and Preventing Age-Related Mental Decline
Dr.'s Best Natural Brain Enhancers facilitates growth factor action for brain circuit renewal with brain-boosting GPC (Glycero-phosphocholine) and Phosphatidylserine, a building block for cell membranes that generate the brain's energy and electricity.
Himalaya USA Bacopa Mental Alertness provides whole-plant extracts of bacopa, an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to preserve mental acuity
Solgar Phosphatidylserine. Phosphatidylserine levels in the brain can decline with age, and supplementing daily can sharpen mental focus and help improve memory.
Joint Pain & Arthritis
Supplements for Relieving Arthritis Pain and Preventing Joint Deterioration
Bluebonnet Glucosamine/Chondroitin + MSM. All you need for arthritis relief in one synergistic blend, plus active sulfur and vitamin C from L-ascorbic acid.
Cogent Solutions Group Baxyl Advanced Hyaluronan Formulation. Hyaluronic acid (hyaluron) in synovial fluid cushions joints. This purified, high molecular weight hyaluronan liquid formula is easily absorbed and goes directly to joints to ease aches and pains.
Supplements for Boosting Immune Response and Easing Cold and Flu Symptoms
THREE-TIME WINNER! Nature's Answer Sambucus Extract Spray provides ideal seasonal support with immune-enhancing herbs including sambucus (black elderberry), echinacea, propolis, astragalus, and slippery elm.
Nature's Way System Well Ultimate Immunity. Defend yourself on all fronts! This multi-system defense formula improves seven systems in the body essential for healthy immunity.
Rainbow Light Counter Attack Immuno-Response. Fight back at the first sign of a cold and flu. Zinc, high-dose vitamin C, and a blend of herbs and extracts activate your natural immunity and relieve respiratory discomfort.
American Health Ester-C Advanced Antioxidant Formula. This all-in-one formula combines stomach-friendly Ester-C with high-ORAC whole foods, including prune, blueberry leaf, and pomegranate extracts.
Genesis Today Goji100. To reap the full rewards of antioxidant-rich goji berries, Genesis Today Goji100 is the way to go. This exclusive blend contains only goji juice, goji fruit meat, goji fruit skin, and goji fruit seeds.
Tahiti Trader Noni. Packed with potent antioxidant polyphenols, Tahiti Trader Noni contains 100% pure fruit ingredients with a minimal amount of sugar. Use for boosting your immune system, easing pain, and general anti-aging benefits.
Supplements for Sharper Vision and Eye Disease Prevention
TWO-TIME WINNER. Twinlab OcuGuard Plus. Keep your eyes healthy, improve vision, and enhance vision clarity with this comprehensive supplement, featuring eye-protective antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin D3.
Life Extension Super Zeaxanthin. This highly concentrated formula helps protect vision and improve eye health with the help of the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein.
Jarrow Formulas Ideal Bowel Support 299v. The secret weapon here is L. plantarum 299v, a probiotic strain shown to adhere to the intestinal mucosa for relief of bloating, gas, intestinal discomfort, and irregularity. Ideal for people with irritable bowel disease.
Beveri Nutrition Golden Flaxseed. We love that this new line of flax products comes exclusively from farms in the Central Plains-this guarantees a consistent serving of omega-3 fatty acids. Chose from five varieties, including Fine Milled Golden Flaxseed and Golden Flaxseed Fine Milled with Mixed Berries.
Vitalah Oxylent Oxygenating Daily Multivitamin Drink. Initially created to keep travelers healthy and energized on the road, Oxylent contains an impressive mix of ingredients, including enzymes, 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 (the optimal form) and Albion minerals (a high-quality form of minerals).
Pain & Inflammation
Supplements for Easing All Types of Pain and Reducing Inflammation within the Body
THREE-TIME WINNER. EuroPharma Terry Naturally Curamin. For the third year in a row, this fantastic proprietary complex including DLPA (dl Phenylalanine), and boswellia and curcumin extracts, is a top pick for pain. Safe, natural-and effective.
New Chapter Zyflamend. We love this potent, clinically proven formula, boasting an impressive list of inflammation suppressors such as tea, holy basil, ginger, and other herbs.
Michael T. Murray, ND, is the author of more than 30 books on natural health, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Third Edition. He is regarded as one of the world's top authorities on natural medicine, and is a sought-after lecturer and educator. Visit him online at doctormurray.com.