2011 Best of Supplements Award Winners
Our annual guide to superstar supplements. [Download a PDF version of this article.] Need some help picking a high-quality nutritional supplement?
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Need some help picking a high-quality nutritional supplement? The selection is bigger than ever, making it harder than ever to sort through the many choices at health food stores. But don’t worry. We have the solution to your supplement shopping dilemmas. No matter what you’re looking for-whether it’s a basic multivitamin or a more specialized formula to help reduce blood sugar-we’ve taken the guesswork out of the process by combing through hundreds of products for you. The result is this comprehensive guide, which brings together our favorites from 60 leading natural product companies.
*Editor’s note: Products were chosen by the editors of Better Nutrition. Special thanks to the following contributing writers/editors: Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, Jack Challem, Kim Erickson, Karolyn Gazella, Sherrie Strausfogel, Lisa Turner, Vera Tweed, and Neil Zevnik.
- Store supplements in a cool, dry, dark place like a kitchen cabinet-do not leave on the windowsill or on top of the refrigerator or microwave.
- Read labels carefully – some products require refrigeration after opening.
- Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, fish oil, and other EFAs are safe to refrigerate, which can extend the shelf life of the product.
- Look for expiration dates to guarantee potency and freshness.
- Don’t take a vacation from your supplements when you’re on vacation. Look for travel-size or travel-friendly products or use a pill case.
- American BioSciences ImmPower Why we love it:It’s one of the strongest immune supplements out there. Can be used year-round
and/or during cold and flu season.
- American Health Ester-C with D3Why we love it: It combines highly bioavailable, nonacidic vitamin C with vitamin D3-a one-two immune and bone health punch.
- BoironOscillococcinumWhy we love it:This is one of the few products that can stop the flu virus in its tracks. Keep it on hand during cold and flu season.
- Quantum HealthZinc Elderberry Lozenges Why we love it:These travel-friendly raspberry lozenges deliver immune-boosting zinc plus antiviral elderberry.
- Rainbow Light Counter AttackWhy we love it:Formulated by a well-known herbalist, the combination of herbs is a powerful defense against cold and flu symptoms.
- XlearXYLITOLSinus Nasal SprayWhy we love it:Made with the natural ingredient xylitol, this spray soothes mucous membranes and helps to naturally deter bacteria.
Fiber, Detox, & Cleansing
- Enzymatic TherapyWhole Body CleanseWhy we love it: Simply, it works-this specially formulated blend flushes away the bad (i.e., toxins) to give your body a fresh start.
- EnzymedicaDigest SpectrumWhy we love it: Works across the board. Several strains of plant-based enzymes help ensure that multiple sensitivities (including to gluten) are addressed.
- Health Plus The Original Colon CleanseWhy we love it: Pure psyllium husk is the secret to this bestselling colon product, which works quickly to detoxify the body and promote regularity.
- Nature’s Plus Advanced Therapeutics SynaptaLean Rx-Fat LossWhy we love it: It’s a smartly designed formula with green tea extract, rhodiola, and tyrosine for appetite reduction, fat burning, stress reduction, and craving control.
- Natural FactorsPGX Daily Why we love it: Nothing compares to this patent-pending mix of fibers. Studies show that PGX helps promote weight loss via effective blood sugar regulation. Also helps tame appetite and cravings.
- Michael’s Naturopathic Programs Cardio Pack + Why we love it: It offers the top heart health nutrients-CoQ10, fish oil, vitamin D3, and resveratrol-in a convenient 4-pill daily packet.
- Wakunaga Kyolic CoQ10 Formula 110 Why we love it: It blends Aged Garlic Extract-a clinically proven ingredient for cardiovascular health-with CoQ10, an essential nutrient for the heart.
Essential Fatty Acids
- Amerifit BrandsOvega-3Why we love it: The star ingredient here, Life’s DHA, comes from algae, which is super- rich in essential fatty acids and a vegetarian source of omega-3s.
- Barlean’somega Swirl Lemon ZestWhy we love it: Where do we start? The sublime flavor (think lemon merengue pie) and creamy texture will fool you-you’ll think it’s dessert, not fish oils
- Country LifeOmega 3 MoodWhy we love it: It’s both pure (molecularly-distilled) and potent-with EPA (1,000 mg) from cold-water fish to support mood, emotional well-being, and brain function.
- Nordic NaturalsOmega-3 EffervescentWhy we love it: It’s a fizzy drink mix that delivers high-potency, easy-to-absorb fish oils in a yummy orange cream flavor.
- Udo’s ChoiceUdo’s Oil 3-6-9 BlendWhy we love it: Organic flax, sesame, and sunflower seed oils are combined for the perfect balance of essential fats.
- New ChapterWholemegaWhy we love it: It’s a first-of-its-kind fish oil that features 100% wild Alaskan salmon oil. Many Hollywood celebrities count this as one of their beauty secrets.
- Beveri NutritionGolden FlaxseedWhy we love it: The unique milling process creates a super-fine flax meal with a complex, nutty flavor. Mixes well with most foods..
- EuroPharma Terry NaturallyCuraminWhy we love it: Relieves all kinds of pain with curcumin (found in turmeric), including arthritis pain and inflammation-without the side effects of NSAID drugs.
- North American Herb & SpiceOreganol P73 Why we love it: It’s an all-in-one immune tonic-great for boosting immunity; reducing the severity of colds, flu, and other infections; and combating Candida.
- Only NaturalUltimate African Mango extractWhy we love it: Also called Irvingia Gabonensis, this potent African mango extract helps curb your appetite and promote weight loss without side effects.
- FloraFloradix Iron + HerbsWhy we love it: Iron can be constipating, and this one’s not. The liquid formula makes it easy to absorb, and added digestive herbs help, too.
Multivitamins & Antioxidants
- Hero NutritionalsSlice of Life Multi + Sugar FreeWhy we love it: These delicious gummies are sugar free, easy-to-absorb, and packed with a full day’s supply of vitamins and minerals.
- Nutrition NOW Rhino Gummy Multi-VitaminWhy we love it: It’s a kid-friendly, award-winning multivitamin in strawberry, orange, and lemon fruit flavors.
- Source NaturalsLife ForceWhy we love it: This high-dose multi features bioavailable forms of key vitamins and minerals, along with enzymes and other energizing nutrients.
- Quality of Life LabsOligonolWhy we love it: Polyphenols from lychee and other foods promote healthy aging inside and out.
- BluebonnetRainforest AnimalzWhy we love it: It’s naturally sweetened, and each product has been tested and approved by kids. Bottles include information about the rainforest, too.
- Nature’s AnswerUTanswerWhy we love it: D-mannose and cranberry create a synergistic duo, helping improve urinary tract health in three days. Powerful stuff!
- Mega FoodBlood BuilderWhy we love it: The iron, vitamin B12, and other ingredients come from whole food for optimal absorption and effectiveness.
- Nature’s WayDIM-Plus Estrogen MetabolismWhy we love it: You can feel and see the difference. Benefits include better mood and skin. Also: Less bloating, and fewer hot flashes and PMS symptoms.
- BioforceSanhelios CurbitaWhy we love it: It’s the only product that naturally addresses leaky bladder, without embarrassment or side effects. Works for women and men.
- Natural VitalityNatural Calm Why we love it: Balances your calcium levels and restores magnesium in a highly absorbable powder form. Mixed with warm water, this raspberry-lemon Anti-Stress Drink is the perfect nightcap.
- Maximum LivingMineralRichWhy we love it: It provides a daily boost of minerals in a single tasty shot. Includes important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc, along with B vitamins.
- Paradise Herbs & EssentialsORAC-Energy GreensWhy we love it: It’s a multivitamin, antioxidant, energy aid, and immune booster all rolled into one. It mixes well in smoothies or juice.
- Vibrant HealthGreen VibranceWhy we love it: Green foods are juiced and then converted into crystals in this concentrated, energizing blend. Try with water or almond milk.
Beauty & Skin
- Diamond FormulasHerpanacine Skin SupportWhy we love it: Acne and other skin problems virtually disappear with this fantastic, time-proven blend of herbs, vitamins A and E, selenium, and zinc.
- Arthur Andrew MedicalSyntol AMD This antifungal combats Candida with the help of powerful probiotics strains. Fans of this product say it works better than prescription medications!
- Essential FormulasDr. Ohhira’s Probiotics Original FormulaWhy we love it: Developed by a renowned microbiologist, this classic, full-spectrum formula incorporates 12 naturally cultured probiotic strains.
- ReNew LifeUltimate Flora Critical Care 50 BillionWhy we love it: The high potency-formula is great for people with irritable bowel syndrome and leaky gut syndrome.
- UAS LabsProbioPlus DDSWhy we love it: Includes multiple strains of friendly bacteria in a non-dairy formula for optimal digestion and immunity.
Energy & Stress Relief
- Carlson LabsNutra-Support EnergyWhy we love it: It gives you real, lasting energy by fortifying your body with the nutrients it needs to meet everyday demands-and then some.
- ReserveAge OrganicsCocoaWell True EnergyWhy we love it: It delivers instant energy and focus without jitters. Great before a workout, big test, or company meeting.
- Nelsons BachRESCUE GumWhy we love it:It’s an inexpensive, travel-friendly way to save your sanity. A mix of homeopathic remedies soothe tension and calm nerves instantly.
- Himalaya Herbal HealthcareLiverCareWhy we love it: This clinically studied herbal blend is a winner for many reasons: It supports all areas of liver health, including detoxification. You’ll notice more energy with continued use.
- Dr. Venessa’s FormulasThyroid BalanceWhy we love it: It helps regulate a healthy metabolism to counteract the symptoms of hypo-thyroidism such as weight gain, hormonal imbalance, and thinning hair.
- Gaia HerbsSound SleepWhy we love it: This unique blend of natural relaxants, including valerian and GABA, helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. 100% vegetarian liquid caps.
- Irwin NaturalsAller-PureWhy we love it: It contains a proprietary mix of herbs shown to reduce common allergy symptoms-and help prevent future problems.
- Jarrow FormulasNeuro OptimizerWhy we love it:. The star ingredient here is Cognizin, a form of choline shown to enhance brain health and function.
- Doctor’s BestBest Stabilized R-Lipoic AcidWhy we love it: Stabilized so it won’t degrade at high temperatures, it’s a strong defense against free radicals.
- Garden of LifeRAW ProteinWhy we love it: It’s a 100% raw, vegan source of protein from organic sprouts with fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), probiotics, and enzymes.
- Lewis LabsBrewer’s YeastWhy we love it: Just like package says, it really does taste great. This nutrient-dense food is also a good source of certain B vitamins.
- NatrolTonalin CLAWhy we love it: It features Tonalin, a clinically studied form of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which helps melt away body fat and keep it off.
- SolarayB-Complex 100Why we love it: The base of whole rice and aloe vera boost the vitamins’ bioavailability. Also: You get therapeutic doses of all the Bs, including B6.
- NOW SportsD-Ribose PowderWhy we love it: Mixed with water or juice, D-ribose builds energy at the cellular level and is especially great for fibromyalgia patients.
- Superior SourceMicroLingual B12Why we love it: You just can’t beat the instant-dissolve tablets and Microlingual technology. Provides an immediate boost.
- SolgarUbiquinol 100 mgWhy we love it: These softgels boast ubiquinol, which has been shown to be more bioavailable than other forms of CoQ10. Try for energy and heart health.
- Lane LabsHips, Shoulders, Knees & ToesWhy we love it: It utilizes the enzyme serrapeptase, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility without side effects.
- MembrellJOINTHealthWhy we love it: It’s an innovative answer for joint pain: natural eggshell membranes help ease all types of joint pain and discomfort.