Usana vitamins
August 2, 2012 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Usana vitamins, better than the norm?

I've done a lot of research on if their vitamins are better than the more well known brands. I'm aware that they have a MLM structure but not exclusively, (as you can buy them on amazon and also directly off their website) but was wondering if anyone had any first hand experience with actually taking these. Just because a product utilizes mlm as part of it's sales strategy doesn't automatically mean the product is B.S, however I'm curious if they are worth the extra cost as compared to a centrum, one a day, etc. I've been doing research that claims most store bought vitamins have very meager rates of absorbtion, and it's difficult to find any objective, REAL scientific analysis on vitamins in general that are foolproof and not without motive... Testimonalials online are hard to trust as they could just be from Usana reps or the company, etc, just curious if anyone has had any first hand experience taking these and if so, if they thought it made you feel better than the standard multivitamin out there.

Also, if someone could recommend a great multi vitamin brand that is clearly more potent than the norm in terms of absorbtion rates backed by real scientific proof/independent data, please feel free to suggest a brand. The supplement industry is the wild west, anyone can claim pretty much anything without valid proof as long as it's not harmful to the consumer, so much B.S. to sift through it's fusterating. Perhaps I need to pony up for a consumer reports report on vitamins to get an objective, non-biased review?

posted by HonestAsian to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Looking through the ingredients list for their vitamins on their website, they arn't bad quality, but they are no where near as good as what you would be paying for. There is also a lot of quacky but sciencey sounding shit mixed in that isn't worth any price.

Information is beautiful put together a great infographic a while ago on which suppliments have proof of efficacy and how much, I'd start there.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:33 AM on August 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

Just because a product utilizes mlm as part of it's sales strategy doesn't automatically mean the product is B.S...

No, the fact that they utilize MLM doesn't necessarily mean they're breaking the law, but it absolutely means that their product is a secondary concern as far as their business practices go (well, tertiary, if you consider "raise stock value".)

The MLM component means Usana isn't in the business of selling vitamins; according to Wikipedia: "In 2010, 90% of product sales was purchased by associates, and 10% by preferred customers." You don't start an MLM business because you have an amazing product, it wouldn't make a lick of sense to do so.
posted by griphus at 9:35 AM on August 2, 2012 [9 favorites]

If you really want the optimal vitamin supplement for you, see a doctor and have a comprehensive assay and get a vitamin supplement compounded especially for your needs.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:37 AM on August 2, 2012

And I agree with griphus. Sure, the Amway laundry soap and the Mary Kay mascara work fine, but they're not the best on the market. Nothing sold through an MLM ever is.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:38 AM on August 2, 2012

I took Usana vitamins for many years. After a while, I switched to the Kirkland (Costco) brand and I feel no difference - except in my wallet. :)
posted by shino-boy at 9:53 AM on August 2, 2012

A fitness and nutrition expert that I trust, Robb Wolf of paleo diet fame (who was an honest-to-goodness research chemist before he ditched that and bought a gym) recently said on his podcast that Carlson vitamins have been making excellent fat-soluble (apparently this is important) vitamins for years, and they don't cost an arm and a leg. For example, he said he takes a Vitamin A supplement that is in liquid form-- a tiny $8 bottle lasts for more than a year. Wolf also recommended their Vitamin ADK supplement too. I see that you can buy a lot of their stuff on Amazon, but it may be cheaper somewhere else. Robb doesn't have any endorsements from Carlson, he was just responding to the same question-- what is a reputable and useful brand of supplements? Besides, several months of listening to his podcast has convinced me he is some sort of strange genius frat-boy with an astounding knowledge of fitness and biochemistry who doesn't really try that hard to make money off of his brand. If those are the supplements he uses, then I take that as a pretty solid recommendation. Personally, I don't take any vitamins myself, except for Vitamin A. I think that a diet rich in fresh raw vegetables and other clean foods generally provides everything your body needs. I only take Vitamin A because I live in the sun-starved Pacific Northwest, and because my doctor says that I am so big that my body will never be able to metabolize enough Vitamin A on its own unless I moved to Hawaii and spent all day on the beach.
posted by seasparrow at 11:02 AM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Consumer Reports recently did a ton of testing on multivitamins. Although I'm not sure if they tested this particular brand or not, they found that all vitamins are pretty much the same, and you should just buy whatever's cheapest (they recommend Kirkland vitamins, just like shino-boy).

There are two main issues with vitamins: contaminants, and dissolution. Assuming a vitamin meets the minimum requirements for dissolution, and that it contains no contaminants... they really are all the same. Any claims to the contrary are just marketing hype.

To sum up: best-case scenario, these vitamins are equivalent to Kirkland brand (but much more expensive). Worst-case scenario, they are not as good.
posted by ErikaB at 5:08 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

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