Pills with a punch

FRESNO, Calif.

Christopher Guglielmo is a personal trainer who makes taking care of himself a priority. And he takes a multivitamin every day, like nearly 40 percent of all adults.

With so many different multivitamins on the market, knowing "which multivitamin is right for you" can be confusing. Consumer reports tested 21 - regular daily multivitamins, as well as one for seniors and chewables for children.

"Not everyone needs to take a multivitamin, particularly if you eat a balanced diet. But it's necessary for pregnant women and people on strict diets," Gayle Williams said.

Consumer reports had an outside lab test for the ingredients claimed, as well as contamination. None contained worrisome levels of heavy metals or excessive doses of any vitamin or mineral.

Consumer reports also tested to see how well the multivitamins dissolve. That's important, so you're able to get all the nutrients.

Two of the most expensive multivitamins had a problem. Some samples from Rite Aid's Whole Source Mature Adult and Vitamin Shoppe's One Daily did not dissolve sufficiently.

And with the One Daily, samples from two of the three lots tested contained only 73 percent of the vitamin a listed.

"The good news is all the other multivitamins passed Consumer Reports' tests, so you can choose by price," Williams said.

If you really want to cut your costs, consumer reports says look for multivitamin sales and buy in bulk, since many vitamins don't expire for at least a year.

One of the least expensive for all three types was Equate from Wal-Mart. And the Kirkland Signature Multivitamins from Costco will save you even more.

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