Frequently Asked Questions

Common Questions

Why is this daily vitamin different than others?

Formulation:

We identified the 9 most essential nutrients for women’s health backed by the latest data, then we sourced the most effective forms of those nutrients that actually work in the body, and finally we created a balanced product that provides only the amounts that are needed for optimal health. For more on what makes us so special, read about how we formulated Essential for Women here

Encapsulation:

Our pill is not just good looking, it’s backed by much better science than the standard technicolor tablet. We use beadlet-in-oil technology that allows us to keep nutrients in their original forms and closer to what’s found in our food. Learn more about Essential for Women here

Traceability:

Ritual practices true transparency. On our site, we invite our customers to trace each and every ingredient back to its origin. You can see what we use, where we got it, and why we chose to include it. Check out our traceable ingredient supply-chain here

Fair Price:

Our ingredients are the best in the world, which means they can be pricey. But lucky for you, you have us on your side. Purchased individually, the nutrients in our Essential for Women would be 5X the cost. But, by eliminating the middle-man and selling direct to you, we’re able to make the highest quality ingredients accessible to everyone.

Why do my vitamins smell like mint?

Notice the clear tab nestled inside your bottle? That's a food-grade insert infused with pure peppermint to keep your vitamins smelling minty fresh. One of our heart-helping ingredients is algal oil, which is a vegan source of omega-3 (with the same 2:1 ratio of DHA to EPA as fish oil!). The only downside to keeping algal oil in its raw form is it's familiar oceanic aroma, so we pop the tab in the bottle to make sure the smell and taste of your vitamins is something you enjoy!

When will I start feeling something?

The benefits you 'feel'—happier mood, maintained energy—are just bonuses when it comes to improving foundational health. While many people feel a difference within 1-2 weeks, some don’t notice anything at all, and that’s okay. It’s what’s happening inside your body that counts, and the timeline for better health is pretty cool. The water-soluble nutrients (Fe, Mg, folate, B12, boron) start working right away to support your heart, nerves, and more. Fat-soluble nutrients take longer—except for D3, which helps your brain the next day if you have low levels. All in all, it takes 3-4 months for your whole body to reach a healthy new equilibrium. By the time EFW reaches neurons—the cells in your brain that signal mood—it’s already helping many other cells in your body (heart, immune, bone, and more!).

How do I reactivate my subscription?

It's easy! Just log into your account page, click "reactivate", and then click the "edit" button next to your upcoming order date to get a new bottle shipped out right away.

How should I take them?

Take 2 together, morning or night, the ingredients will work the same either time of day! Plus, our vegan delayed-release capsule is designed to bypass the stomach for maximum absorption without nausea, which means you can take them with or without food :)

What’s in the capsules?

The 9 essential nutrients women lack the most. Here’s how they break down per serving (2 capsules):

  • Vitamin D3 2000 IU  
  • Vitamin E 10 IU  
  • Vitamin K2 MK7 90 mcg

  • Folate 600 mcg  
  • Vitamin B12 8 mcg

  • Iron 8 mg

  • Magnesium 50 mg  
  • Boron 1 mg  
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids DHA & EPA 320 mg

Learn more here.

Do the vitamins contain sugar?

Nope🙅 they're sugar-free.

Vitamins typically make me nauseous, how do I know that yours will be any different?

We use a vegan, delayed-release capsule that not only bypasses the stomach to prevent nausea, but also ensures maximum absorption of the nutrients in Essential for Women. A lot of people also get nauseous from taking iron, but the form we use is ferrous bisglycinate, which has better tolerability, absorption, and efficacy than the other iron forms which may cause nausea.

I have the MTHRF gene mutation, will these still work for me?

We got you covered. It turns out that over a third of women have that gene variation, and that means their bodies can't properly utilize folic acid (synthetic folate). We source our folate (6-5MTHF) from Italy and it is the preferred form. You can read more about folate vs folic acid here: https://ritual.com/blogs/journal/folate

I have trouble swallowing pills, will these be difficult for me?

No one likes taking horse pills, so we made sure to pack all the ingredients you need (per serving) into two size-0 vegan capsules. They should be easy to take, and your happiness is guaranteed. Just shoot us an email if you have any trouble and the order's on us :)

I forgot to take my vitamins, can I push my next order back?

Yes you can! Starting a new ritual is tough, and even the best of us can end up missing a day or two. If you have too many vitamins, and not enough days, just hit the snooze button on your account page. Click "manage my upcoming order" to set that up, and push your order back 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks. If you get back on track sooner than planned, you can process your next order to ship early from this page as well.

How do I start my new Ritual?

Head here to get started.

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Our Product

Who should take this vitamin?

This vitamin was formulated for modern women ages 18-50. It can be safe and useful for those outside this range as well, but we suggest consulting your physician first.

Is this product suitable for vegans?

Yes. Our Founder and CEO is vegan, so creating a vitamin suitable for vegans was one of our priorities. Read more about Kat’s vitamin journey here

Is this vitamin dairy, gluten, nut, and soy free?

Yes.

I'm breastfeeding/pregnant, can I take Essential for Women?

While Essential for Women is safe for pregnant/breastfeeding women, it may not have enough of some key nutrients if it is your only source of supplementation. When pregnant, we recommend talking to your physician about any supplementation. Let us know if a pre/post-natal is something you’d like us to develop.

Is this vitamin FDA approved?

By law, the FDA does not approve dietary supplements. But, the FDA does regulate both dietary supplements and dietary ingredients. At Ritual, we follow what the FDA established for dietary supplements in 2007 called "current Good Manufacturing Practice" (cGMP) regulations requiring that manufacturers evaluate their products through testing identity, purity, strength, and composition. We not only tested for stability with our manufacturers, but also did 3rd-party testing for potency of active ingredients, adulterants like heavy metals and microbes, allergens, rancidity and other unwanted contaminants. As a consumer, we think it’s important to do your own due diligence as well. That’s why Ritual has made it so easy for you to learn about our products and where they come from. Read about the origins and innovations behind our ingredients here.

Do you use animal testing for your product?

Never.

Is this vitamin considered organic?

Yes. Our ingredients are organic whenever the nutrient is coming from plants.

Is this vitamin non-GMO?

Yes. None of our ingredients are derived from Genetically Modified Organisms.

Is the vitamin bottle BPA free?

Yes, the plastic bottle and cap are both BPA free! They're also recyclable ♻️

Where is the product manufactured?

The product is manufactured in the United States by a leading manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and supplements. The company uses a patented method to fill vegetarian capsules with oil and beadlets. We’re really into it. Read why here.

Is Essential for Women free of environmental toxins such as mercury, lead, PCBs, or dioxin?

We obsessively keep track of everything that goes into our products, including undesirable contaminants. Ingredients extracted from natural sources can be exposed to unwanted compounds from the environment. When that type of exposure is a concern, we use a synthesized version of a nutrient (while making sure that that synthetic form is still bioidentical to its natural counterpart).

How and where should I store my vitamins?

Our vitamins are best stored in a cool, dark, and dry place, away from your little ones. Keep away from heat or direct sunlight. 

Can men safely take these vitamins?

Men can safely take Essential for Women, and it fills many of their nutrient deficiencies. However, it provides a little more iron than the average guy needs.

 

What if I’m diabetic?

If you are diabetic or have a serious disease or adverse health condition, please contact your physician before taking any dietary supplements.

Can these be taken with prescription medication?

Essential for Women contains vitamin K, which may interfere with the prescription drug Warfarin (Coumadin), a blood thinner. So, don’t take Essential for Women if you also take this drug or consult your physician for further information. Other than vitamin K, the amounts and identities of our essential micronutrients are within ranges that should not impact prescription medications.

What if I take more than the recommended dose?

Honestly, you should just take the recommended dose. If you go against our recommendations (but why?) and accidentally double or triple the dose, there is no toxicity concern, but multiple vitamin overdose can occur when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of multivitamin supplements. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Why are some of my beadlets black?

Some breakage of the beadlets (less than 5%) during the manufacturing process is normal and expected. If breakage occurs during manufacturing, it can appear black because of its dark raw materials. Black beadlets are nothing to worry about and does not mean that your vitamins have gone bad. We try to remove broken beadlets during our multiple inspection points throughout this process, but, if you happen to come across a black beadlet, know that this will not affect the quality of Essential for Women.

Why do my capsules have a fishy smell?

That comes from the algal oil we use as a vegan source of omega-3, which was originally developed by NASA with the goal of creating sustainable environments in space. It's awesome for you (with the same 2:1 ratio of DHA to EPA that you'd find in fish oil) and even better for the environment! You may notice the smell/taste because we don't use gelatin capsule like many other supplement brands, but our team is currently working on some updates that will eliminate this smell in the future. Stay tuned ;)

Ingredients

Is there corn in the vitamins?

Each serving of Essential for Women contains ~45 mg of nonGMO corn zein which helps form and coat the beadlets.

What vitamins and ingredients are in each capsule?

We have identified 9 vital nutrients based on the latest data of what the average American woman is not getting enough of from diet alone.

These include:

  • Vitamin D3 2000 IU  
  • Vitamin E 10 IU  
  • Vitamin K2 MK7 90 mcg

  • Folate 600 mcg  
  • Vitamin B12 8 mcg

  • Iron 8 mg

  • Magnesium 50 mg  
  • Boron 1 mg  
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids DHA & EPA 320 mg

Read more here

What is the liquid in the capsule?

It’s an oil blend composed of algal oil (a vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA & EPA), vitamin D3, vitamin K2 MK-7, vitamin E as Mixed Tocopherols, and silica (providing the oil with the right amount of viscosity for proper capsule filling). Learn more about the ingredients in our product here.

Why doesn’t Essential for Women contain vitamin C, zinc, or potassium? Aren’t those important?

They’re important, but here's the thing: the average intake of vitamin C and zinc is adequate from our diets, so supplementation isn’t necessary. For potassium, the intake is generally low, however, the amount of potassium that can be added to dietary supplements is limited by the FDA to 99 mg, which would have no significant health benefit.

Why is there no calcium in your vitamin when calcium intakes from foods are typically low for most women?

By combining vitamin D3, vitamin K2, boron, and magnesium, we can increase the body’s ability to better absorb and utilize calcium from the foods we already eat--so much so that actual calcium supplementation isn’t necessary at all. Pretty cool, huh? Learn more about vitamins work together here.

Do we really need the “best” forms of nutrients? Don’t other forms work just as well?

Better forms make for more effective vitamins, period. The best forms have better absorption, better assimilation, and are more effective in the body. Ritual designs products based on what your cells want and need, not what is cost effective on our end (and likely won't work in your body). For more information about why our forms are better, click here

What are those beads inside my capsule?

Those are all the dry nutrients (B vitamins and minerals iron, magnesium, and boron). These special beadlets don’t interact with the oil inside the capsule. Read more about why our beadlets are so great here

What is the DHA to EPA ratio of your algal oil?

Our algal oil has the optimal 2:1 ratio of DHA to EPA that you'd find in traditional sources of omega-3 such as fish oil.

What are the capsules made out of and why are they better?

So many reasons. First of all, our capsules are 100% vegan, which is rare. They are made from hypromellose (not gelatin), a cellulose derivative from inner-tree bark, and gellan gum, a microbial-based ingredient. The combination of these two components makes the gel capsule resistant to stomach acid, which helps prevent stomach upset and protect nutrients from acid-induced degradation.

Where do you source the ingredients from?

All over the world. We traveled far and wide—and did lots of research—to find out who those best suppliers were, and we made it our mission to work only with them. We’re proud of our suppliers, so we are also the first vitamin company to share exactly where each ingredient is coming from and why we chose it. If you want to know even more, you can read our Expert Interviews from the incredible scientists, founders, and professionals from the actual companies that make our ingredients and products. To learn more about where we source our ingredients from, click here

Are there any artificial flavors, colors, or dyes in the vitamins?

Nope!

Besides the 9 essential nutrients, what else is in the vitamins?

We only include what’s necessary to deliver our 9 hero nutrients safely and efficiently. Let’s start with some basic pill science: nearly every supplement, pill, and oral medication contains something called excipients. These are extra, non-active substances that perform necessary functions for the stability and the delivery of the active ingredients. Here’s a good example: Ritual contains a super small amount of citric acid (an acid that naturally occurs in citrus) to stabilize the iron that’s in the capsule. Even though Ritual only contains tiny concentrations of excipients, we got pretty obsessive about these little extras while we were in development —going to great lengths to understand every excipient used by our suppliers.  Let’s just say it took months.

So why were we so obsessed with excipients? Excipients in supplements can sometimes include some shady stuff like shellac and other toxic nasties. We wanted to make sure none of our ingredients came with questionable baggage. In fact, many ingredients didn’t make the cut in our final product because their associated excipients didn’t meet our standards.

The excipients in Ritual are included at the minimum amounts needed to protect, standardize, and stabilize the active ingredients. In addition to meeting our exacting standards, they have all been approved by food and regulatory agencies worldwide.

When we say less is more, we mean it. Every excipient below is necessary to making your vitamin work! No fillers, no BS.

 

Oil

  • Ascorbyl palmitate (0.1-0.5% per serving of omega-3): A fat-soluble form of vitamin C that protects our heart healthy fats and oils from oxidation.  
  • d-alpha-Tocopherol (3 mcg per serving): A natural form of vitamin E that helps keep your vitamin D3 fresh.
  • Fractionated coconut oil (~1 mg per serving): We use this as a carrier for fat-soluble nutrients to ensure that the concentration of vitamin D3 is consistent from pill to pill.  
  • Medium chain triglycerides aka MCT oil (~1.5 mg per serving): Another fat-soluble carrier, this guy helps standardize the concentration of K2 in your capsule.
  • Mixed tocopherols (~0.5 mg per serving): A complete, natural, non-GMO, and non-soy form of vitamin E that provides antioxidant protection for fats.
  • Silica (30 mg per serving):  A mineral that helps to adjust and standardize the oil viscosity.
  • Sunflower oil, non-GMO (9 mg per serving): A plant oil that helps standardize the concentration of mixed tocopherols from batch to batch.
  • Vanilla (20 mg per serving) and Peppermint Essential Oil (1 mg per serving): Yummy natural oils that help freshen the marine taste/smell of our omega-3 vegan algal oil.  

Beadlets

  • Cellulose (~45 mg per serving): A plant polymer that we use to build and form the beadlets.  
  • Citric acid (~2 mg per serving): An acid that naturally occurs in citrus that stabilizes the iron in Ritual.
  • Corn starch (~2 mg per serving): Made from non-GMO corn, this helps standardize/stabilize iron.
  • Corn zein (~45 mg per serving): A non-GMO corn protein that keeps all the goodies in your beadlet together, and forms a coating that prevents the oil from leaking into the beadlets.  
  • Dicalcium phosphate (~2 mg per serving): A type of salt that standardizes B12 to the desired potency, ensuring uniformity of dose per serving.
  • Glucosamine (0.6 mg/serving): A naturally-occurring substance that helps stabilize the folate in your pill. Bonus: ours isn’t derived from shellfish like a lot of versions.
  • Lecithin (~6.5 mg per serving): A fatty substance derived from non-GMO sunflower oil that acts as an emulsifier and absorption aid for your magnesium.
  • Pregelatinized rice starch/rice starch (31-37 mg per serving): A thickening agent that keeps magnesium inside the Sucrosomial® particles.
  • Silica (2.5 mg per serving of iron, <1 mg per serving of boron) A mineral that helps maintain the particle size and prevents caking of dry ingredients.
  • Sucrose esters of fatty acids (32.5-39 mg per serving): A non-soy compound that acts as another emulsifier for magnesium
  • Tricalcium phosphate (0.2 mg per serving): A salt that stabilizes Sucrosomial® magnesium and prevents caking.

 

What are all these packed in? Our awesome delayed-release capsule. Read more on that here.

Subscription

Do I have to set up a subscription?

You do, but the thing is, with Ritual, there really is no commitment. You can cancel or skip a month during your subscription at any time from your account page. Happiness guaranteed, or your money back. So why do we offer subscription-only? Research shows the longer you take vitamins, the better they work. We’re on a mission to simplify the entire vitamin-purchasing process, which includes how it gets to you. With one click, you never have to worry about your vitamin supply again.

What types of payment do you accept?

Mastercard, American Express, Visa, Discover, and PayPal.

How much is shipping?

$0 👍

How long will it take for my package to arrive?

Your first order should arrive in 5-7 business days (enough time to throw out all your other vitamins). Once the order has shipped, we'll send you an email to track it every step of the way.

What if my package is damaged or missing?

Just shoot us an email at my@ritual.com, we’ll help you out!

Do you ship outside of the United States?

Sorry, not now. But we’re planning our global takeover soon, so please keep checking back. Let us know which country you’d like us to ship to by emailing my@ritual.com.

When will my credit card be charged?

Once your order is placed, we will charge your credit or debit card. Your credit or debit card will then be charged every 30 days thereafter. However, if you have any concerns regarding your payment please feel free to contact us at my@ritual.com and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Do you store my credit card information?

Yes. However, we value customer safety, security, and privacy so you can be certain that our payment system is very secure. Our site is Level 1 PCI compliant, which means we meet the highest set of security standards designed to ensure that we maintain a secure environment.

How do I update my shipping and/or billing information?

Simply log into your account page to make those updates.

Can you ship to a P.O. Box?

Yes. We’re all about P.O. boxes.

Can I ship a bottle to a friend or family?

Of course. If you love Essential for Women and want to tell the world (or just your best friend), be sure to put in your billing information and their shipping address (And thanks!). 

What is your return policy?

We won’t take it personally (OK, we might), but if you are unhappy with your product we will offer a full refund. We’re always trying to improve, so please tell us why!

How do I cancel my subscription?

That’s too bad, we’re sad to see you go! However, if you need to cancel, just log into your account page (ritual.com/account/login) click "edit" and then scroll down to click "cancel".

Vitamins: Fact vs. Fiction

What are vitamins anyway?

Vitamins are compounds that are essential for health, but we can’t produce them on our own. Instead, we get them from the foods we eat. However, while certain vitamins (like C) are easy to get from food, others (K2, for example) are virtually impossible to get through our diets regularly.

Don’t I get everything I need from my diet?

You get some things, but not everything. Studies show that only 5% or less of the US population consumes the Daily Value for essential vitamins and minerals every day, which leads to poorer overall health. Click here to read about why we need vitamins. 

I've heard multivitamins are a scam, why do people say this?

Some vitamins companies go for a “throw it at the wall” approach, loading their product with as many as thirty different ingredients or more and hoping some will stick. So yeah, that’s kind of a scam. That said, there is significant, peer-reviewed, and published research that suggests using a multivitamin is better than taking nothing at all. That’s why we set out to perfect the daily vitamin—to pare it back to only the highest quality and best ingredients, and create a product that really works in the body. We use fewer ingredients, but individually and collectively, they’re more effective.

Supplements work when taken in the right forms and dosages (like those in Ritual’s Essential for Women). Balance is really important, and studies show supplements work better the longer they are taken. Learn more about our form here

Is the vitamin industry regulated?

Very much so. The FDA regulates both dietary supplements and dietary ingredients. At Ritual, we follow what the FDA established for dietary supplements in 2007 called "current Good Manufacturing Practice" (cGMP) regulations requiring that manufacturers evaluate their products through testing identity, purity, strength, and composition. We not only tested for stability with our manufacturers, but also did 3rd-party testing for potency of active ingredients, adulterants like heavy metals and microbes, allergens, rancidity and other unwanted contaminants. As a consumer, we think it’s important to do your due diligence as well. That’s why Ritual has made it so easy for you to learn about our products and where they come from. Read about the origins and innovations behind our ingredients here

How do I know if I'm getting a "good" vitamin? How can I educate myself on what to look for?

The best place to start is to look for vegan-friendly, allergen-free, and non-GMO products. Then, figure out what the most effective form of every nutrient is, so that you can find and take what will work best in the body. Many vitamin brands use the cheapest form of each nutrient. Often, these have minimal benefits, and sometimes they can actually do more harm than good. For more information about how our ingredients stack up, read our series This vs. That.

How do I know what is in dietary supplement products?

We only know what the label tells us, and unfortunately, many don’t show the full story. We think that’s not right and, frankly, pretty bogus. At Ritual, we focus on an open-source, open-story approach: Our first-of-its-kind open-source nutrient database gives consumers the ability to trace each ingredient back to its original source. Read more about where each nutrient is coming from, why we’ve included it, and what it does in the body here.

Are supplements safe?

Yes, supplements are exceedingly safe, but as the customer and supplement-taker, you should always pay strict attention to directions and dosages and follow them carefully. At Ritual, one of our core beliefs is balance. We recommend taking only what's necessary in its most effective form. Ritual uses active and absorbable forms of essential nutrients that are found in our food and cells, rather than cheaper forms that require the body to expend additional energy breaking them down into useable forms.

Can vitamins be anti-aging?

Yes, when done right (like Essential for Women). Deficiencies of folate, magnesium, and vitamin D3 are known to shorten telomeres, the ends of chromosomes in your cell nuclei. Shorter telomeres are a sign of aging, but you can actually preserve or lengthen them by repleting those deficient nutrients. To read more about the nutrients that help fight aging, click here.

Do vitamin supplements have unwanted ingredients in them that people should be aware of?

As a general rule, we think that if you can’t find an ingredient in food, you shouldn’t find it in your supplement. Ritual has strict criteria for ingredients, including the excipients we use. 90% of other vitamins contain one or more of the following ingredients:

  • Petroleum byproducts (source for most vitamins)
  • Coal tar derivatives (intermediates in some B vitamins production)
  • Polyethylene glycol (industrial antifreeze)
  • PVP (Povidone® or polyvinyl pyrrolidone, a synthetic plastic)
  • Titanium dioxide (indigestible white colorant and opacifier)
  • Talc (magnesium trisilicate)
  • Stearates (magnesium stearate, stearic acid)
  • Mineral oil (causes vitamin deficiencies)
  • Carrageenan (can lead to gastrointestinal inflammation)
  • Parabens (hormone disruptors)
  • Ion-exchange resins (plastics typically used for Vitamin B12 and not listed)
  • Gelatin (cow skin & bones)
  • Artificial colorants (carcinogens)
  • Artificial flavors or sweeteners

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