From HQ

Our Clinical Trial Results

3 min read

We reveal the results of our first-ever clinical trial.
We reveal the results of our first-ever clinical trial.

Essential Takeaways

  • Conducting a clinical trial isn't necessarily an industry standard. But it's important for us to go above and beyond in illustrating the value of our products.
  • And for our first clinical trial, results were significant: Essential for Women was shown to increase vitamin D levels by 43%, and shown to increase DHA levels by 41%, compared with no changes observed in the placebo-controlled group.*

Our standard from the very beginning has been to create a multivitamin we ourselves would be proud to take—even if the road to meet that standard would be far from easy.

That’s why completing our first clinical trial was such a big deal: While we have always used evidence-based research to feel confident in our formulas, being able to quantify the specific impact of Essential for Woman takes us a step further. Completing clinical trials is not always a required industry standard, and demands a significant capital investment that is not always easy for a relatively new business to make. But at Ritual, setting an exceedingly high bar for ourselves is our M.O.—all in the name of helping to make an impact on our customers’ health.

And it paid off: We’re thrilled to share significant results from our 12-week clinical trial, which was conducted as a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in a partnership with Auburn University, on 94 women ages 21 through 40.

Essential for Women was shown to increase vitamin D levels by 43%, while no changes were observed in the placebo-controlled group.


Grey = placebo; Yellow = Essential for Women

That’s according to blood plasma levels of vitamin D, measured after 12 weeks. On average, this put the Ritual group’s vitamin D levels in the “sufficient” range: that is, above 40 ng/mL as recommended by vitamin D council guidelines. This is significant, because we formulated Essential for Women with the knowledge that the majority of women do not consume optimal levels of vitamin D due to a variety of factors (urban living, time spent outside, and even SPF can all play a role). Given that vitamin D helps play a supporting role in immune health, muscle function, and bone maintenance, this is less than ideal.*

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That’s why these results were particularly exciting for our Director of Scientific Affairs, Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD. As a dietitian and nutrition researcher, she knows better than most that vitamin D levels have a tendency to be low for most Americans, regardless of diet. (Even those who follow the Mediterranean diet—which is seen as a kind of gold standard for nutrition—still may not be getting sufficient vitamin D from their diet, as a rule.)

“I believe to get the most health benefits, we should follow healthy nutrient-rich diets but make sure to supplement when it comes to limited nutrients,” she says. That’s why it’s so key that the results showed that Essential for Women helped fill vitamin D gaps.*

Essential for Women was shown to increase omega-3 DHA levels by 41%, while no changes were observed in the placebo-controlled group.


Grey = placebo; Yellow = Essential for Women

As with vitamin D, most Americans fall below recommended intakes for omega-3 DHA—so it was exciting to see omega-3 DHA levels increase after 12 weeks on Essential for Women. As a reminder, omega-3 DHA helps support brain health, eye health, and heart health. We source our omega-3 DHA from microalgae, which means it’s vegan-friendly.*

Why vitamin D and omega-3 DHA?

For us, these nutrients were especially significant. “Our main goal with our products is to help fill gaps in the diet,” says Mastaneh. “The amounts of vitamin D and omega-3 DHA Americans are getting from their diet are typically below the recommended levels which makes these two nutrients particularly noteworthy.” It’s also worth mentioning that on average, the participants in our clinical trial started at lower levels for both of these nutrients—so the fact that they were able to reach significantly higher levels for both after 12 weeks is all the more noteworthy.

What does this all mean?

Ritual was created for vitamin skeptics, by vitamin skeptics—it’s why we’ve always chosen to go above and beyond, and now, that includes conducting a clinical trial. And it means a lot to us that we can go one step further in showing how our product worked in a clinical trial. “These results confirmed that the forms and dosages of Essential for Women nutrients were efficacious to help our participants to achieve increased nutrient levels,” says Mastaneh.*

It’s exciting stuff, for sure—but it’s also important to remember that while we’re happy to see results that quantified the impact of Essential for Women, we still stand by our food-first philosophy. “Foods don’t just comprise of vitamins and minerals,” she says. “They also provide beneficial phytochemicals and components, some that we may not even be aware of that can help support our well-being.”

As for us? We’re now more confident than ever that we formulated a product designed to help fill gaps in your diet—and this is just the first step of a clinical-backed future.*