From HQ

The Road to Our Clinical Trial

3 min read

Learn more about the journey to becoming clinically-backed, our study design, and the results.
Learn more about the journey to becoming clinically-backed, our study design, and the results.

Since the day our founder set out to create a clean, traceable multivitamin that vitamin skeptics would feel confident taking, we’ve made every effort to ensure that our products meet and exceed a certain scientific standard. We assembled an in-house team of scientists with decades of experience between them: a Harvard-trained physiologist, a biochemist, and a registered dietitian at the helm. We built our own Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of a network of medical doctors, nutritionists, and scientists who are all interested in the success of our mission and help us stay ahead of any breaking research. And we continue to comb thousands upon thousands of journals and studies related to nutrition, formulation, and physiology, so that we’re never anything less than confident in our products. In other words, every decision we make for our products is obsessively backed up by evidence.

But even so, conducting clinical trials with our products has always been a goal for Ritual—namely, because it’s a standard we’ve always wanted from the vitamin industry at large. And that goal began with Essential for Women.


A university-backed clinical trial allowed us to quantify the impact of Essential for Women.

In other words, while we’ve always been able to demonstrate the efficacy of our product in other ways, a clinical trial provides an additional (and more specific) lens. “We believe that consumers care about how their products work,” says Nima Alamdari, PhD, our Chief Science Officer. “Putting a product through a clinical trial allows you to directly measure its physiological impact. As a science-based organization, we want to make sure our consumers are informed on all aspects of our products—from what ingredients and doses we use, to the where we source them, and now, how they work (all together) in the body.”

So instead of just directing our customers to a variety of journals to read (a toilsome job, even for a scientist!) about nutrients and formulation, we’re now able to also talk about the results of the Essential for Women clinical study. And for the record, a clinical study isn’t necessarily a market requirement for supplements—but it was important to our team to go above and beyond to quantify Essential for Women in this way.

“It’s not always the norm to invest in a clinical program and partner with universities in our industry,” adds Nima. “But our team is committed to putting numbers on our products. We want to quantify the impact a product has on the human body—we think that there’s real value there. I’m excited to be part of a movement towards smarter, more measured products that inform (and help educate) consumers towards better choices and products that really work.”

We followed the gold standard for study design.

For us, there was never any other option. It was important for us to conduct our clinical trial with an independent research partner, so we teamed up with Auburn University. We tracked the impact of Essential for Women over the course of 12 weeks on 94 women, ages 21 through 40.

The study was placebo-controlled and double-blind—meaning that neither the scientists conducting the trial nor the participants knew if they were getting a placebo or Essential for Women.

“There’s a hierarchy in terms of the quality of evidence behind a product,” says Nima. “Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are considered to be the gold standard design.”


Our findings were significant.

Again, we’ve always stood behind our product. But it was thrilling for our team to see the impact of Essential for Women quantified in a clinical trial. We won’t spoil too much (you can find the results here), but over 12 weeks, Essential for Women was clinically shown to increase vitamin D and omega-3 DHA levels, with no change to placebo.* The study focused on measuring the levels of several key nutrients, and while some of our initial findings were published in the American College of Nutrition—a peer-reviewed journal that’s well-respected by the scientific community—we are excited to share more results.

And on that note… this is just the beginning.

Is it a big deal that we can now say “clinical-backed?” Absolutely—but we wouldn’t be sticking to our own obsessive standard if we stopped there. This is just the beginning of a clinical-backed future, and when appropriate, we aim to invest in clinical trials with our finished products.