Why You Should Buy Both Generic and Brand Name Vitamins

If you have been using vitamins for many years, you may want to save money. By purchasing both generic and brand name vitamins, you can get similar benefits. Although generic vitamins tend to cost much less than the brand name products, you must be careful and evaluate both choices before making a purchase.

USP Verification

Prior to buying any vitamin product, you can check for the USP verification on the label. USP (United States Pharmacopeia) audits, tests and verifies supplements, so products that meet their standards receive a seal. USP checks the ingredients and their strength to ensure quality. In addition, they examine the manufacturing process to ensure safety.

You should only buy generic and brand name vitamins that have the USP seal visible on the label. This helps narrow down the choices because many supplements do not go through the USP verification. Generic vitamins are just as likely to have USP verification as the brand name versions, so you can select the cheaper supplements.


The ingredients of generic and brand name vitamins are usually identical. You can always compare all of the ingredients and notice that there are occasional differences in the inactive ingredient lists. The inactive ingredients are basically fillers, and some people are not concerned about them.

Some people are careful about the type of calcium supplements they purchase and tend to avoid calcium carbonate. Unfortunately, some generic and brand name vitamins use oyster shells as the main source of calcium for the supplements, and this is not absorbed well by the body. Instead, they prefer to buy calcium citrate and usually have to purchase the more expensive brand name supplements.

You should also try to avoid vitamins that have dl- listed in front of an ingredient name because it signifies synthetic. The synthetic version of vitamin E is often designated as dl-alpha-tocopheryl. Many vitamins that are not derived from natural sources have the potential of coming from coal tar, so you sometimes have to choose the more expensive brand name versions.


You can alternate between generic and brand name vitamins based on cost. If you are able to combine coupons with store sales, then you are more likely to purchase the brand name products because they will actually end up costing less. You can also wait for “buy one, get one free” sales on vitamins. In general, generic vitamins rarely have coupons, but stores will occasionally offer them on sale.

Some people do not believe in loyalty to a single brand name or generic version. Since most products are identical, they will purchase the cheapest one after checking for the USP verification and comparing ingredients.