facebookHow to Get Health Supplements For Cheap: iHerb, Watsons Vitamin Mall & Shopee Compared
Health supplements 2022

How to Get Health Supplements For Cheap: iHerb, Watsons Vitamin Mall & Shopee Compared

profileHui Juan Neo

Does this look familiar to you?

Source: Amazon

Many of us here would’ve taken this when we were young because our parents forced us to. Thankfully the taste wasn’t too bad.

Scott’s cod liver is one of the most popular supplements advertised and is said to enhance the immunity of children.

Unlike health insurance which only comes into use when something happens, the consumption of health supplements can be considered a preventive measure to maintain our health.

In Singapore,  taking health supplements is serious business as a 2021 report by Euromonitor predicted that the Vitamin and Dietary Supplements industry in Singapore will grow from S$581.3 million in 2019 to  S$737.3 million in 2024.

Indeed, taking health supplements seems to be a common thing among my social circle just because…we’re ageing.

Source: Tenor

If you’re someone who takes your supplements seriously, you should always remember that health supplements are NOT medicine.

Note that the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) does not regulate health supplement imports or assess their effectiveness before they’re sold in Singapore.

That said, if you’re looking for affordable health supplements, we’ve prepared a guide for you!

TL;DR: iHerb & Platforms To Get Supplements At Discounted Prices, Types of Supplements and Their Average Cost

Supplements (60 tablets/capsules)iHerbShopeeWatsonsVitaminMall
Blue-Green Algae$47.13 to 71.48$43.15 to $58.50$20.44N/A
Calcium$5.26 to $30.24$6.45 to $48$7.50 to $40.90$19.90 to $49.90
Collagen$17.12 to $33.12$10.50 to $75$69$39.90 to $59.90
Evening Primrose$7.45 to $44.13$13.80 to $57.72$26.50 to $35.75N/A
Folic acid$7.05 to $48.64$9 to $79.87$34.90 to $42.40$17.90 to $19.90
Iron$4.08 to $49.23$11.90 to 58.50$38.10 to $42.40N/A
Iodine$8.57 to $50.21$19.26 to $71.90N/AN/A
Ginkgo$12.85 to $47.12$12 to $55$28.10 to $52.40$29.90
Ginseng$7.45 to $43.12$8.99 to $45.50N/A$49.90
Lutein$9.06 to $52.83$19.90 to $54.99$22.50 to $41.70$39.90
Magnesium$11.43 to $49.04$13.99 to $59.90$23.90 to $72.40N/A
Omega-3 Fish Oil$15.64 to $81.96$22.90 to $48.50$22.70 to $38.50N/A
Probiotics$13.02 to $79.92$22.90 to $102.90$20.90 to $59$79.90 to $99.90
Vitamin B12$6.52 to $43.12$3.85 to $69.90$9.90 to $34.90$59.90 to $99.90
Vitamin C$7.14 to $49.97$10 to $79.90$22.60 to $69.90$59.90 to $129
Vitamin D$7.14 to $64.55$10 to $39.90$18.90 to $40.90$69.90 to $99.90
Zinc$7.23 to $42.83$10.50 to $36.76$24.60 to $44.25N/A
Shipping FeeOrders $60 and above: Free shipping, not including duties and taxesVariesOrders $40 and above: Free shipping

Note: There is a promotion of free delivery now
Free Shipping on all orders in Singapore and Malaysia

Disclaimer: This list is non-exhaustive. The information provided by Seedly serves as an educational piece and is not intended to be personalised health advice. ​Readers should always do their own due diligence and consider their health and financial circumstances before purchasing any products. If required, speak to a health professional to identify products that are suitable for you. 

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Common Health Supplements and Their Purposes

There is a huge variety of health supplements, some are good for your general health while some are target specific ailments.

For example, health supplements that are good for our eye health are generally more expensive.

These are the common supplements and why people consume them.

Blue-Green AlgaeGood for people with high blood pressure. Can also be taken as a protein supplement.
CalciumCalcium is a mineral well-known for its role in bone health. It is good for preventing osteoporosis. It has other functions such as maintaining heart rhythm, muscle function etc.
CollagenCollagen is a protein in our bodies and provides our skin with structure. It is also said to strengthen our joints, prevent bone loss and improve overall skin health.
Evening PrimrosePromoted for atopic dermatitis (a type of eczema), rheumatoid arthritis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), breast pain, menopause symptoms, and other conditions. Evening primrose oil may also be included in products that are applied to the skin.
Folic acidFolate (vitamin B-9) is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function.
The nutrient is crucial during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects in the brain and spine.
IronIron supplements are most often used for Anaemia and other situations where one is prone to iron deficiency e.g., heavy menstrual periods and pregnancy
IodineIodine supplements are taken to ensure proper thyroid function, preventing goitre and some thyroid disorders. Iodine is also used for pink eye, gum infections and wound healing.
GingkoGinkgo has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. It is used for treating brain and circulatory problems and respiratory conditions. It's now sold mostly as a supplement for memory support or brain health.
GinsengGinseng is touted for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. People who require regulation of blood sugar levels may be suitable for it. Ginseng may also strengthen the immune system, enhance brain function, fight fatigue and improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
LuteinLutein is a powerful antioxidant for eye health. It is said to suppress inflammation, enhance the sharpness of vision, improve visual contrast and reduce glare impairment.
MagnesiumMagnesium is used to improve blood pressure, mood, and blood sugar management, as well as a lower risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease.
Omega-3 Fish OilOmega-3 fatty acids are said to help lower blood pressure, reduce triglycerides, slow the development of plaque in arteries, and reduce the chance and likelihood of abnormal heart rhythm and heart attack.
ProbioticsProbiotics are taken to help the body digest food, create vitamins, break down and absorb medications and help support the cells that line our guts to prevent bad bacteria we may consume, from entering our blood.
Vitamin B12Vitamin B-12 is an essential vitamin for our overall health. It helps with red blood cell formation, prevents major birth defects, supports bone health, reduces the risk of muscular degeneration et.
Vitamin CJust like Vitamin B-12, this is an essential vitamin. It helps reduce the risk of chronic disease, manage high blood pressure and lower the risk of heart diseases. It could boost overall immunity.
Vitamin DJust like Vitamin B-12 and C, this is essential. Vitamin D supplements are used to treat adults with severe vitamin D deficiency, resulting in loss of bone mineral content, bone pain, muscle weakness and soft bones
ZincZinc may reduce the duration of cold symptoms, support blood sugar management, improve severe and inflammatory acne, decrease heart disease risk, and slow the progression of macular degeneration.

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Cost Saving Tips For Buying Supplements

There is no definite go-to approach to how you should select health supplements, but one way is to assess your diet based on HealthHub’s nutritional and dietary guidance.

Similarly, if you have a family history of certain ailments (e.g., osteoporosis), you may consider taking calcium or joint supplements.

Personally, I hop around international brands such as Blackmores and 21st Century, simply because these are the more reputable brands.

That said, there are other popular brands such as Centrum Advance, AFC, Kordel, Nature’s Way, Red Sun and Ocean Health.

If you still can’t decide where and when to get your supplements, the tips below should help you make an informed decision based on price.

1. Compare Prices Across iHerb, Shopee, Watsons and Vitamin Mall

Always, always compare prices across multiple platforms.

Source: Tenor

iHerb, a US company serving customers worldwide since 1996 and shipping to over 185 different countries, is no doubt the most popular and cheapest online platform.

It offers a wide variety of supplements from herbal to standard and specific ones such as lutein for the eyes.

There is FREE shipping for orders over S$60, if not there is a S$6 shipping fee (without duties & taxes).

Aside from iHerb, there are other online platforms that offer standard supplements such as Shopee, Watsons and VitaminMall from the following brands.

BrandsiHerbWatsonsShopeeVitamin Mall
21st CenturyYesYesYesOnly has these brands: Earth's Creation®, EC Sports, Nutra Botanics®, Nutri Botanics and Organika
Nature's WayYesYesYes
Ocean HealthNoYesYes

2. Buy Multivitamins and/or Multi-Minerals Instead

Instead of getting different bottles of vitamins and minerals, I choose multivitamins/multi-minerals because I can achieve a few things by purchasing and eating one tablet/capsule.

Note that this is just a cost-effective way of determining if you should get the supplement or not.

Companies manufacture their supplements differently and there are various compositions that go into one pill.

If you’re unsure, consult a pharmacist or health professional before you purchase.

On a separate note, I also purchase my supplements in bundles as it is usually cheaper that way.

3. Pay Attention To Sales Days

You should also pay attention to public holiday dates because this is when prices and vouchers are dropped!

Source: Giphy

Supplements are bonuses to have, so if you don’t need them urgently, be patient and wait till sales day to purchase them at a cheaper price.

Pro-tip: If you’re travelling to Australia, I’d suggest that you head to Chemist Warehouse.

Their prices are usually 20-40% cheaper than supplements found in Singapore.

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Considerations Before You Purchase

1. They are Expensive

Based on the cost guide above, you should’ve noticed that health supplements can be really expensive.

A typical bottle of Blackmores 60 Lutein eye supplements would easily cost you S$52. One bottle can last you about 2 months, and that is S$312 over a year.

If you’re still in your 20s or early 30s, just by exercising and eating healthy, you would’ve gained enough nutrients and energy to carry through daily tasks.

2. Misleading Ads for Health Supplements

Source: Tenor

For your information, advertisements for health or dietary supplements do not need to be screened by the HSA before publication.

Despite some claims, results from health or dietary supplements are slow and usually not obvious.

Besides, natural ingredients do not mean that there are no risks.

Overdosing, combining supplements or taking them with some medicines may cause harm.

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Closing Thoughts

Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account.

– Anne Wilson Schaef

Preparing and taking care of our bodies is one way to protect ourselves.

If you’re unsure, speak with health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use.

Together, you can make shared, well-informed decisions.

Lastly, make sure you use a credit card when you cart out your health products online to accumulate rewards, cashback or miles.

If you’re in doubt on which credit card to use, hop over to our product review page or start a discussion with our friendly Seedly Community!

About Hui Juan Neo
A savvy shopper and foodie at heart, I'm always on a lookout for discounts and deals to snag the best bargains.
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