​Things to Consider When Choosing a Multivitamin

Deciding on which multivitamin to take can be overwhelming. Is taking a one-a-day enough? Is it that important to take a specific multi targeted for men, women, teens, or seniors? What ingredients are important? Is cost really a factor? How do we determine a good quality product? All of these questions swirl in our heads as we look at the many available options on the market. Here are some helpful tips to consider before purchasing your multi.
Taking a general multi is valuable, as is taking a more specifically targeted multi. There are specialized formulations targeted for children, teens, women, men, pregnancy, seniors, vegetarians and vegans, and for those with certain health conditions. Look for one that addresses your or your loved ones needs specifically, and consider whether you genuinely want to take and will remember to take a multi more than once a day. Multis with more nutrients in them and those with certain nutrients that have a larger molecular structure will require two or more servings per day. It’s important we’re realistic about remembering to take a multi more than once a day.
Vegans and vegetarians are typically lower in consumption in their diets of vitamin B-12, zinc, iron, and calcium, so considering a multi with more of those nutrients could be advantageous. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding have been seen in studies to benefit from more omega-3s, calcium, and folic acid in a multi. They also may need more vitamin D, vitamin B-12, magnesium, and iron.
Peri-menopausal women may need more iron and higher levels of vitamin D3 and calcium. Men with prostate or heart concerns, or a family history of prostate or cardiovascular issues may benefit from a multi with specific nutrients that support these concerns. People aged 60 and beyond could benefit from additional vitamin D3, calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins in their multi.
Those with specific health concerns like heart disease, diabetes, and others may benefit from additional specific nutrients in their multis. It is important to inform your health practitioner about what you are taking, since some supplements may interact with certain medications. Also, if in doubt on how much and when to take them, make sure to follow the directions indicated on the label.
We should consider quality, purity, and value when determining which multi to purchase. When looking at a specific supplement, consider the %DV amounts (percent of Daily Value) of the vitamins and minerals that are listed on the label. If you have questions or have trouble understanding any of the ingredients, be sure to ask a pharmacist or healthcare practitioner for clarification before making a purchase.
How can we be sure our multi is good quality? We can search for third-party testing on the label that guarantees potency and quality. Or we can visit consumerlab.com, a third-party verification group that freely publishes its testing methods and quality standards.
As far as value, the more expensive option is not always the best. We have to take everything above into account to determine the best quality product for the best value.
Once we find out multi, we should take it with a meal, preferably breakfast or lunch. Certain nutrients, like B vitamins, may energize us and keep us from getting good quality sleep if we take them too late in the day. A high-quality multi can help fill the nutritional gaps in our diet. Best of luck with your search.
When purchasing a multi, be sure to look for a good quality, and highly absorbable multivitamin/mineral. These should be taken with a meal preferably breakfast or lunch. Certain nutrients like B-vitamins may energize a person and keep them from getting good quality sleep which is why it is not be ideal to take them at dinnertime. A high quality multi that is targeted to your specific needs is beneficial to fill in those “gaps” and cover what may be lacking our diet.