I do not believe in over-supplementing, but I do believe a multivitamin is essential for most of us to get optimal levels of the most fundamental vitamins and minerals. In this post, we will focus on the key characteristics of good multivitamins.
1. The Right Nutrients
It’s clear when you compare 10 multivitamins on the shelf against each other that there is a wide variation with the number of nutrients in the supplement. Some multivitamins stick to the core 10 or so vitamins and 10 or so minerals. Others include amino acids, antioxidants, greens, and fruit extracts. The right nutrients for each person don’t vary much in my opinion. There are obvious exceptions like pregnancy, but for the most part I recommend multivitamins that have a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, greens, and fruit extracts. I believe this is often the best way to go because it allows your multivitamin to be a source of nutrients you have difficulty getting in your diet.
2. Optimal Nutrient Levels
How much of each nutrient should be in the multi? This may appear to be a very difficult question to answer, but there’s a very practical way to figure this out. A good multi whether it’s in a pill, powder, or liquid should be designed for multiple doses in the day. We absorb these nutrients best in multiple dosages as opposed to one massive daily dose. The optimal nutrient level of a multi will change for each person but a good multi should be able to meet the needs of most people because those who need more can just take more per dose or more dosages.
3. No Artificial Junk
What is not in the multivitamin is extremely important. Many of the less expensive multivitamins contain cheap binders and fillers. The problem with these binders like magnesium-sterate is that they decrease the absorption of the active nutrients in the multi. You could have a great profile of nutrients but if the binders and fillers are cheap and harmful then the multivitamin really loses its value.
The main goal of this post was not to be able to instruct people on exactly what multivitamin they should get. The goal was to give information on three very important aspects of multivitamins. There are a number of other things to consider when selecting supplements like interactions between the supplements or with medications. It’s always best to work with a qualified healthcare practitioner to figure out what is the best route for your individual health needs.