We need approximately 40 nutrients each day to meet our dietary recommendations. But due to various reasons like poor appetite, dieting or unhealthy food choices we are unable to meet these needs. Therefore a daily dosage of multivitamin is an easier way to fill in this gap. However the market offers a wide choice and it gets difficult to choose the best one suitable for your health needs.
What should you look for when selecting the one for you?
- Firstly read the product label very carefully which mentions the nutrient contents and the amounts in each servings.
- The very basic ones like vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, B5, biotin, A, E, D2, D3, K, potassium, borate, zinc, calcium, manganese, iodine, selenium, beta-carotene, iodine, selenium, molybdenum and iron should be compulsorily present in the pill that you are selecting. Also the daily value of the supplement should be 100%.
- If your tablet has got that extra bit for example like antioxidants and specific formulations for definite conditions like prenatal vitamins, then surely go for it. Since it’s not possible to club all of them in one pill, go for the one made according to your gender and age. Never overdo it as large doses can at times become toxic.
The Selection as per your Age and Sex
The formulations of most multivitamins cater to the dietary needs of different target groups. For example a woman before menopause needs more iron or prenatal vitamins for those who have already conceived or are planning to. Unless your diet complements enough fish and milk, it is recommended to have extra doses of calcium and vitamin D.
Targeting the women in the child-bearing age group, these tablets will contain more of folic acid and iron to prevent birth defects.
Tailored for adult men till about 50, consists more of high dosage vitamins and minerals and less of iron.
The Senior Citizens
If you are over 50, you will probably need a specially formulated pill as now your body is slow in absorbing nutrients like Vitamin B12 and B6 and Calcium available from food. Therefore extra dose is seriously required. Again if you are from the fairer sex then you don’t need as much iron and with a more or less balanced diet can settle down for a multivitamin tablet made for the universal senior class.
Few Tips to Pick a Good Multivitamin
- Gelatine or cellulose capsules are preferred over tablets as they can be broken down easily for better absorption in the body and also contain less of artificial colours. Avoid the ones with the glaze as they will not get absorbed in the gut.
- Check for certain suffixes like citrate or chelate after the vitamin names as they are easily absorbed and gluconate, oxide and carbonate needs to be avoided.
- Folic acid in the bio active form is normally recommended as vitamins containing this easily pass through all of the metabolic steps, particularly helpful for pregnant women.
- Avoid multivitamins with iron as an over dosage of the same causes colon cancer and with those containing more sugar leads to inflammation and decreases the efficiency of the digestive enzymes.
If you spend some time and effort and buy as per the category you belong to, it will save you from long term ill-consequences.