What to Look for in Your Multivitamin
No matter how healthy you eat, getting all your nutritional needs fulfilled with your regular diet can be a challenge. Taking a daily multivitamin can help with that. Think of a multivitamin as your nutritional backup source for vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
ConsumerReports.org says: “Multivitamins are generally formulated to provide 100 percent of the recommended daily intakes of the essential vitamins and minerals, and smaller percentages of other nutrients.” The report goes on to list people for whom a multivitamin is necessary. For example, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive need vitamins. A prenatal vitamin with folic acid is important for pregnant women. People on restricted diets would benefit from taking multivitamins to supplement the nutrients they are not getting from their regular diets. Finally, multivitamins are essential for people with a condition that depletes nutrients, like cancer or diabetes.
There are different multivitamins out there for different people. Choosing the right one can be a challenge. As always, check with your doctor before taking a new supplement.
Here are some things to consider when selecting a multivitamin:
- The basics. Vitamins A, C, D, E and K, potassium, zinc and iodine are essential. Make sure the multivitamin contains 100% of your daily value. Most multivitamin preparations usually include those vitamins and minerals and sometimes B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), folic acid, biotin, manganese, iron etc.
- Targeted Multivitamin formulas. There are vitamins specifically for men, women and children. There are also vitamins for particular age groups. Many multivitamins contain specific nutrient formulations that take into account one’s sex and age.
- Labels. Read the labels to see which nutrients are included and the amounts contained in each serving. Make sure they do not exceed the 100% recommended daily value. Also, see if they have been checked by a reputable tester – Consumer Lab Approved, USP Verified or NSF Certified.
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