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How to Select the Best Multivitamins to Meet Your Needs

Updated on October 31, 2011

One often doesn’t think about which multivitamin to take. Either, you already take one, or you just choose one of the myriads of multivitamin formulas out there. First of all, the reason why we take multi-vitamins is to reinforce dietary requirements needed by our bodies for optimal health. The goal of a multivitamin is to fuel the body, strengthen the immune system, and enhance our overall wellbeing, by strengthening our bodies against disease that can comes from vitamin deficiency.

For a vitamin formula to be considered complete, it must contain certain key vitamins. These key vitamins are basic to most multivitamin formulas. You must check the label on your multivitamin to make sure it contains the basic twelve.

Key Vitamins; the Basic Twelve Must be Part of Your Multivitamin

  • Vitamin A-- Beta Carotene- a plant chemical easily converted by the body—Beta Carotene is the best source of this vitamin, another source is Retinol. Retinol has its drawbacks, because it has been linked to reduced bone density and increased risk of hip fracture.
  • Vitamin C—Ascorbic acid, this is essential for avoiding such diseases as scurvy, keeps the immune system strong, and it is a very powerful antioxidant.
  • Vitamin D—most multivitamins offer D2 AKA ergocalciferol, therefore it is wise to supplement with D3 AKA cholecalciferol for your vitamin D to be more complete.
  • Vitamin E—It is wise to opt for a formula that contains d-alpha tocopherol, which is the preferred and more natural form of vitamin E, it is better than dl—alpha tocopherol which is the synthetic form of vitamin E.
  • Vitamin B: These consist of Thiamin (B1) Riboflavin (B2) Niacin, (B6), Folate (folic acid), B-12, Biotin, and Panthonic Acid. B vitamins are essential for energy and are quickly depleted due to stress, therefore, it is wise to supplement with a Stress B vitamin formula, if you are prone to anxiety.


No multivitamin formula could ever be considered complete without certain essential minerals.

  • Calcium—vital for bones, teeth and heart health. Calcium aids muscle growth and the transmission of nerve impulses, normalizes blood clotting and can even relieve anxiety and depression related to premenstrual syndrome, promotes weight loss and can help control blood pressure.
  • Magnesium—is consider by many the master mineral. Magnesium is responsible for many cellular functions. It aids in calcium synthesis, this contribute to healthy teeth and bones, also beneficial for muscles, nerves, and the heart. This mineral also aids in converting sugar into energy. The best ratio when couple with calcium is 2 to 1.
  • Potassium- aids muscle function, the nervous system, and fluid balance. The heart needs Potassium to regulate heartbeats.
  • Iron—helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, strengthen the immune system, assist in temperature regulation. Iron is especially necessary for menstruating women, vegans and endurance athletes, these groups run the greatest risk of iron deficiency.
  • Phosphorus—assists the bodily functions, including collagen, necessary for the production of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, skin and eyes.
  • Zinc—important for the healing of wounds, growth and a strong immune system.
  • Iodine—trace mineral involved in energy production, thyroid hormone production, and physical development.
  • Selenium—a trace mineral that works synergistically with Vitamin E to serve as a powerful antioxidant.
  • Manganese—trace mineral that aids digestion, is vital for developing strong and healthy bones, supports the nervous and reproductive system and even enhances brain function.
  • Chromium—a trace mineral that aids in stabilizing blood sugar and insulin levels. It also supports normal cholesterol levels.
  • Copper—a trace mineral that helps protect the nervous system, and promotes cardiovascular, bone, joint and skin health.

There Are Multivitamins for Different Needs

When selecting a multivitamin one must also consider the different stages in one’s life as well as the different nutritional needs of each gender.

  • Children’s Formulas—you should make sure that your little ones have the best start possible. To ensure this, get them a complete multivitamin formula made especially for children. This is necessary for healthy growth and development.
  • Teen Formulas--made for the young person on the go, yet still at a crucial part of his or her development. These formulations fortify the immune system, supply energy, helps to have clearer skin, relieve stress, and support proper development.
  • Men’s Formulas—these are made with the specific need of men, multivitamins for men include such ingredients as saw palmetto, lycopene, pumpkin seeds oil, pygeum bark extract, and stinging nettle. All these herbs are vital in maintaining a healthy prostate.
  • Women’s Formulas—target hormone balance and aid the reproductive system. Multivitamin formulations for women often contain black cohosh, phytoestrogens, blessed thistle, blue cohosh, dong quai, red raspberry, bay berry, DHEA, false unicorn, chaste tree berry, licorice root, ginger rhizome and marshmallow herb.
  • Anti Aging Formulas—sometime contains Oriental herbs and tonics, potent antioxidants, amino acids, and omega 3 fatty acids, these all aid in slowing down the aging process.

When choosing a multivitamin, one may want to consider whole food based vitamins, made from whole food concentrates. The premise is that when taking a whole food multivitamin, you are acquiring your vitamins from a nutrient dense food based source. The body tends to absorb these more easily than traditional multivitamins.

Many people will tell you that you,should be able to get all of your nutritional needs met through the food you eat. Unfortunately, due to soil depletion and toxins that erode our bodies’ nutritional reserves, we need a little extra help. Therefore, it is wise to choose a good multivitamin to ensure a stronger body and to live more disease free.


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    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thank you Anuaria, I appreciate your kind words and enthusiasm. Glad you found this informative.

    • anuaria profile image


      6 years ago

      wow..very infomative..Great

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thank you for stopping by Thom,

      I guess it a matter of finding the right formula to go well with you body's chemistry. I'm glad to hear that the Max Powers Multi Vitamins are working for you. Health is important and the right formula can make all the difference in the world.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I work very long days and don't always do the healthy choices. Not too long ago I went to the doctor - just feeling blah and tired all the time. I know with my schedule I don't always eat right. After taking the test he suggested I start a multi vitamin. I tried several different vitamins for several months straight - never felt a difference.

      I was getting frustrated and decided to try one last one - the Dr Max Powers MultiVitamin. I avoided them at first because I am not a weightlifter - although I am strong! I have been taking them for several months now and I really feel a difference!

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thank you so much Triosol, I'm glad you found my article informative. I appreciate you voting me up.

    • triosol profile image


      8 years ago

      very useful information. Great hub. Voted up.

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thanks drej2522, I'm glad my hub was helpful. I am really grateful to Energy Times Magazine for all their wonderful articles, and I just wanted to pass on some of the great things I have learned from that magazine to other.

    • drej2522 profile image


      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I also like how you breakdown the vitamins based on age and gender. I'm kind of a health nut, myself, and to this day I have no clue which set of vitamins and supplements are optimal for me. So, like the masses, I also settle for the multivitamin! Good hub, thumbs up!

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thank you Prettydarkhorse, I'm glad you found the article informative.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      8 years ago from US

      this hub covers everything about vitamins by sex and by age needs for vitamins! thank you, Maita

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thank you Sandyspider and Ms.Debbie, I do agree that our bodies are unique, and that the smart consumer should not stop at a multivitamin, to get all their needs met. I personally like the Spectrazyme test, which measures the amount of nutrients in your body and this includes any vitamin deficiencies. That way you can address any shortages your body may have, at the same time you know which supplements to avoid. On the other hand, there are those, who won't go to a naturopathic doctor or get tested, therefore, they don't have a clue what they need, that may means a multivitamin may be their best defense. I also prefer whole food vitamins over the traditional multi. I always buy from a health food retailer, and never from a drug store. I do agree that many are hard to absorb, and it would be great if people juiced more and ate more fruits and vegetables, but given the fast food, microwave world we live in, the best you can do is give them at lease something they may be willing to try. I do appreciate your comment and what you're is true.

    • Debbie Dougan profile image

      Debbie Dougan 

      8 years ago from Woodstock. NY

      Your body is unique. The bio-nutrients it needs for optimal functional health may be different from those that someone else needs.

      That's why ordinary multivitamins don't cut it. Multivitamins from the drugstore, and expensive supplements from nutrition and health food stores alike, can leave you with too much of some nutrients, too little of others, or none at all of other particular nutrients your body needs.

      The simple truth is that "one-size-fits-all" multivitamin cannot provide you with optimal nutrition because they are created for a hypothetical "average" person. No such person exists.

      On top of that, many ingredients in drug store brand multivitamins are in hard-to-absorb forms, or their ingredients are isolated from their synergistic nutrient partners—facts which can greatly reduce their effectiveness.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Thanks for the information. Nice hub.

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thanks jayjay40, I hope you found the information useful.

    • jayjay40 profile image


      8 years ago from Bristol England

      Very interesting hub, well done


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