How to Select the Best Multivitamins to Meet Your Needs
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.