Multivitamins and You: How to Choose?
Multivitamins can benefit your overall health in many different ways. But, with so many on the market, it is important to know how to choose the best one for you. Multivitamins can help make up whatever you may be missing, but knowing how they work and which to choose is critical before you order. This guide will help you understand how multivitamins work, and which might be the right choice for you.
What Does a Multivitamin Do?
“Multivitamin” is a broad term to refer to a pill or supplement containing multiple different vitamins. These are sold virtually everywhere and are designed to support a healthier lifestyle.
Multivitamins Supplement a Diet
One of the main advantages of multivitamins is that it can supplement a diet. They can be useful for a variety of different individuals, such as:
- Picky eaters
- Those with multiple food allergies
- People with dietary restrictions (e.g. vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian)
- People with chronic illnesses
- Pregnant people
- Young children
- Adolescent girls
- Concerned and informed adults.
No matter the initial reason for taking multivitamins, nearly everyone could benefit from implementing multivitamins into their diet.
Health Benefits of Multivitamins
Taking a multivitamin daily can provide a number of benefits to mental, physical, and overall health. In addition to supplementing diets, there are many perks that come from multivitamins, including a lower risk for certain diseases and cancers, improved memory, increased energy, and decreased chance of heart disease.
Decreased Risks for Cancer
One study shows that there was a 31% decrease in cancer in men who take multivitamins. Other studies show decreased risks for colon and other cancers, with differing rates of success. Studies are ongoing, with many indicating positive outcomes from taking multivitamins.
Certain trials suggest multivitamins can decrease cataracts and macular degeneration, and slow down diseases that can lead to blindness. It is believed that antioxidants may help slow eye diseases down.
Heart Disease Prevention
According to new studies, women who take multivitamins have a 35% lower risk of heart disease. Other results suggest that multivitamins can both reduce risk and minimize the impact of heart attacks.
Multivitamins Improve Memory
Older adults who take multivitamins were found to have better memories, improved moods, and less depression. With nutrient-poor diets, they struggled to meet daily needs. Once vitamins were added, their health improved quickly. Specifically, B12 was found to improve memory test results.
Multivitamins Support Mental Health
Many studies link taking a multivitamin to mood improvement. Participants were found to have better moods, less depression, decreased anxiety and decreases in other psychological symptoms. B vitamins can also decrease stress levels, allowing for the nervous system to properly function and produce neurotransmitters that elicit happy feelings.
Improved Energy Levels
Many of the essential vitamins (for example, Vitamin B) are responsible for converting energy within the body. If there is a deficit of these vitamins, you may feel worn down or overly tired. Adding a multivitamin, with a combination of vitamins and minerals, can improve overall energy.
Keep Muscles and Bones Strong
Free radicals, that build up in the body and destroy muscle tissue as you age, can be combated by taking vitamins that have antioxidant properties. This helps improves and retains your muscle strength. Women, from the time of menopause and afterward, are at an increased risk for osteoporosis. Supplements with calcium and vitamin D can help them maintain bone strength.
What Should Be in a Multivitamin? How Do I Choose?
When looking for a vitamin, there are several things to consider. You need to find the right vitamin for you, keeping in mind gender, age, lifestyle, and health needs. Try to:
- Look for the USP seal, which means the vitamin has been inspected and contains the ingredients listed on the label.
- Look for the right kind. Depending on your gender, you will want a women’s or men’s vitamin. If you are over the age of 50, you should look for a multivitamin that has additional nutrients your body needs.
- Find the right percentage of ingredients. A vitamin with over 100% daily value (DV) is not helpful as, in many cases, the excess is removed from your body every day. Fat-soluble vitamins may build up in the body and become toxic if there is too much in the multivitamin.
- Seek out a supplement that contains the 13 essential vitamins and 16 essential minerals listed. These ensure that your body has everything it needs.
There are 13 essential vitamins that are needed by the body to function. These vitamins and minerals allow bodies to properly perform daily tasks and support overall health.
Fat-soluble vitamins are stored within the fat cells of the body for later use. Too much of these vitamins isn’t always a good thing—if levels are too high in the body, there may be negative symptoms. If you only take a single multivitamin, this risk is minimal. However, taking a multivitamin in addition to prescription drugs, or in combination with other vitamins, may increase the risks.
- Vitamin A promotes cell growth, healthy skin, hair, and nails. It also contributes to healthy eyes and supports the health of bones and teeth.
- Vitamin A is commonly found in salmon, fish, eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, spinach, and fortified dairy products.
- Vitamin D aids calcium- and phosphorus-absorption, helping keep bones and teeth strong.
- Vitamin D can be found in fortified milk, soy/rice drinks, butter, eggs, cheese, kale, and fatty fish. Additionally, your body produces vitamin D when you are out in the sun.
- Vitamin E helps maintain muscles and red blood cells. It is also an antioxidant that fights off illnesses.
- Vitamin E is present in eggs, vegetable oils, margarine, mayonnaise, seeds, nuts, leafy vegetables, corn, and cereals.
- Vitamin K helps blood clots, bones grow and regulates blood calcium levels.
- Vitamin K is found in broccoli, green leafy vegetables, soybeans, pork, chicken, kiwi, avocado, some cheese, and green beans.
Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water, so excess amounts are excreted through urine each day. These need to be replenished daily but do not have risks from taking too much since the body naturally rids itself of any excess. All B vitamins produce energy, though some do so in different ways.
- Thiamine supports a healthy metabolism and nerve functions (such as the sending and reception of signals). B1 allows you to get energy from the foods you eat and helps with muscle contraction.
- Thiamine is found in oranges, oats, eggs, legumes, seeds, pork, beef, pasta, bread, and cereals.
- Riboflavin aids metabolism by breaking down carbohydrates and fats. It also promotes vision health and healthy skin and creates energy from foods that have been consumed.
- Riboflavin can be found in milk, bread, cereal, almonds, chicken, beef, and asparagus.
- Like the other B vitamins, niacin supports metabolism by changing food into glucose to be used by the body. It also stimulates cell growth, helps with nervous system functions, and reduces fatigue.
- You can find niacin in yeast, meats, poultry, redfish, legumes, milk, green leafy vegetables, fortified bread, and cereals.
- Pantothenic acid converts energy and makes blood cells. It also helps bring about healthy skin, hair, and nails.
- Pantothenic acid is found in eggs, broccoli, peanuts, avocados, legumes, mushrooms, shellfish, chicken, milk, and sweet potatoes.
- Pyridoxine works to convert energy from fats and carbohydrates, as well as to create red cells and neurotransmitters.
- Pyridoxine is found in pork, fish, poultry, eggs, bread, soybean and beef
- Biotin helps metabolize fats and carbohydrates into energy and can provide healthy skin and nails.
- Biotin can be found in walnuts, peanuts, almonds, bread, cereal, salmon, pork, mushrooms, and milk.
- Folic acid is critical in the development of fetuses and, like all the B vitamins, converts food into usable energy.
- Folic acid can be found in beans, citrus fruits, whole grains, and leafy vegetables.
- Though cobalamin also changes food into energy, it also helps the nervous system and brain functions.
- Cobalamin is found in foods such as animal products (including milk, eggs, and meat) and breakfast cereals.
- Well-known for strengthening the immune system, vitamin C also works to reinforce blood vessel walls, grow and repair body tissues, promote iron-absorption, and aid healing processes.
- Vitamin C is found in citric fruits, leafy greens, melons, potatoes, strawberries, papaya, sweet potato, peppers, kiwi, and broccoli.
In addition to the 13 essential vitamins, there are 16 essential minerals that are needed each day. Each serves a unique function in the body and needs to be replenished daily. Minerals can be found in a wide variety of foods and support normal function.
- Calcium plays a critical role in bone formation. It also helps blood clot, moderates nerve impulses, and balances fluid within cells.
- Calcium is found in dairy products, seafood, leafy greens, dried fruit, tofu, and legumes.
- Phosphorus helps form healthy bones and teeth while maintaining cells and aiding in the growth and repair of tissues.
- Phosphorus is found in high-protein foods such as meats, beans, milk, and nuts.
- Potassium regulates fluid balance and contracts muscles. It also aids nerve conduct.
- Potassium can be found in oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, grapefruit, spinach, broccoli, and dried fruits.
- Sulfur is to keep cells rigid (e.g. in hair and nails), helping them keep their shape.
- Sulfur can be found in arugula, cabbage, radish, eggs, meat, and poultry.
- Sodium regulates fluids in the body, adjusting blood volume and pressure. It also helps muscles contract and nerves conduct.
- Sodium is found in every food but exists in a higher concentration within table salt, clams, cured ham, pickled cucumber, sunflower seeds, French bread, and teriyaki sauce.
- Chloride helps balance fluids in the body, concentrates urine in the kidneys, and creates an enzyme that aids digestion.
- Chloride is found in lettuce, tomatoes, celery, olives, and seaweed.
- Magnesium is an agent in many different chemical reactions throughout the body. It plays a major role in keeping your heartbeat steady, promoting a healthy immune system, regulating blood glucose levels, supporting nervous system conduction, and keeping bones strong.
- Magnesium can be found in leafy green vegetables, curly kale, avocados, bananas, seeds, legumes, and seafood.
- Iron makes hemoglobin, which transports oxygen around your body.
- Iron is found in meat, liver, chicken, seafood, kale, broccoli, parsley, and beans.
- Like vitamin C, zinc supports the immune system. Furthermore, it contributes to cell growth, heals wounds, and helps break down carbohydrates.
- Zinc is present in meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, and whole grains.
- Copper, along with iron, helps make red blood cells and maintains the nervous system, healthy bones, blood vessels, and immune system.
- Copper is found in shellfish, leafy vegetables, dark chocolate, liver, oysters, cashews, and lobster.
- Manganese aids metabolism by breaking down cholesterol, sugar, and carbohydrates. It allows for healthy bone-formation, aids blood clotting, and reduces swelling.
- Manganese can be found in nuts, beans, legumes, oatmeal, whole grains, brown rice, leafy green vegetables, fruits, and dark chocolate.
- Iodine makes thyroid hormones (used for metabolism), and supports fetal bone and brain development during pregnancy.
- Iodine is commonly found in fish, dairy products, fish, grains, eggs, and seaweed.
- Selenium is used in the body to make certain proteins that prevent cell damage.
- You can find selenium in nuts, turkey, beef, pork, ham, chicken, eggs, and seeds.
- Molybdenum removes toxins and produces enzymes in the body.
- Molybdenum can be found in foods like beans, lentils, peas, grains, and nuts.
- Chromium helps the body to break down fats and carbohydrates. It also synthesizes fatty acids and cholesterol and breaks down glucose. It supports brain functions, as well.
- Chromium is found in broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, beef, barley, oats, potatoes, grape juice, and orange juice.
- Fluoride promotes the formation, and overall continued strength, of bones and teeth.
- Fluoride can be found in tap water, apples, avocados, bananas, cherries, watermelon, celery, carrots, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes.
Natural multivitamins or supplements are made with extracts of food. The natural blend of carbohydrates, sugar, vitamins, and nutrients promotes optimal absorption within the body. If each vitamin is isolated, however, absorption-potential and effectiveness may be limited.
The nutrients in this vitamin come from natural food sources, which promotes absorption. They contain everything needed in a day to support a healthy lifestyle. Its non-GMO ingredients come from an organic source and are gluten-, soy-, and corn-free. It is vegan-friendly, as well.
Specialized for men or women, these vitamins have unique ingredients such as primrose oil for women and ginseng for men. These ingredients answer gender-unique health concerns and can promote healthy heart activity, reduce physical stress, and boost mental energy. These vitamins are all-natural and gluten- and lactose-free.
A good choice for men and women who want to combat aging, this supplement promotes eye and heart health. Additionally, it provides support for the prostate, menopause, thyroids, and the immune system. Platinum Easymulti Super 45+ provides everything you need to fight back and feel young.
A prenatal vitamin designed to support you during your last trimester and post-birth to ensure that you get the specific nutrients needed for yourself and your baby. Intake can be continued postpartum to support healing and breastfeeding, if necessary. The vitamins contain everything needed for you to have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
FAQ About Multivitamins
Finally, we will give you the answers to some of the most-searched questions.
What Does a Multivitamin Do for Your Body?
A multivitamin is designed to support a healthy lifestyle by supplementing your diet. They allow you to get all the nutrients that you need each day that may be missing.
Is It Good to Take a Multivitamin Every Day?
Yes! Nearly everyone can benefit from multivitamins. Eating the recommended amounts of each nutrient can be difficult and time-consuming. Taking a multivitamin ensures you get everything your body needs.
Do I Need a Multivitamin?
Multivitamins can benefit nearly everyone. People who may have an increased need are:
- Young women
- Pregnant people and those trying to conceive
- The elderly
- Those with diet restrictions
- Vegans and vegetarians, as well as those who cannot consume gluten or lactose
- People with certain food allergies
- Picky eaters
What Is in a Multivitamin?
Multivitamins contain the isolated ingredients of whole foods, in the set amounts of vitamins and minerals needed for bodily functions.
What Are the Advantages of Taking a Multivitamin?
Multivitamins have been extensively studied. New results show that multivitamins can decrease:
- Risk of cancer
- Risk of heart disease
- Memory problems
Vitamins can also boost energy, promote a healthy feeling, and have many more benefits, listed above.