All You Wanted To Know About Choosing The Best Multivitamin

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Good food habits keep you healthy and fit. But, with the increasing amount of workload and stress, you need to ensure that you are getting all the dietary benefits. One way to do that is through the intake of dietary supplements. A multivitamin is one such dietary supplement that combines minerals, vitamins, dietary enzymes and even natural ingredients such as herbs to provide all the support that your body needs. Additionally, opting for the best multivitamin can also help in the prevention of the onset of chronic diseases.

best multivitamins
There are several components in best multivitamins that have a multitude of benefits. For instance, multivitamins contain B12 that supports red blood cells formation and ensures the normal functioning of nerve cells. This is vitamin that is usually found in animal protein. Vegetarians and vegans who abstain from the intake of animal protein can thus benefit from B12, that is present in nearly all multivitamins.
Then there are components such as Vitamin D that is required by the human body for the regulation of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus that in turn are responsible for maintaining a healthy bone structure. The vitamin D present in multivitamins can thus prevent deficiency and reduce the risk of breast and other forms of cancer. Multivitamins are also prescribed for women trying to conceive as they contain folic acid that prevents neural tube effects in new-born babies.

Now that you know the benefits of multivitamins, it is time to tell you what to look for in the best multivitamin. With so many products to choose from, selection of the multivitamin that is best suited to you, can be quite a task. Let us however simplify things for you. Here are some things you can look out for when you are selecting the best multivitamin.

First up check to see if the multivitamin is standard, glandular or whole foods based. Here is the difference between these three categories.

Standard multivitamins : These are multivitamins that are made from synthetic chemically isolated vitamins. As a result, they do not absorb well in the blood stream and may cause more harm than benefits by causing imbalances in your body.

Glandular multivitamins: These are multivitamins that are harvested from tissues and organs of some mammals.

Whole food based multivitamins:  This category of multivitamins is non synthetic and non-isolated as they are made from concentrated whole foods. They can thus be identified as the best multivitamins as they often contain all that you can ask for in multivitamins such as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Now that you are aware of the category of multivitamins, here are some factors you need to bear in mind while selecting the best multivitamin.
  • If you have any allergens such as dairy, gluten or soy make sure that your multivitamin does not have any of these.
  • B12 is a important ingredient in a multivitamin. However, they come in many forms. These are Cyanocobalamin, Methyl cobalamin and Hydroxocobalamin. The best form is Methyl cobalamin. Your multivitamin must ideally thus have Methyl cobalamin.
  • Your multivitamin should contain vitamin D. Vitamin D3 is the preferred form that it should be present in.
  • As much as possible, check your multivitamin for the presence of biologically active supplements. For example, the active form of folic acid is 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate
  • Your multivitamin should also contain Vitamin E from mixed tocopherols.
  • The best multivitamin will have better absorbable form of minerals such as bound complexes such as malate, citrate and aspartate.
  • Check to see if the multivitamin that you are selecting contains additives. These are often gelling and colouring agents, binders etc that are inactive substances. The more limited the additives in a multivitamin, the better it is.
  • Lastly and most importantly, select a multivitamin that is CGMP certified that is, it is manufactured in a good manufacturing facility to maintain purity and contains ingredients that are free from unnatural steroids or hormones. This is especially important, if you participate regularly in athletic meets or competitions.

Selection of multivitamins based on gender and age

There are various multivitamins that cater to a variety of consumers. It is thus evident, that there is a no “one size fits all” criteria when it comes to the selection of the best multivitamin. The multivitamin that you choose must suit your sex and age group. For instance a multivitamin suited for a pregnant woman of 25-30 years of age will not be suited for a man in the same age group. Here are some things to bear in mind while selecting the best multivitamin based on gender and age.

For women in the 20-50 years age group

There are multivitamins that are especially suited to the needs of women who fall in the child bearing age. These are thus packed with ingredients such as B12, iron and folic acid that ensures foetal health, a smooth pregnancy and prevents birth defects in new borns.

For men in the age group of 20-50

Adult men need a smaller amount of iron as compared to women of the same age. Thus it is best to seek the multivitamin that has lesser amount of iron and more vitamins such as A,D,K and E that are beneficial to the immune system. Apart from improving one’s overall health, the best multivitamins for men focus on four main areas. These are, immunity, energy, muscle function and metabolism. However, as stated earlier, it is an imperative to see if they contain allergens if you are prone to problems from any.

Women above 50

As women age, their bodies begin to differ, thus their nutrient and mineral intake must be different from that of younger years. Instead of focussing on multivitamins that concentrate on iron and folic acid, you need more of magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium. These help in maintaining bone agility and can prevent the onset of osteoporosis.

Men above 50

As men age, they may have issues with their memory and vision. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E can help with memory and vision. Further, men above 50 need to ensure prostrate health. Multivitamins containing vitamin B6, D, C, E and selenium can ensure optimal results.

While multivitamins are good and support healthy living, it should be borne in mind at all times that they cannot replace a healthy diet. Further, if you have any health conditions, it is best to consult your physician before you choose the best multivitamin.

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