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What are they, whether or not you should supplement them with one, and the best way to do it are some of the questions that pop into people's minds about multivitamins. Here we give you all the information you need to know.
Multivitamins have been around for years, we've all heard of them before. You may even have taken one since you were a little kid!
But how do you really know if you should have one? And how do you know if you've picked the right one?
Despite their popularity, many people still have some questions about multivitamins. From their effectiveness to their quality to shopping – as nutritionists, we hear everything.
You asked, and now we answer! This is where all of your multivitamin questions are discussed so you know exactly how to address them.
What are multivitamins?
Multivitamins are a type of dietary supplement. They are a compilation of various vitamins and minerals combined in a pill, capsule, liquid, gum, or powder. They are sometimes accompanied by other ingredients as well.
Technically, there really is no definition or norm for what a multivitamin should be. Therefore, the vitamins and minerals it contains, as well as the sources of these nutrients, vary significantly depending on the brand you choose.
The body needs 13 vitamins and 16 minerals in varying amounts for optimal health. Many multivitamins contain some of these nutrients.
The dietary supplement industry is huge, and Americans will spend $ 21 billion on vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements a year from now. Multivitamins are the most commonly used supplements in this category – around 70% of supplement users choose multivitamins as their daily source of income.
The benefit of taking a multivitamin
Why are so many people taking multivitamins?
Unfortunately, many people do not get all of the vitamins and minerals they need from their usual diet.
For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), adults should consume 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables every day. However, in a CDC study, they found that 76% of adults don't eat enough fruit and 87% of adults don't eat enough vegetables.
When we don't eat enough fruits and vegetables, we are missing out on some of these essential nutrients. Fortunately tTaking a multivitamin can help support diets that don't include all of the recommended fruits and vegetables.
Who should take a multivitamin
From the above benefits, we now know that the average person can take a multivitamin to complete their diet.
Research has also shown that there are some specific populations that can benefit greatly from multivitamin supplements.
Bone health is especially important for postmenopausal women.
By supplementing with multivitamins that contain vitamin D, women can promote the absorption of calcium from food to support bone health. *
Pregnant and breastfeeding women
Women who become pregnant or want to breastfeed have increased nutritional needs compared to the average woman.
We therefore recommend that these women take a prenatal vitamin that has been specially developed to support both mother and child. A prenatal vitamin is essentially a multivitamin that is specifically tailored for this population!
Some nutrients of very high concern are folic acid and iron. Supplementing these nutrients is important to support a healthy pregnancy.
Our nutritional requirements and our absorption capacity change significantly with age.
Older people in particular have increased nutritional needs, lower levels of stomach acid (which is responsible for the absorption of vitamin B12) and a decrease in muscle mass.
Fortunately, supplementing a multivitamin can help address the nutritional effects of these physiological changes.
Vegans and Vegetarians
Since animal protein is an optimal source of various vitamins and minerals, it is often a wise choice for vegans and vegetarians to take a multivitamin supplement every day.
Since B12 is only found in animal protein, many vegans and vegetarians are found to be deficient (13). Also, depending on the specific foods vegans and vegetarians consume, they may not be consuming enough zinc, calcium, iron, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids from food alone (14).
How to Buy a Multivitamin
Now that we know what multivitamins are and when to take them, how do we know which to choose?
Pay attention to the formulation of the vitamin, the quality checks carried out by the brand, and the ingredients used.
At Nutrition Stripped Practice, we recommend One A Day® products as they put their Multivitamins 100 through rigorous quality checks to ensure consistency and accuracy.
In addition, their experts have been formulating their vitamins for more than 75 years and the brand is a great reflection of the latest scientific findings. Their products are free from high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and sweeteners, and synthetic colors.
One a Day® Natural Fruit Bites Multivitamins are a great product because they are made from real, farm-grown apples as the first ingredient1. They are also a new form of multivitamin in that they are not pills or gums and are "bites" instead. They contain vitamins that people often don't consume on a daily basis like vitamins A, D, E, B12 and more. * And they're perfect for the whole family with options for men, women, kids, and men and women over 50.
One a Day® additional multivitamins that are beneficial for pregnant or breastfeeding women include One A Day® Prenatal Advanced Complete Multivitamin with Brain Support Choline (110 mg), Folic Acid (800 µg) and DHA (200 mg). * It contains twice as much choline as other leading brands of prenatal multivitamins. Choline plays an essential role during pregnancy by helping a baby's cognitive development. *
For older adults, One a Day® 50+ Gummies Advanced Multivitamin with Brain Support * is a great option. It's a gummy multivitamin that's specifically designed to help support major aging problems, including heart health †, eye health, immune health, bone health, healthy brain function, and physical energy. ‡ *
Buy One A Day® products here.
There is no magic potion or elixir that will bring you optimal health overnight. Multivitamins are simply a way to supplement your existing diet and optimize your nutritional profile.
Remember – if you are considering a supplement, you can always consult your registered dietitian or doctor. Depending on your medical history, food intake, and even medication use, you may need a specific recommendation.
1 applesauce concentrate
2 110 mg choline are among the leading brands in prenatal multivitamins
† Not a substitute for heart medication
‡ With B vitamins for converting food into fuel
* This statement has not been rated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.