A Multivitamin Survival Guide

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A Multivitamin Survival Guide

Time constraints can force us to rely too often on less-than nutritious foods. We can help counter with a daily multivitamin, but which ones are the best?

Time constraints can force us to rely too often on less-than-nutritious processed foods. Combine that with the fact that nutrient absorption decreases as we age, and we end up with suboptimal nutrition. We can help counter these effects with a multivitamin, but how do we choose the best one?

Avoid Being One with Your Multi

Given the long list of nutrients typically found in a multivitamin, you should expect to take between four and eight tablets every day; your one-a-day formula may not contain the dose you need. Look for food-based formulations that boast superior bioavailability and absorption. Find reputable companies with “good manufacturing practices” certification to ensure that your multi delivers what it claims on the bottle.

Whole foods and a balanced diet form the cornerstone of healthy nutrition, but a good multivitamin can help fill in some of those inevitable gaps. Read the labels, consult with a health care practitioner, and inform yourself to make the best decision for your health.

vitamin a: Gene expression, vision, bone development, and skin repair all rely on this fat-soluble vitamin. Aim for 3,000 IU per day, but avoid it if you are pregnant.

vitamin c: Strengthens bones and joints; enhances immunity with doses of at least 1,000 mg per day. Your body can absorb increased amounts during infection.

vitamin d3: Along with decreasing bone loss, this hormonelike vitamin may have anticancer properties. Commonly deficient in northern climates. Supplementation at twice the 400 IU RDI is considered safe.

vitamin e: This potent antioxidant occurs naturally in the body, but the benefits of supplemental forms are still being debated. Experts suggest choosing mixed tocopherol formulas.

b complex: Traditionally the “stress and energy” vitamins; aim for 50 mg of B1 to B6. Ensure adequate folate levels before conception (800 mcg per day). Take sublingual B12 if you have difficulty absorbing it from food.

calcium and magnesium: A two-to-one ratio (1,000 mg calcium to 500 mg magnesium) promotes strong bones. Key energy-producing reactions in the body rely on magnesium.

iron: Women in their fertile years require 18 mg per day from all sources, while men should avoid supplementing iron unless they are anemic.

selenium: Plays a vital role in detoxification, has antioxidant properties, and is involved in hormone synthesis. Low soil levels lead to lower levels in food. RDA is 55 mcg per day.

zinc: Deficiency interferes with wound healing, immunity, and the sense of taste. Often deficient in the elderly. RDA is 8 to 11 mg per day.

Multivitamin Facts

Serving Size 2 Tablets – Servings Per Container 60

Name Amount Per Serving %DV
Vitamin A 3000 IU 100%
Vitamin C 1000 mg 100%
Vitamin D3 800 IU 200%
Vitamin E 100 IU 333%
B Complex (B1, -B6, B12) 800 mcg 100%
Calcium 100 mg 60%
Magnesium 50 mg 30%
Iron 18 mg 100%
Selenium 55 mcg 100%
Zinc 15 mg 105%
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