How To Choose a Multivitamin
Good nutrition is critical to maintaining good health. And in an ideal world, we would get all our nutrients through food. But the fact is that many Americans do not get all the nutrients they need through diet alone. Whether you often eat on the go due to a busy schedule or are restricting calories to manage your weight, a multivitamin can act as a nutritional safety net, helping to fill in nutritional gaps so that you get the vitamins and minerals you need to help maintain optimum health.* But with all the formulas available on the market, how do you choose the multivitamin that’s best for you?
Most people would benefit from a basic multivitamin formula. Look for a multi that has 100% of the Daily Value for most of the essential vitamins and minerals, particularly the following eight vitamins: thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), niacin (vitamin B-3), vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, folic acid, vitamin D and vitamin E.
Though nutritional needs are generally the same for most populations, there are certain differences to take into account when selecting a multivitamin. To account for these differences, you can search for a specialty formula geared towards your gender or age group, or just look for a basic multi that meets your specific needs.
Women who have not yet undergone menopause may want to look for a multivitamin that contains extra iron to replace iron lost during menstruation. After menopause, women have the same iron needs as men. Women who are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant should look for a multivitamin that has at least 600mcg of folic acid. Prenatal formulas typically meet this requirement, and also have increased amounts of iron, zinc and calcium, all of which pregnant women require in higher doses.
Seniors, like pregnant women, have special nutritional needs. Individuals over the age of 50 require more calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12, and less vitamin K and iron than younger adults. When looking for a multivitamin, seniors should look for a formula that meets these age-specific needs.
Finally, if you take any prescription medications, talk to your doctor before choosing a multivitamin.
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