What You Need to Know about Your Multivitamins

What You Need to Know about Your Multivitamins
Discover things that you probably do not know about multivitamins and learn how to choose the right multivitamin brand that’s best for you.

It does not come as a surprise if almost everyone you know has their supply of multivitamins stored safely in their homes. Since the purpose of supplements is to provide your body with nutrients it needs that you cannot provide with just your regular diet, many people turn to multivitamin capsules to complete their recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals.

Types of Multivitamins

There are various types of multivitamins that caters to a specific preference or addresses the needs of a certain age group.

  • Basic Multivitamins – These are those one-pill wonders that claim to offer 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamins, the guidelines of which are suggested by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Many brands today also include essential minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium but fall a bit short of the RDA because the size of the pill would be too large to swallow if the RDA is to be followed.

  • Food-Based – These types of multivitamins are basically powdered whole foods that are combined with vitamins and shaped into capsules. Since this variety is very much like real food in terms of consistency, they are absorbed much more easily and minimizes the chances of gastric disturbances. They can also be taken on an empty stomach.

  • Adult Chewables – If you are the type that has difficulty swallowing those large multivitamin capsules, then chewables are for you. It also lowers the occurrence of gastric distress when pills are swallowed as a  whole.

The Lowdown

These vitamin supplements are promoted by so many multivitamin manufacturers to be one of the best ways to obtain all the essential nutrients without having to eat so much food. The truth, however, is less than pleasing to the ears, as these compact nutrients are frequently processed using petroleum derivatives or hydrogenated sugars.

Even though they are often called natural, many of these vitamins are made of isolated substances that are crystalline in structure. This characteristic is the exact opposite of those vitamins that are naturally found in food, which are definitely not crystalline and are never isolated.

Vitamins that are naturally found in real food differ in its chemical and structural composition. This is why many naturopaths consider chemically produced multivitamins as imitations and not actual vitamins.

Oftentimes, brand manufacturers place so many ingredients inside a capsule or a pill because there is no regulation that explicitly lists down what kinds of nutrients or ingredients are allowed to be put on these supplements. This is why it is always so important to read between the lines and be vigilant about what you are taking.

When a product lists so many good ingredients, it is naturally tempting to think that you have found your wonder-supplement. The best thing to do is to check the label from the top to the bottom of the list. It is usually the first ingredient that has the most amount. As you start getting to bottom of the list, the concentration of vitamins and minerals diminishes. When you get to the very bottom you would usually find essential herbs listed as a proprietary blend of a particular extract or what not.

Many individuals frequently ask why a conventional one-a-day vitamin is not really a good supplement. The answer is that these one-a-day pills are not as good as the manufacturers claim them to be because all the essential nutrients that a person needs simply cannot be compressed into just one pill. Fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, and E, should be placed in a gel capsule, while other vitamins and minerals are better in capsules because it allows for faster dissolution when ingested.

Since it will be very confusing to determine which exactly is the best multivitamin supplement, it would be better to ask for professional help, particularly a nutritionist, a naturopath, or a pharmacist.

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