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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

NameAmount Per Serving%DV
Vitamin A3000 IU100%
Vitamin C1000 mg100%
Vitamin D3800 IU200%
Vitamin E100 IU333%
B Complex (B1, -B6, B12)800 mcg100%
Calcium100 mg60%
Magnesium50 mg30%
Iron18 mg100%
Selenium55 mcg100%
Zinc15 mg105%


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