When A Daily Diet Isn’t Enough
In a perfect world, everyone would get all the necessary nutrients from a balanced diet. But in reality, most people aren’t meeting the recommended level of nutrients and vitamins for optimal health. To correct nutritional imbalances, a daily supplement, or multivitamin, can help people get all of the necessary nutrients. But knowing how to pick the right multivitamin is essential. Men and women have different needs, as do children. Keep reading to learn more details.
Consider lifestyle choices
While not every individual needs a multivitamin, some people and individuals in specific life stages or situations may need more nutritional support. Specifically, pregnant women, women trying to conceive, people on restrictive diets, some people with genetic or health conditions, and individuals older than 50 are more likely to need a multivitamin. Likewise, men, women, pregnant women, and children will need different multivitamins.
Don’t exceed recommended dosages
Bigger isn’t always better. And especially with multivitamins, taking a higher dosage doesn’t translate to improved health. Multivitamins that offer more than 100% of the FDA’s recommended daily value should be avoided. At best, the excess amounts will be flushed out of the body. But in the worst-case scenario, excessive amounts of a vitamin can cause health problems. For example, the daily value (DV) for vitamin A, as recommended by the FDA, is 400 IU. But when taken in excess, vitamin A can increase the risk of birth defects or even liver damage.
Ingredients all multivitamins should have
Multivitamins may vary depending on whether a supplement is geared towards men, women, children, or seniors. But nutritionists agree that people shopping for a multivitamin should ensure that the following seven vitamins and nutrients are included:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
Look for the USP seal
While multivitamins can be a great way to boost nutritional levels, the product category isn’t as well-regulated by the FDA, and there isn’t a national standard definition for what constitutes a multivitamin. As a result, as many as 75% of the available multivitamins on the market are of low quality with questionable manufacturing standards. To avoid buying an inferior supplement, look for a CGMP mark on the label. CGMP stands for the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices. Also, look for the USP seal. USP was created by an independent nonprofit which screens supplements to confirm whether the vitamins are pure and that a multivitamin is free of unnecessary fillers.
Multivitamins aren’t a replacement for a poor diet
While multivitamins are effective, people shouldn’t use vitamins instead of eating a balanced diet. Experts agree that getting essential nutrients and vitamins from food is always the best option. A varied diet full of healthy vegetables and fruit, as well as lean meats, fatty fish, and dairy, can go a long way towards providing all of the nutrients that an individual needs. Remember, multivitamins are supplemental tools for a healthy diet, not a replacement.
Getting the benefits from a multivitamin
A multivitamin is a great choice for individuals concerned about not getting enough nutrients from a daily diet. But multivitamins aren’t the only way to fuel the body. While a supplement is a great option, people are best served by focusing on eating a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich foods. For people who are taking a multivitamin, experts recommend taking a supplement with food to minimize the risk of an upset stomach. For more information about choosing the right multivitamin, speak with a pharmacist.