What Is The Best Multivitamin Supplement – Which One Should You Take
I try to get all my nutrients from whole foods instead of a supplement form, but I’ve realized that isn’t always such an easy task. Sometimes when you are having an extremely busy week and don’t have time to get all the important nutrients in your body a multivitamin is a great solution and not time-consuming.
Even when I’m on top of my game with whole foods and cooking it can still be very hard to get all the right nutrients.
This is why I would like to explain to you what is the best multivitamin supplement. You definitely don’t want to overdo it with them and depend on them or use multivitamins as a meal replacement.
Just so you don’t get confused about Vitamin D on my list. I think this is one of the most important Vitamins you need to take but I actually take it separately from my regular Multivitamin.
Vitamin D is best taken along with Calcium, so I make sure I consume it that way.
Calcium interferes with absorption of many of the other ingredients and is on my list of things you shouldn’t have in a multivitamin. This is the reason I take Vitamin D and Calcium separate.
Although some of you may have been going through your life and not even aware you are very low on certain nutrients. This could be a reason why you are always tired or maybe getting sick too often.
In my opinion most multivitamins on the market are actually pretty useless.
This is partly because they are missing some key ingredients. Although even when they have those ingredients included they are mixed with other ingredients that pretty much cancel out the benefits. The reality is most of us have no clue what we should or shouldn’t be taking in a multivitamin. Marketing or a really good sale is usually the reason people purchase.
VITAMIN D IS VERY IMPORTANT BUT I TAKE IT SEPARATE
Yes I take it separate, but didn’t want to leave it out since many companies have it in their multivitamins.
Although most multivitamins don’t include enough Vitamin D and Calcium which are best taken together. Vitamin D has powerful effects on your body and is an extremely important vitamin.
I would say this is the most common vitamin people are deficient (not having enough of) in.
According to reviews published by the Journal of The American Osteopathic Association there are almost 1 billion people deficient in Vitamin D.
This is because of use of sunscreen and low levels of from diet sources. You may be wondering what sunscreen has to do with it?
The other main way to get Vitamin D beside from a supplement is by exposing your skin to the sunlight. When you are exposing your skin to the sunlight this is the most natural way but you don’t have to burn or tan.
I usually stay in the sun for about half the time it takes my skin to burn and that is enough.
The foods you eat are where your body gets most of its vitamins and minerals but only a few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D.
These foods that contain Vitamin D do not have high levels which makes it almost impossible to get the right amount your body needs from food sources. Examples would be fatty fish and egg Yolks.
This is why I think Vitamin D is the most important ingredient found in a multivitamin.
If you are worried about exposing your skin to the sun, then this is your best option by far and most healthy way. If you would like to take Vitamin D by itself and find you are having trouble absorbing it in your body there are some options.
If the sun option is not something you wan to risk, then you can take it under your tongue instead of swallowing it.
I recommend getting tested at some point to see what your Vitamin D levels are.
You should do this every 3-6 months just to see if your levels are changing and if you need to increase or decrease.
This could be life changing if you have always had extremely low levels and just not known.
Personally that is well worth it for me to pay for a test knowing It could change my overall health. Most people can take this Vitamin but there are a few cases where you shouldn’t. This is another reason why I think its great to get tested because your Doctor can recommend if you’re someone that shouldn’t.
There are two types of vitamin D supplements.
They are vitamin D2(ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Both types are good for bone health.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb Calcium which is very important for your bone health. This is why both of them should be taken together.
If you are low and deficient you may have some back pain or bone pain. There are many other signs you may be deficient. Fatigue/tiredness, bone loss, depression, muscle pain or even hair loss.
Fortunately this is very easy to fix by some blood tests and then carving out a few seconds of your day to take a few pills to increase your levels.
This should be in your multivitamin but not everyone needs the same amount.
Iron is great for healthy red blood cells which transport oxygen to the body’s tissues and remove carbon dioxide from your body.
If you are a vegan or a vegetarian you may want to make sure your multivitamin has Iron because eating red meat is typically the way to get enough in your body.
When I first started looking into iron I found there are 2 forms of Iron.
There is Heme-Iron(from animal and meat products) and non-Heme Iron( Vegetables and Supplements).
Knowing that, you are wanting Iron in a Non-Heme Iron form it actually has 3 different forms. The 3 forms of Non-Heme are Ferric Iron, Ferrous Iron and Carbonyl Iron. You should be looking for the Ferrous form in your supplement.
Ferrous is the most soluble(able to dissolve) of the three.
If you look on the multivitamins ingredients label it will be called ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluconate or ferrous fumarate.
Typically, most of the multivitamins I see have at least 18mg of Iron included. This is the amount I look for because its 100% of your (DV) or Daily Value. The DV was developed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help compare the nutrients a product has with how much you should have in your diet.
You can get a blood test to determine your levels which I recommend because you also don’t want to have too high of Iron levels. Iron is one of the most important nutrients for aerobic performance basically because it carries oxygen to muscles.
When you have low Iron levels you will have low oxygen levels to the muscles and leads to a low performance.
FOLATE ALSO KNOWN AS FOLIC ACID
Folate is naturally present in many foods like dark leafy vegetables, avocados, Lentils, Beans and Egg yolks. You need it to make Red and White blood cells in your bone marrow. Folate also converts carbohydrates into energy and produces DNA and RNA.
You may have never heard of folate but its mostly known for helping during pregnancy and preventing birth defects.
Although its good to take Folate at all ages and your recommended amount will increase the older you get. In one of my other articles I mentioned homocysteine which is linked to heart disease. These homocysteine levels have been known to decrease with Folate.
When searching for a multivitamin with Folate you should make sure there is less than 1000 mcg’s(micrograms) on the ingredient label.
I look for at least 400 mcg but generally somewhere around 6 or 7 hundred total mcg. For those of you that might be a little depressed, I recommend making sure you have enough Folate.
Folate is not suggested for taking as a depression treatment but there are studies that suggest low folate levels lead to depression.
When you have low levels and are on antidepressant treatment the response can be pretty low.
This is probably a vitamin you have heard of at some point.
Vitamin B-12 helps keep the nerve and blood cells healthy and very crucial to the normal function of the brain and nervous system.
Your body needs B-12 but cannot produce it on its own.
This is one of the reasons I have it on my list. You can get B-12 naturally from animal products but just like some of the other vitamins it can be tough to get your recommended amount just from food sources. I like to take it because its been known to boost your energy levels and improve your memory.
A B-12 deficiency has been connected with memory loss, especially at an older age.
Losing what is called Neurons in the brain is why you may have memory loss and B-12 can help prevent that.
As I mentioned in the last paragraph one of the reasons I take it is the energy boost which B-12 has been known for a while as the go to product for an energy burst. B-12 doesn’t necessarily provide energy to your body but play a very important role in your energy production.
If you are extremely deficient in B-12 and take the supplement your energy levels will most likely increase. There is an option if you find that you cannot absorb B-12 and something I have seen a few friends do.
You can get an injection by your doctor and see how that feels.
There are 2 sources when it comes to B-12 cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin.
When looking on the ingredient label this isn’t extremely important if its one or the other since they are known to be nearly identical. I have found through researching some studies say cyanocobalamin absorbs better but also methylcobalamin may retain or stay in your system better.
This is why I wouldn’t make a decision on a multivitamin bases on one or the other. There really isn’t a ton of research that compares the two sources.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T BE SEEING IN A MULTIVITAMIN
These ones you should STILL be taking but just not while they are in the multivitamin. The reason for this is because these ingredients can interfere with the absorption and how the other ingredients are utilized in the body.
I take these separately than my regular multivitamin.
I take a ZMA a very popular supplement at a different time which has Zinc and Magnesium. These two are both very important.
Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral found in animals, humans, plants, the sea and earth. Pumpkin Seeds and spinach are very high in Magnesium. Believe it or not Magnesium is involved in over 600 reactions in the body. Some of the more important roles are boosting exercise performance and fighting depression.
Your blood pressure can also be lowered with this mineral. There are way too many benefits to list and nearly half the population gets less than the daily recommended amount.
Zinc: This interferes with Iron which I look for in my multivitamin and for this reason I take it separate.
Zinc is very important for the immune system, without it you can get sick easier.
Have you heard of the very popular zinc based cold medicine Zicam?
Zinc is very popular for the common cold if you take it right away when symptoms are felt.
If you are a man you may find this fact important. Several studies have linked low zinc amounts with low sperm quality. I know someone who had good luck with their acne taking zinc which has been known to treat acne.
Calcium: interferes with zinc Most everyone has heard of this before and when they hear the word they think of bones.
Your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones.
If you are not getting enough calcium as an adult you may get osteoporosis from low bone mass. You should take Calcium along with Vitamin D according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation because it enables your body to absorb it better.
SHOULD YOU BE TAKING A MULTIVITAMIN?
I always recommend a good nutrient dense, plant rich diet from whole foods over a vitamin or a supplement. Real nutrient rich natural foods give you much more than just vitamins and minerals.
Although a good multivitamin can provide things whole foods can’t.
I think everyone should try a multivitamin and see how your body reacts. I highly recommend getting some blood work first to see where you are lacking.
If you do decide to take a multivitamin make sure you take it with food. I made this mistake many years ago and took one on an empty stomach. This made me extremely nauseous and I had an upset stomach.
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