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Best Multivitamin: How to Choose

A multivitamin (MV) is a dietary supplement that provides the recommended daily allowance of all of the necessary nutrients for humans in a single dose. It generally combines different vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients like dietary enzymes and even herbs to support the body throughout the day.  Multivitamins and other supplements should not in any way replace a healthy diet and should only be used to aid nutrient intake for those who need more.

Multivitamin Benefits

In addition to increased nutrient intake, taking a multivitamin may help prevent chronic disease. Other multivitamin benefits include:

  • Decreased risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Vitamin D from a multivitamin can prevent deficiency, as well as reduce the risk of breast cancer and other cancers
  • Folic acid in a multivitamin aids in prevention of neural tube defects in newborns if mother takes a multivitamin before becoming pregnant
  • Prevention of B12 deficiency in strict vegetarians or vegans

How to Read a Multivitamin Label

There are many different types of multivitamins on the market, and it is important for you to know where companies are getting their ingredients. Check the label to see if a multivitamin is glandular, whole food-based, or standard.

  • Glandular multivitamins often use nutrients harvested from various organs and tissues of certain mammals.
  • Whole food-based multivitamins are the creme de la crème of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. They are made from concentrated whole foods, which are often dried food concentrates. These contain non-isolated, non-synthetic forms of supplements.
  • Almost all standard multivitamins are from synthetic chemically isolated vitamins. These synthetic vitamins are not as well absorbed and may even cause imbalances in some individuals.

Whether your multivitamin is once daily or multi-dose is another important factor for you to consider. Consider taking a multi-dose supplement if you are able to remember to take the necessary doses needed. If you feel that you are only able to take one dose per day, then it might be best to consider a single-dose multivitamin.

You should also check to see if a multivitamin contains additives. Excipients are inactive substances that serve as a vehicle or medium for a drug or other active substance. They include binders, dispersants, coloring agents, fillers, and gelling agents. When choosing a multivitamin, consider a product that limits these excipients, as some may have harmful side effects.

What to Look for in Your Multivitamin

Men and women require different nutrients, as do children, pregnant women, and elderly patients. It is important to remember to match your multivitamin to your lifestyle to get the best results.

Here are some other factors to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your multivitamin contains vitamin E from mixed tocopherols.
  • Look to see what form of vitamin D is contained in your supplement. Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is the preferred supplement form.
  • If you have any allergens, such as gluten, dairy, or soy, make sure that your supplement is free of these allergens.
  • B12 comes in many forms: Cyanocobalamin, Hydroxycobolamin, and Methylcobalamin. The best form to supplement with is Methylcobalamin.
  • Your supplement label should also read “mixed-carotenoids.”
  • Whenever possible, you should look for biologically active forms of supplements. For example, the active form of vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is pyridoxal-5′-phosphate. However, most supplements contain pyridoxine hydrochloride. The active form of folic acid is 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate.
  • Ideally, your multivitamin will have the better absorbable form of minerals: bound complexes (aspartate, malate, citrate) or chelated (glycinate, bisglycinate).

Ideal Multivitamin Potency Considerations

When it comes to the potency of your multivitamin, here are some terms you should know:

  • Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Reference values that are quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes to be used for planning and assessing diets for healthy people.
  • Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): The average daily nutrient intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97-98%) healthy individuals in a particular life-stage and gender group. Again, this is only meant for healthy individuals and not individuals with acute or chronic illnesses.
  • Adequate Intake (AI): Recommended average daily nutrient intake level based on observed approximations or estimates of nutrient intake, by apparently healthy people, which is assumed to be adequate. Set when insufficient data exist to determine an exact RDA.
  • Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): The highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the risk of adverse effects increases.

Multivitamin Storage Tips

Be sure to store your multivitamins in a cool dry place, with little humidity, and remember to always watch out for expiration dates.

Where Can I Buy a Multivitamin?

This day and age, you can buy vitamins and supplements almost anywhere, although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you do. There are a lot of variations in quality assurance among brands and retailers of vitamins and supplements. I’m sure most have seen an article that calls out a specific brand of vitamin that doesn’t necessarily contain all that is advertised on the label. This is why it’s important to make sure that you are getting reliable brands and products from reputable sources that you know and can trust. You can get multivitamin supplements right here at LuckyVitamin, where we hand-pick natural products we believe in.

Best Multivitamins for Men 

ADAM Superior Men’s Multi by NOW Foods

Adam’s Superior Men’s multivitamin is one of the best options for a high potency multivitamin. It contains higher levels of your fat soluble vitamins and antioxidants in an easy to swallow softgel form. It also contains added blends for men’s health like 160mg of saw palmetto extract, phytosterols, and nettle root for prostate health. Also added into the blend are antioxidants for heart health and healthy aging like alpha lipoic acid, CoQ10, grape seed extract, lutein, and more!

Men’s One Daily Multivitamin Iron-Free by Innate Response Formulas 

This one daily professional grade multivitamin for men is derived from true whole-food sources with True Active FoodState 100 percent food concentrates. This whole-food multi has a high absorption rate and contains added blends like phenolics like orange, wild blueberry and cranberry for antioxidant power. It has a men’s organic botanical blend with herbs like ginkgo leaf for memory support, an immune blend with probiotics, and bioactive enzymes and proteins for digestion and cellular support.

Kind Organics Men’s Once Daily Whole Food Multivitamin by Garden of Life 

Garden of Life’s MyKind Men’s Once Daily multivitamin is a great option if you are looking for a USDA Organic Certified multivitamin from all whole-food sources. Non-GMO sourced ingredients and a great value from a high-quality brand. It also contains added blends with organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs for antioxidant protection for the cells. Even the box of this multi uses recycled packaging materials, vegetable inks, and forest-friendly paper.

Best Multivitamins for Women 

Every Woman Multivitamin by New Chapter  

To support the lifestyle of an active woman, New Chapter has made a two-a-day multivitamin that has a unique blend designed to balance hormone levels, increase energy levels and reduce stress. A cardiovascular formula and digestive blend round out this comprehensive formula. Due to a two-step fermentation process, many women find the multivitamin is easier to digest and absorb.

Women’s Multi Vit-A-Min by Emerald Labs

Emerald Labs has made a one-a-day formula that you should feel good about.  This whole-food multivitamin is a co-enzymated formula to increase absorption and enhance bioavailability. Their choice of ingredients focus on a woman’s specific needs. One of the best things about this vitamin is what it does not have. It is additive free!

Simply One Women Triple Power Multivitamins by Super Nutrition

This 100 percent natural multivitamin is USDA organic and hypoallergenic. Ingredients like ginkgo biloba, coenzyme Q10, and a strong B-complex should support higher energy while protecting the body against the effects of stress. Increased levels of folic acid, niacin and hawthorn might provide cardiovascular support against free-radicals. This one-a-day  pill is designed for quick disintegration and rapid absorption to get you moving and keep you moving!

Best Vegan Multivitamins 

Vegan Multivitamin & Mineral One Daily with Greens by Deva Nutrition

Plant-based foods are often chock full of micronutrients. However, even vegetarian and vegan diets can be lacking (1). Deva’s vegan multivitamin ensures both vegans and vegetarians obtain key nutrients that tend to be lacking in plant-based diets, including iron, vitamin D, and B12. Additionally, this once-per-day option includes an anti-inflammatory greens blend and digestive support for breaking down all the extra plant-matter.

Whole Earth & Sea Multivitamins

Although both vegan and vegetarian diets tend to be lower in iron-rich food sources, certain age and health-requirements may require one to look for an iron-free multivitamin. This is the perfect blend of whole-food based fermented nutrients, including the active forms of key B vitamins like folate and methylated B12, which promote energy balance. It is also inclusive of nutrients that are harder for vegans to obtain from non-animal sources, such as calcium (algae-based) and vitamin D3 (from lichen). It comes in a variety of forms, perfect for various genders and age-groups!

Premium Vegan Multivitamin by Veganly

Specifically formulated for vegan diets, this exclusive targeted blend is inclusive of four key nutrients that have been shown to be lacking in vegan diets. Both plant-based vitamin D2 and calcium help to promote bone and joint health, Zinc is an essential trace mineral needed for skin, immune, and reproductive health, and iron and B12 are needed for supporting energy metabolism, cardiovascular, and cognitive health. To round things out, it also incorporates 30 mg plant-based omega 3 rich hemp protein (2), as well as free-radical scavenging grape seed extract, which is a potent antioxidant that offers protection to every cell in the body, in particular the brain and heart.

Best Multivitamins for Kids

Child Multi Vitamin & Mineral Liquid Orange/Mango Flavor by Child Life Essentials

Child Life Essentials liquid multivitamin can help support healthy development, strong immune function and mental vitality in growing children. This product is free of artificial colors, artificial sweeteners and artificial flavoring. This supplement is award-winning and one of the most popular children’s multivitamins on the market today. In fact, 68 out of 68 reviewers on LuckyVitamin would recommend this product to a friend.

Organics Kids Complete Multivitamin by SmartyPants

This is probably one of my most favorite kids multivitamins and gummy vitamin lines on the market today. They’ve taken their brand one step further with their new organic line. The SmartyPants Kids Complete Multivitamin is USDA Organic, Non-GMO and free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners and preservatives. It’s got all the nutrients you want for your kids without the junk. Not to mention they are hypoallergenic. SmartyPants uses only the best and most well-researched nutrients, and they use the form that is easiest for your body to absorb whenever possible. With 14 essential nutrients, probiotics and omega-3s, what more could you want for your kids?

Nordic Berries Multivitamin Gummies by Nordic Naturals

Nordic Naturals knows that kids can be picky eaters. They want to fill the nutritional gaps commonly seen in children’s diets. This is why they came out with Nordic Berries, which helps promote healthy development. This award-winning MV provides your growing child with 10 of the most essential nutrients, including zinc and vitamins A, C, D3 and E. Not to mention they are great tasting as well. If those nutrients aren’t enough and you want to kick it up a notch, combine them with Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Gummies with Purified Fish Oils.

Best Multivitamins for Women Over 50 

Women Over 55 One Daily Multivitamin by MegaFood

MegaFood has made a terrific whole-food multivitamin designed to meet the needs of women over 50. In addition to bone support, this handy multi is designed to help maintain energy levels and mood support. Their use of food-based nutrients is easier to absorb due to their naturally occurring enzymes. This is a multivitamin that should help you feel good and you should feel good about taking it. You can look on the label to see where each of its ingredients are sourced.

Pure Food Women’s 50+ Multivitamin and Mineral by Whole Earth & Sea

Whole Earth & Sea has put together a thoughtful food-sourced multivitamin for women over 50. Somehow they managed to put together an amazing two-a-day formula that addresses the hormonal support, bone health and complexion concerns that many women have while doing it in an ecologically responsible way. Their essential fatty acids are harvested from sustainable fisheries. Their crops are free of chemical fertilizers, and they don’t use any pesticides. A portion of their proceeds go to support the Plant A Seed & See What Grows Foundation.

Vitamin Code RAW 50 & Wiser Multi Formula by Garden of Life

Garden of Life Believes that the body is designed to recognize nutrients when they come from food. By leaving some of their natural cofactors intact, the body also  knows how to better utilize each nutrient. Like many of the other products in the Garden of Life lineup, this multivitamin is one of the most comprehensive products in its class. In addition to the multivitamin component, this formula contains an organic fruit and vegetable blend, a probiotic and enzyme blend, and strong antioxidant and immune support complex. You would be hard-pressed to find a better nutritional foundation to start your day!

Best Multivitamins for Men Over 50 

Men’s 45+ Multi Vit-A-Min Raw Whole-Food Based Formula by Emerald Labs 

Emerald Labs makes one of the best multivitamins with CoEnzymated or “Active” forms of vitamins and minerals. Our body has to convert vitamins and minerals into their active forms, and as we age, our ability to do this process can be depleted! It has active forms of B12, folate, B6 for heart health and active forms of vitamin A for eye health and the immune system. It also contains an added whole-food blend with enzymes, probiotics, sprouts, super-fruits, greens and more.  

Alive Once Daily Men’s 50+ Multi-Vitamin & Whole Food Energizer Ultra Potency by Nature’s Way

Nature’s Way makes a great Men’s 50 plus multivitamin with added whole-food blends. It contains an added men’s blend, orchard fruits/garden veggies blend, mind and body, cardio blend, bioflavonoids, and a daily greens blend providing amino acids. It also has added support for digestive and immune health containing a mushroom complex, enzymes, and probiotics. It’s only one tablet daily for a great value and price as well.

Vitamin Code RAW 50 & Wiser Men’s Multi Formula by Garden of Life

Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code Raw 50 and Wiser Men’s multi is a great option for those who want a raw cultured whole-food multivitamin. No binders or fillers, and it’s also vegetarian and gluten-free. It has added tocopherols and carotenoids for antioxidant protection, healthy aging, and vision health. Probiotics, enzymes, raw fruits and vegetables…what else do you need? Two capsules twice daily for maximum potency and capsules can be opened and can be taken directly with water or raw juices. Non-GMO and NSF certified.

Best Prenatal Multivitamins

Basic Prenatal by Thorne Research

Pregnancy is a critical time for optimizing health and nutrition both for mom and baby. This is why Thorne Research, a leader in professional-grade supplements, made their Basic Prenatal Multivitamin. At a time when “cutting out the junk” matters most, this prenatal contains active ingredients of specific nutrients that make them more readily available to the body while also limiting the unwanted binders and fillers you may get with other brands.

Organics Prenatal Complete Multivitamin by SmartyPants

Looking for organic nutrition tailored just for you and your little one on the way? Look no further than SmartyPants Organic Complete Prenatal. The days of junky gummy vitamins are no more. SmartyPants features premium ingredients. This means you are getting the most well-researched nutrients, and they are in the form that’s easiest for your body to absorb and use. This prenatal is filled with vegetarian omega-3s, B vitamins, vitamin D, folate and probiotics. Everything you need to support you on your pregnancy journey.

Additional writing and reporting by Genevieve Greco, Joseph Arnold, and Matthew Myers.

 

Which multivitamin do you think you’ll choose? Let us know in the comments!

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