Everyone cares about their ongoing health journey. Everyone’s path to healthy living is unique, too. We all have different needs. And sometimes we need a little bit of an extra push. Especially, when choosing the best multivitamins.
You might have low energy levels or lack focus when you’re at work. Maybe you’re at risk for high blood pressure and heart issues. You could have a hard time managing your weight or keeping it off. Perhaps one of your parents has diabetes and you want to avoid developing it later in life. Your immune system might fail as you age.
What if we told you that you could get rid of those symptoms and so many more if you found the best multivitamin?
That might sound too good to be true. You could be thinking:
“All I have to do is take a couple of Olly vitamins and I’ll be safe?” or “Those Nature Made vitamins are the answer to all of my health woes?”
Well, not exactly. Like we said, everyone has different health needs and wellness goals. There are a lot of things to consider when you’re in the market for the best vitamins.
Today, we tell you all about how to find the best multivitamin for your individual needs. We answer all of your questions according to scientific research from doctors, nutritionists and reputable health sources.
Do You Really Need Vitamins?
So do you really need to take supplements to get the right vitamins? You might wonder: “What vitamins should I take?” Well, that all depends on your body and circumstances.
If you’re older, it might be a good option. According to Harvard Medical School, The Journal of Nutrition conducted a study in 2017. They researched 3.5 thousand adults who were 60 years old and up. The results showed us that 70 percent of them either take a multivitamin or single vitamin/mineral supplement.
54 percent of them take one to two supplements. Even 29 percent of them take at least four supplements. So do all of those people really need them? Do you?
Precision is a regenerative and functional medicine healthcare practice. They list eight reasons why you might look for the best multivitamin to take. Here are some of those top contenders:
- Unhealthy eating habits. In the U.S., a lot of people eat unhealthy and processed food because it’s cheaper. It’s also easy to find when you want a quick hunger fix. A lot of this food lacks essential nutrients that we all need in our daily diet. That means that you might have a vitamin deficiency that you’d normally find in food.
- Toxins in the environment. There are a lot of toxins that you inhale in today’s world. In fact, there are so many that you might not realize the extent. They eliminate a lot of our natural vitamin supplies.
- Water filters. In its natural state, water has a ton of minerals your body needs. That includes magnesium and other essential nutrients. But for many reasons, you end up drinking filtered water.
- Low-quality produce. The fruits and vegetables you buy at your local grocery store isn’t always the best quality. That’s because sometimes, they ship from other countries. Manufacturers store them for so long, they don’t have all the natural vitamins you need.
- Exercise. After exercise, you need to replace the vitamins you lost. Your body goes through them faster when you work out.
What is the Recommended Diet When Taking Multivitamins?
As you can now see, there are a lot of reasons you might benefit from multivitamins. But your diet is also a key factor.
Take vegans and vegetarians, for example. Neither eat meat. That means they miss out on a lot of the important vitamins and nutrients that meat can give them. Here are some examples of what vegan and vegetarian diets lack:
- Vitamin B12
In this case, a multivitamin with iron could be a good choice. The best multivitamin for women also probably has iron in it. In general, women tend more towards iron deficiencies than men.
But what diet should you follow when you already take multivitamins? Medical professionals have some ideas.
Let’s say that you already have a multivitamin in mind to start taking. It could be from Dirobi, Pure Formulas or any other company. Say each ingredient has up to 100 percent of the daily value. That’s pretty standard.
If so, you should eat a balanced diet overall. It should really focus on:
- Whole grains. This includes barley, oatmeal and brown rice.
- Fruits. Here, you have a ton of options. Some choices are bananas, avocado and mango.
- Vegetables, like leafy greens, asparagus and bell peppers.
- Legumes/beans. Some examples are chickpeas, lentils and black beans.
- Lean proteins. A few choices include chicken, salmon and tofu.
Of course, some of those options aren’t for everyone. Maybe you have some food allergies. You might just not like any of those foods. This is another case where you might want to look for the best multivitamin on the market.
Which is Better: Nutrients in Foods or Multivitamins?
There’s always the age-old question: are nutrients from foods or multivitamins better?
The first thing you have to understand here is the difference between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.
Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins that dissolve in fat. They consist of Vitamins A, D, E and K. Your body stores any extra ones.
Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. As soon as you intake them, your body gets them where they need to go. You don’t store the extra ones, so you need to replenish them all the time. Vitamins B and C are water-soluble.
You can get both of them from either food or multivitamins. But since you go through water-soluble vitamins so quickly, the best multivitamin has a lot of those in its ingredients.
There are other factors that might not let you get all of your essential nutrients from food. So a multivitamin might be your best bet when you:
- Take certain medications that cause a vitamin deficiency
- Have malnutrition
- Go through gastric bypass surgery
- Have a vitamin deficiency for any other reason
How to Choose the Right Multivitamins?
Let’s go over what you already learned from earlier.
Here are some of the reasons you might want to take a multivitamin. You could be searching for the best multivitamin for men or for a women’s multivitamin. Either way, you may be concerned if you have:
- Decreased physical or mental energy
- Unclear mental focus
- A lowered immune system
- General “unwell” feeling
- Poor moods
- High cholesterol
- Unregulated blood sugar
A lot of people take multivitamins. This is especially true if you are:
- Anemic (iron deficiency)
- An exercise fanatic
- A junk-food eater
- Vegan or vegetarian
- Have certain food allergies or don’t like nutrient-rich foods
Or maybe you just want to see what all the multivitamin hype is about. It doesn’t matter what your particular situation is. Let’s rephrase that: your particular wellness journey matters. We’re so glad you’re looking for answers! But across the board, there are five main questions to ask while you shop around for the best multivitamin.
What Do I Need?
This one is the foundation to the rest of your questions. You’re not like everyone else. There is only one you. So your needs are different. Those One A Day vitamins that your best friend takes might not be the right fit for you.
Figure out what foods you eat that already give you the essential nutrients. Then find out where there’s a gap. How old are you? Are you healthy as a whole? Do you have any medical issues? What kind of lifestyle do you live? What’s your energy like? How’s your metabolism? Ask all of these questions to assess your starting point.
What Brands Are the Best?
There are so many brands out there to consider.
Do you want a company with a particular men’s multivitamin? Maybe you prefer gummy vitamins. If you want a more tailored approach to your vitamins, there are some brands that make custom formulas. If you want support along the way, a company like Dirobi is a perfect fit. More on that later. Keep reading for some tips on how to choose the best multivitamin.
Are These Supplements/Vitamins Going to Be Safe for Me?
You want a safe multivitamin. The whole reason you consider one in the first place is because you want a better quality of life.
If you have any allergies, read the ingredients list and pinpoint any of your allergens. If you’re vegan, double-check that your vitamins don’t have any animal byproducts in them, like gelatin. Also research any potential side effects of your chosen multivitamin.
Will it Conflict With the Medications I Might Be On?
If you take any other medications, check with your healthcare provider before you start taking any new supplements. Multivitamins are called “multi” because they have a lot of ingredients.
Unless you’re a medical professional, you don’t have any way to know how your current medications stack up against your supplements.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Almost anything you put into your body has potential side effects. That includes food, pharmaceutical medications, over-the-counter pain pills and multivitamins alike. Some supplements can cause stomach upset and headaches.
You have to know everything about what you take. That means the good, the bad and the ugly. Then you can rest assured that you have the best multivitamin there is to offer.
Consult or Talk With Your Doctor
One of the only people on the planet that knows your body almost as well as you do is your doctor.
Your doctor should already have your current medication list. They know any possible interactions that a new multivitamin might have with your existing medicine.
They’re the ones also know your health goals. For example, say that you want to lose weight or manage the weight you already lost. With this in mind, they can recommend some multivitamins for you.
At your next doctor’s appointment, it might be a good idea to go in with a list of the supplements you want to try. They can go over it with you. You’ll leave knowing that you’re making an informed decision about your health.
There are also some other specific reasons you should talk with your doctor before you start a new multivitamin routine.
You need to talk with your doctor first if you…
Are Pregnant or Trying to Get Pregnant
There are a lot of multivitamins that are very beneficial for pregnant women or women who might be pregnant soon. Take prenatal vitamins, for example. But on the other hand, some multivitamins contain ingredients that are dangerous for an unborn child or pregnant woman.
Care for a Young Child
Some young people need to take vitamins, like breastfed children. Breastfed children don’t get enough of the recommended amount of Vitamin D until they drink cow’s milk.
Or if you and your young child both eat a plant-based diet, they might not get all of the nutrients they need as they grow. Sometimes, though, the supplements you take might not be safe for a young person.
Eat a Restricted or Limited Diet
If you follow a strict diet like that of a vegan or vegetarian, you might not get the necessary levels of nutrients from your food.
Vitamins B12, D, fatty acids and zinc are some examples of vitamins you may have to supplement.
Are Older Than 50
As you age, your metabolism and other bodily functions slow down. They can’t process nutrients as well as they used to.
Medicine that you have to take as a senior also affects your nutrient levels. You can’t eat all the same foods that you did when you were younger.
The best multivitamin for people 50 years and up bridges those gaps for you.
Had Gastric Bypass Surgery
After gastric bypass surgery, doctors and nutritionists say that you don’t always get the proper nutrients. This is because you can’t eat as much food as before.
They often recommend that post-op patients take a complete multivitamin to deal with this before it becomes an issue.
Have Certain Genetic or Health Conditions
Some people with particular genetic or underlying health problems can’t process or absorb nutrients well.
If you have either of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases or cystic fibrosis, this could apply to you. Alcoholism, cancer and liver disease are a few more examples.
Not everyone has all the answers as to why you might have or develop a vitamin deficiency. Vitamin A, folic acid and Vitamin D are three of the more common vitamins you might be deficient in.
Important Tips When Choosing the Best Multivitamins for You
You have a lot of information to digest already and you know all about why you might need a multivitamin. You understand that you should have a conversation with your doctor before you start taking one and the examples of when you should do so.
Your next questions could be: “But how do I choose the best multivitamin? How do I know it’s right for me? Does the multivitamin brand care about me as a person or just want to make money?”
Here’s some great news for you: We have the answers you need. Below, we have five basic tips to help you choose according to your specific goals and requirements. Use these tips as a step-by-step process to pick a multivitamin:
- Conduct thorough research on the multivitamin brand
- Read the user reviews and relevant forums
- Understand and identify your body’s unique needs
- Take the time to understand what’s in the multivitamin’s ingredients
- Pay attention to whether or not there are seals of approval for each particular type of multivitamin
Before we get into all of those, though, let’s dive into the perfect example of a vitamin company that meets all of the requirements.
Mimi’s Miracle Multi. Multivitamin by Dirobi
As soon as you navigate to Dirobi’s homepage on their website, you see something that strikes you: “Your best health at every age.”
We mentioned that older people could benefit a lot from a multivitamin. Not only does Dirobi address that. Rather, they encourage people of all age groups to put their health first. They provide everyone with natural and simple solutions throughout the whole process, too.
The word “simple” is a breath of fresh air. Have you ever scrolled through a company’s multivitamin choices and wondered “what are all of these words? Why are there so many extra ingredients?” Dirobi faces that head-on.
The first tip we have is to conduct research on multivitamin brands. But you have some extra help from Dirobi. They do the research for you. On their website, you can click on their Resources section. You have the choice to download a free copy of their eBook all about healthy living.
They also have a podcast you can subscribe to that answers all of your healthy-living questions. They interview professionals in the healthcare and wellbeing industry.
As for the user reviews? Let’s look at Mimi’s Miracle Multi. Multivitamin. It could be the best multivitamin out there for all of your vitamin needs. And the people who take it couldn’t agree more. It also meets the mark for seals of approval. It’s made in the U.S. and free of gluten and GMOs.
Not only that, but it also has a detailed list of the ingredients backed by scientific research. This way, you know what you’re putting into your body before your package is even delivered to your front door.
Some of those ingredients include:
- Chromium GTF (which medical professionals praise as a “miracle”)
- Essential B and D vitamins
So without further ado, let’s tackle our five tips for how you can identify the best multivitamin to meet your health goals.
Conduct Research on Multivitamin Brands
No matter what you do for a living, you know it as well as we do: you have to conduct research. Whether that research is for science or just on a new yoga studio you want to join, you need to do it regardless of what it’s for.
It’s no different when it comes to researching multivitamin brands.
The Office of Dietary Supplements knows how important this is, too. They point out how many different kinds of supplements and multivitamins are on the market. They also mention just how many ingredients are in each one of those supplements, but we’ll get into that more later.
Any multivitamin brand can sell:
- Vegetarian supplements
- Powders and mixes
- Energy bars
- Protein bars
Is your multivitamin brand honest about what they sell? There are few industries as competitive and popular as the vitamin and supplement industry. So you have to ask yourself if they’re out for your best interest or just the biggest dollar amount per sale.
Since the FDA doesn’t regulate vitamins, vitamin brands don’t always list everything in their product. So thorough research is the safest way to go.
Check the certifications on the brand’s website and packaging. You really want to make sure that the “other ingredients” listed are safe and clean ingredients. As you research, also ask the following questions:
- What’s the brand’s reputation like?
- Do they tell you where they source from or do they leave key information out?
- Is it a natural/organic company?
Look for the User Reviews or Forums
One of the best ways to tell if a multivitamin is right for you might seem like the simplest. But don’t overlook the value of user reviews or forums.
Some people in the review section for a supplement have the same concerns and goals as you. You get information on the multivitamin you want right from the source. As a whole, almost everyone is a good person overall.
Let’s say someone experiences negative side effects from a multivitamin. They might feel threatened by potentially scary risks. Most people won’t let that go without warning others. And where do they warn people? Usually right in the reviews on a product’s web page.
A great resource you can use is ConsumerLab. It’s an independent, membership-based organization. They have over 90 thousand members who research and share information about supplements.
ConsumerLab goes over up-to-date health product tests and reviews. They warn you about any troubling information about them. They have a team of experienced doctors and healthcare professionals who value transparency and safety.
Determine What Your Body Needs
We talked about this before, but it’s a key step when you want to choose the best multivitamin. Of course, the number-one way to get all of your essential nutrients is through a healthy diet.
But we also know that that’s not always an option.
Your first step should always be to log your daily food intake. Do you get everything you need from that food? Do you eat enough protein, fruits and vegetables every day to absorb the right vitamins? Keep an eye on this. Then, you can figure out how to supplement your diet with a multivitamin.
Dr. Edward Group, the founder of Global Healing, suggests that you cleanse your body before you start a multivitamin regimen. Then, you can absorb everything you need from your multivitamins.
Experts at Penn Medicine also agree that you have to understand your individual state of health before you take a new multivitamin. Before you start, they encourage you to talk to your physician, too.
Together, the two of you can collaborate on where you stand now with your health. Then, you can figure out where you want your multivitamin to take you.
Take Time to Look at the Packaging Ingredients Section
So if the FDA doesn’t monitor supplements, how do you know if your multivitamin’s ingredients list is true or not? If you’re wondering this, you’re not alone. A lot of people have asked that very question.
Luckily, doctors and nutritionists have some answers. Take Simon Yeung, for example. He works for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a pharmacist and herbalist.
First, he says that you should look for a label from either USP or ConsumerLab, like we talked about before. If your multivitamins say they’ve been tested by either of those, you know it’s a quality supplement.
Next, Yeung suggests that you buy U.S.-made multivitamins. Other countries might sell supplements without defined or safe regulations. He also recommends that you go for “standardized” vitamins. That means the ingredients tell you the exact amount of a certain chemical in your multivitamin.
Look for Seals of Approval
Here’s the last tip we want to bring to your attention when you want the best multivitamin. Be sure to look for seals of approval with your supplement.
We already mentioned two of these above. However, Mayo Clinic reminds us of these three reliable organizations. They say that trustworthy seals of approval come from:
- U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention
- NSF International
Again, the U.S. doesn’t have a government organization that tests multivitamins. So a seal of approval from any of those three groups does the same sort of thing. Top-notch multivitamin brands use a third party, like those three, to make sure their products don’t have harmful ingredients.