6 pieces of advice for picking a multivitamin

October 2, 2015

Here's how to find, store and take the perfect multivitamin.

6 pieces of advice for picking a multivitamin

1. Figure out the actual serving size

Some vitamin labels provide nutrient info for a serving that's actually two pills, not one. Don't make the mistake of thinking that one is all you need.

2. Ask your pharmacist about alternatives

  • If you have trouble swallowing, find out which brands are easy to cut in half.
  • Invest in an inexpensive pill splitter to get the job done easily and correctly.
  • Liquid and chewable multivitamins are another option, but they may be more expensive. And they may not contain the levels of nutrients that you need.

3. Look for the "Big Nine"

Try to find a multivitamin that includes 100 percent of your recommended daily value for all of these:

  • Thiamin (B1)
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Niacin (B3)
  • Vitamins B6, B12, C, D, and E
  • Folic acid.

4. Avoid megadoses

  • Overdosing on certain vitamins isn't healthy.
  • The goal is to supplement or make up for whatever is missing in your diet.
  • Excess vitamins are usually just disposed of through urination or stored in fatty tissue.

5. Spend like a cheapskate

  • A multi that provides sufficient levels of important vitamins and minerals shouldn't cost you more than $30 a year.
  • You can keep costs lower by buying on sale. Just check the expiration dates to make sure you'll take them all before they expire.
  • Multivitamins will keep for about a year in a cool, dry place.

6. Consider a separate vitamin D supplement

  • Not getting enough vitamin D could raise the risk of a wide variety of cancers, including breast, ovarian, colon and prostate.
  • Vitamin D can also help stop cancer from proliferating, promote the death of tumour cells, and help stop tumours from developing blood vessels that let them grow larger.
  • Food sources alone can't raise the amount of vitamin D in your bloodstream to protective levels.
  • While ultraviolet B (UVB) light in sunshine synthesizes vitamin D in your body, rays are too weak from November to May in northerly climes.
  • After age 50, your body simply makes less vitamin D.
  • Your best bet is to look for vitamin D supplements. The safe upper limit for adults is 1,000 IU per day, experts say.
  • There are multivitamins available for seniors, women, men and particular ethnic groups.

Finding the right multivitamin can make staying healthy a lot easier. Read labels carefully to make sure your multi has everything you need, and nothing more.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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