Multivitamins cannot contain 100% of the recommended daily vitamins and minerals. The best ones include vitamins A through E, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Many people don’t get all the vitamins and minerals they need from their diet. This can be particularly true if you have a restrictive diet or if you’re a vegan.
The most complete multivitamin and mineral supplement can help fill in the gaps, but it’s not always easy to find one that has everything you need.
The good news is that there are plenty of options on the market today!
The bad news is that many of these products contain ingredients that aren’t actually beneficial for health, and some even contain harmful substances like lead or mercury. So how do we know which ones are safe?
The Challenge of Finding a Multivitamin with 100% of Recommended Daily Nutrients
Multivitamins are designed to provide your body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly.
Unfortunately, it’s not feasible for multivitamins to contain 100% of the recommended daily amounts (RDAs) for each nutrient because there are too many different types of nutrients in our food and they’re not all absorbed equally by our bodies.
This means that if you’re taking a multivitamin every day, you may be getting more than what is necessary and that can have negative effects on your health.
For example –
- too much vitamin A can cause birth defects or liver damage.
- too much niacin can lead to nausea.
- too much folic acid might mask anemia caused by iron deficiency.
- high levels of vitamin D can increase the risk of kidney stones or bone fractures.
- high doses of zinc decrease copper absorption from foods which can result in anemia when combined with low dietary copper intake.
What Are the Essential Vitamins and Minerals That a Multivitamin Should Contain
Multivitamins should contain essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to develop and function normally. The known vitamins include A, C, D, E, and K, and the B vitamins: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxal (B6), cobalamin (B12), biotin, and folate/folic acid.
According to healthline.com, a multivitamin should contain seven essential ingredients:
- vitamin D,
- folate/folic acid, and
- vitamin B12.
Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, which is essential for bone health. Magnesium is important for muscle function and energy production. Calcium is important for bone health.
Zinc supports immune function and wound healing. Iron is important for oxygen transport in the blood. Folate/folic acid is important for cell growth and development. Vitamin B12 supports nerve function.
When choosing a multivitamin, it’s important to look for one with appropriate daily values of ingredients – choose a multivitamin with 100% of the daily value of most of its ingredients.
Choosing the Right Multivitamin
Before you start any multivitamin regimen, it’s important to consult with your healthcare professional. They can help you determine if a multivitamin is right for you, and which one will work best for your body.
It’s also important to understand that there are two main types of multivitamins: synthetic and natural.
Synthetic vitamins are made in labs while natural vitamins are derived from food sources such as plants and animals.
While both have their benefits, some people prefer one over the other because they prefer not to have chemicals added to their bodies or because they want something closer to nature (and therefore more nutritious).
Dietary Supplements vs. Multivitamins
Dietary supplements are made from natural ingredients, while multivitamins contain more than one vitamin or mineral (a combination of multiple different types).
For example, if you take an iron supplement for anemia but also have trouble sleeping at night due to stress–a common issue among college students–you could take both those supplements in addition to a multivitamin that contains iron and melatonin.
The benefits of taking the most complete multivitamin and mineral supplement daily include:
- Increased energy levels
- Improved mental health
- Reduced risk of heart disease and cancer