Searching for the best multivitamin for adults can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. They come in many forms, such as capsules, tablets, gummies, powders, or liquids. The ingredients and doses vary widely as well. Don’t fret, though. We have several tips in this blog post to point you in the right direction.
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What are multivitamins exactly?
Multivitamins are dietary supplements that help fill nutritional gaps in the diet. They combine a bunch of vitamins and minerals in an easy-to-take form. They also offer different benefits depending on the nutrients and amounts used.
The nutrients found in multivitamins are called “essential nutrients”. These are the vitamins and minerals that the human body cannot make on its own and must be consumed regularly via food and/or supplements. A deficiency in any of these essential nutrients (see below) can have serious health consequences.
There are 13 vitamins in total. Nine are water soluble and aren’t stored in the body; these are vitamin C and the eight B-complex vitamins. On the other hand, the fat soluble vitamins – A, D, E, and K – are stored in our liver and tissue.
There are two types of dietary minerals – major minerals and trace minerals. Major minerals include magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, calcium, and sulfur. On the other hand, trace minerals include iron, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, chromium, fluoride, manganese, and molybdenum (1).
Related article: Healthy Eating: Why Is Nutrition Important?
7 Tips To Help You Choose The Best Adult Multivitamin
Before we go into the details on how to choose the best multivitamin for adults, we should mention that we all have different nutritional needs. So, what may be best for you may not be suitable for others. With that said, here are 7 tips to help you choose the best adult multivitamin:
1) Check if you’re missing out on any nutrients
You may not need to take a multivitamin if you eat a healthy, balanced diet and get all essential nutrients from food. However, nutrient inadequacies are widespread, so millions of people turn to multivitamins for nutritional support (2).
Getting a blood test is the best way to check for any nutritional gaps or deficiencies. Your doctor should be able to help you with this.
Understandably, not everyone’s a fan of getting their blood drawn. While a high-quality multivitamin can help fill in the gaps, it’s not advisable to take one without understanding what you’re lacking in the first place.
2) Look for an adult multivitamin that meets your exact needs
Choosing a multivitamin according to your gender and life stage is the next move.
For instance, older men and women need more calcium and vitamin B6 than younger people. Likewise, pregnant or breastfeeding women have different nutritional needs from menopausal women. The same goes for people on restrictive diets that eliminate entire food groups.
That said, our Adult Multivitamin is great for men and women of all ages, including older individuals. However, for women planning on getting pregnant, already pregnant, or breastfeeding, our Women’s Prenatal Multivitamin is a better option for you.
3) Choose nutrients in absorbable and bioactive forms
Don’t waste your time taking low-quality multivitamins that use non-bioactive nutrients. They won’t be absorbed very well, so they end up as waste when you pee or go to the toilet.
The best multivitamin for adults will use the active forms of nutrients. Checking product labels will help you understand exactly what kind of nutrients go into your body.
We use the active forms of nutrients for both our Adult and Prenatal Multivitamins. For example, for vitamin B6, we use Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate. For vitamin B12, we use Methylcobalamin. And for vitamin B9, we use L-Methyltetrahydrofolate or 5-MTHF activated folic acid.
4) Choose a form that’s convenient for you
Multivitamins come in many forms and sizes, each with pros and cons.
For instance, capsules are easy enough to take. You can swallow them whole or pull them apart and mix the powder into your favorite drink. But they tend to be less durable than tablets.
Tablets can also be swallowed whole or broken in half, just like our Adult Multivitamin and Women’s Prenatal Multivitamin. Our tablets are admittedly large due to so many nutrients packed in! But since we don’t add any fillers to our products, we’ve been able to engineer thinner tablets that can easily be broken into two halves. So, just break them in two and pop them in your mouth!
Liquid multivitamins are said to be absorbed quickly by the body, but many have added sugars to make them taste palatable. Also, they’re typically more expensive than other forms. Some also require refrigeration to maintain potency.
Powder multivitamins are also good if you have trouble swallowing pills or you’re not a fan of drinking liquid vitamins. They come in many flavors, so pick a neutral-tasting product if you want to mix them in your morning coffee.
5) Check for fillers
Fillers artificially fluff up the product’s appearance, making them look fuller than they really are.
Here at Intelligent Labs, we guarantee that we do not add fillers, additives, or any other unnecessary ingredients to our products.
6) Check product packaging
A trusted brand will take great care to ensure their product survives until the expiration date. So, do check out product packaging, especially for multivitamins containing water-soluble vitamins since they oxidize quickly!
For both our Adult Multivitamin and Women’s Prenatal Multivitamin, we use a special Active Polymer bottle to remove moisture and reduce oxygen levels to 0.01%. This helps ensure the tablets stay intact and no oxidation occurs.
Of course, product packaging is just part of the equation. Proper storage is also important. Check if your multivitamin requires refrigeration or if storing it in a cool cupboard away from direct sunlight is good enough. Also, don’t forget to tighten the cap when not in use.
7) Manufacturing quality and third-party testing
While there’s no mandatory testing for dietary supplements, many brands (Intelligent Labs included) do this voluntarily. Third-party lab tests confirm that everything we say on the label is accurate. Moreover, all of our products are manufactured at an NSF GMP-certified facility in the United States to ensure quality.
While adult multivitamins have earned their place in modern nutrition, they’re not meant to replace a healthy, balanced diet. As always, it’s important to speak with your doctor before taking any supplements, multivitamins included.