What are the benefits of multivitamins, and what side effects do they have?
In the world of vitamin supplements, finding products you know are safe can be difficult. Unlike drugs, dietary supplements are not pre-approved by the government for safety or effectiveness before marketing. It’s crucial to do your research before taking a new vitamin.
Below is a guide for choosing the best multivitamins, featuring top picks from some of the most trusted, reliable brands with safe ingredients. However, it’s a good idea to speak with your healthcare professional, nutritionist or dietician before taking any dietary supplements. This is especially true if you have an existing health condition or special needs, such as that of prenatal or postnatal women.
What to consider when choosing multivitamins
Though many still need medications prescribed by their doctor, there are loads of benefits that come with taking a multivitamin. For starters, it is perfect for busy people who find it difficult to keep up with an extensive collection of daily vitamins. Most multivitamins make it easier because you only have to take them once daily. It is also beneficial because many multivitamins cover nutrients and vitamins we often don’t know we need. Here are just a few of the many benefits of taking multivitamins:
- Increases energy
- Protects the immune system from sickness
- Enhances brain function
- Supports heart, eye, bone and joint health
Taking a daily multivitamin may seem like a very small thing to do, but it can help you feel more energetic and healthy.
Common side effects
- Nausea: Most vitamins can’t be taken on an empty stomach, but this is especially true with multivitamins. Because they contain a high amount and variety of vitamins and minerals, doing so can result in nausea or a stomachache.
- Constipation: It is essential to be mindful of the kinds of foods you eat when you take your vitamins. If taken with anything that includes dairy, antacids or calcium, it can make it more challenging for the body to absorb.
With the help of marketing and e-commerce, more multivitamins are on the market. Here are a few tips for finding quality natural vitamins that are what they claim:
- Look for a non-GMO-certified label
- Look for an NSF-Certified Gluten-Free label
- Check out ingredients
- Read the serving size
In addition to reading reviews, doing these things can often help weed out bogus manufacturers.
- Children: If you’re considering giving your child a multivitamin gummy or chewable tablet, consult their pediatrician. Although for some, it can be as young as age 4, it should be a formula designed specifically for young children.
- Teens: If starting with an adult multivitamin, it is recommended to wait until the age of at least 12. The best thing to do is find a multivitamin specifically designed for tweens or teens, which will help more with their development, health and wellbeing.
- Adults: Most multivitamins for adults tend to be best for ages between 18 and 50. For this age range, there is not necessarily one specifically designed formula. It can be more effective to choose a multivitamin that is specifically catered toward either men or women, depending on what your nutritional needs are.
- 50-plus: For anyone 50 and above, it is important to look for vitamins that are specifically formulated for this age range. In contrast to a general adult multivitamin, there may be particular vitamins and minerals that a senior needs that are either a higher or possibly lower dosage than those who are younger.
- Multivitamin capsules are the most common means of delivery, with better stability than other options; some fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin D, are unstable molecules that can degrade under certain conditions, including cooking, sterilization and storage. Capsules also typically have better absorption than other types of supplements, are more affordable and may have a time-released effect, depending on the vitamin.
- Multivitamin gummies are a popular choice since they come in a variety of flavors and are easy to take. On the downside, some are not as nutrient-rich as other forms; this is because vitamins tend not to taste good, or may be too bulky to include in the formula. Gummy vitamins may also contain additives, such as sugars and artificial flavors.
- Multivitamin powders are on the rise due to how easy they are to mix with water or other beverages, especially on the go. Many manufacturers design their multivitamin powders with electrolytes and tasty flavors. They’re a good alternative for those who have issues with swallowing pills, but like gummies, may contain additives you don’t want.
- Liquid multivitamins are among the most readily absorbed options available. They’re another good choice for those who struggle with swallowing pills, but typically don’t taste great, so many people chase them with another beverage. Liquid supplements typically have a shorter shelf life and are unsuitable for vitamins with unstable molecules, as well.
Best multivitamins for adults
As one of the most popular and trusted brands, this One A Day multivitamin is a go-to for beginners to try. It has a wide variety of vitamins that boost the immune system, eye, heart and brain health.
This Thorne multivitamin enhances organ function, immunity and nutrition. This absorbent and natural formula does not include preservatives, artificial flavors or colors.
Solgar is one of the biggest and best-respected manufacturers of vitamins and dietary supplements, so you can trust the quality of this multivitamin. This formula is iron-free, so it’s gentle on the stomach. Some people may need to take an additional iron supplement if they’re prone to low levels.
Best multivitamins for women
Made with organic, non-GMO whole foods, vegetables and herbs, this New Chapter multivitamin is high-quality. It contains probiotics, as well as 24 vitamins and minerals in this fermented formula. This is the best multivitamin for women with sensitive stomachs, as it’s gentle on the digestive system.
This multivitamin with iron includes pure, vegetarian ingredients and nutrients. The inclusion of iron is important for all people who menstruate. It contains a form of iron that’s easy on the stomach.
This Garden of Life multivitamin contains a strong blend of whole foods, enzymes, antioxidants and live probiotics for women. Made from organic, non-GMO ingredients, this is the best women’s multivitamin catered to nutritional needs.
Best multivitamins for men
This multivitamin is the real deal, based on raw foods. It consists of antioxidants, probiotics for men and enzymes in a fruit and vegetable blend.
Containing all the basic vitamins and minerals, as well as amino acids for improved absorption, this is the best men’s multivitamin for those on a budget.
Created from a blend of whole foods, this is the best multivitamin for men aged 55 and over, formulated specifically for the needs of this age group.
Best multivitamins for teens
These Ritual multivitamins are the best supplement for teen boys, suitable for ages 13-17. They contain 9 nutrients for immune function, bone support, brain health and muscle function. The vegan, non-GMO capsules have a minty flavor and are easy to take.
These Ritual teen multivitamins contain 10 key nutrients including iron for menstruating girls ages 13-17. They support immune function, red blood cell formation, bone support and brain health. Like the version for teen boys, these capsules are vegan and non-GMO with a minty flavor.
Best multivitamins for kids
Zarbee’s is the best multivitamin for toddlers, with a plant-based, easy-to-chew formula sweetened with honey and natural flavors. It contains 12 essential vitamins and minerals to help fill nutritional gaps and support the needs of children ages 2-3.
This is the best multivitamin for kids if you’re looking for a gummy supplement. Formulated for children ages four and up, it contains Omega 3 fish oil, Zinc and six essential vitamins for healthy growth, brain function and immune support. The gummies are non-GMO and gluten-free with three tasty fruit flavors.
These cherry-flavored chews include 18 vitamins and iron for immune support, heart health and development. They’re vegan, non-GMO and sugar-free.
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Mary Hicks writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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