The supplementation and nutrition world can be overwhelming for newcomers. We have access to so many vitamins, minerals, enzymes and chemical compounds, and choosing the right product can be extremely challenging. But what if we told you that a single tablet could help you reach your goals simply, safely and effectively?
Multivitamins are supplements that contain various nutrients formulated to meet the daily requirements of vitamins and minerals needed to stay in great health. In our shopping guide, we’ll teach you all you need to know regarding these supplements. You’ll also learn to choose the product that best suits your needs.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best multivitamin supplements on the Australian market
- 2.1 No. 1: Cenovis Multivitamins & Minerals (200 capsules)
- 2.2 No. 2: Nature’s Way Multivitamin Vita Gummies (120 gummies)
- 2.3 No. 3: Nature’s Own Mega Potency Women’s Multivitamin (60 tablets)
- 2.4 No. 4: Swisse Ultivite Multivitamin (60 effervescent tablets)
- 2.5 No. 5: Blackmores Men’s Performance Multi (100 tablets)
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about multivitamin supplements
- 3.1 What are multivitamins exactly?
- 3.2 What vitamins are found in these supplements?
- 3.3 What are the consequences of a vitamin deficiency?
- 3.4 What other compounds are found in multivitamin supplements?
- 3.5 Which groups are at high risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies?
- 3.6 How can I get healthy levels of vitamins and minerals from my diet?
- 3.7 What are the benefits of multivitamin supplements?
- 3.8 What types of multivitamin supplements are there?
- 3.9 How should I take my multivitamin supplements?
- 3.10 What precautions should I take when using these supplements?
- 3.11 Can my multivitamins cause pharmacological interactions?
- 3.12 What is the price of multivitamin supplements?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Multivitamins are nutritional supplements that contain different vitamins, minerals, and other substances that contribute to keeping your body in good health.
- They are not considered medicines, and their quality control can therefore sometimes be more lenient. This is why some products are not effective.
- Good quality multivitamins can help keep you healthy and decrease the likelihood of certain diseases.
Ranking: The best multivitamin supplements on the Australian market
You have to evaluate a series of important criteria when you’re looking for your new multivitamin supplement. These include the quality of the ingredients, the effectiveness of the nutrient combination or the value for money of the product. Using these factors, we’ve selected the very best supplements available on the market right now:
No. 1: Cenovis Multivitamins & Minerals (200 capsules)[amazon box=”B07D2M5QKN” description_items=”0″]
Cenovis is your very own Australian brand, and a supplement leader on the local market. Based in Queensland, it has over 80 years of experience in the industry, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see their product be Amazon’s Choice in the category. Not only do they provide great quality, but they are also the most affordable of our selection. Approximate price per capsule: $0.07.
They contain a grand total of 19 ingredients, amongst which you will find various vitamins – B group, A, C and E – and minerals – such as calcium, manganese or iron. Combined together, they are designed to provide a wide range of benefits to your body. These include promoting energy production, maintaining a healthy immune system or boosting your memory and cognitive function.
No. 2: Nature’s Way Multivitamin Vita Gummies (120 gummies)[amazon box=”B00CKMX75Q” description_items=”0″]
Nature’s Way is an American company who have successfully allied tradition and technology to offer products that make the most out of what Nature has to offer. This product comes in the form of little gummies, and this might just be what you need if you have trouble swallowing capsules. Chew away these supplements to reap the benefits of its ingredients.
These include a variety of different vitamins and minerals, amongst which you’ll find vitamins C, D and E, as well as calcium, magnesium and zinc. Adults are recommended to take two to three gummies a day. Note that, while this product is free of milk, egg, peanut, soy and preservatives, it does contain gluten. Approximate price per gummy: $0.10.
No. 3: Nature’s Own Mega Potency Women’s Multivitamin (60 tablets)[amazon box=”B00NIHXMWK” description_items=”0″]
Based in New South Wales, Nature’s Own is another local company to produce high quality nutritional supplements for the whole family. Their Mega Potency multivitamins are specifically designed to answer to the physiological needs of women. Made right here in Australia, each pack offers two months of supplementing, at a rate of one tablet per day.
They contain an incredible variety of ingredients, from vitamins to minerals and nutrients. Developed to promote skin defences & repair mechanisms that may reduce the effects of ageing, this product also features traditional herbs such as gingko biloba, cranberry and milk thistle. If you suffer from allergies, please check carefully the long list of compounds. Approximate price per tablet: $0.23.
No. 4: Swisse Ultivite Multivitamin (60 effervescent tablets)[amazon box=”B076VW6XFK” description_items=”0″]
Swisse is a company from Melbourne that specialises in creating vitamin and mineral supplements that promote our overall well-being, and the dosage form of their Ultivite multivitamin may be exactly what you were looking for. Each tablet is easily dissolved in water, facilitating intake. Plus, its orange flavour shouldn’t bother you at breakfast.
Based on scientific research, the blend of vitamins and minerals is designed to help you cope with stress, reach recommended daily allowances and support your energy production. Note that these tablets do not contain iron. According to the manufacturer, this product is suitable for individuals following vegan diets. Approximate price per tablet: $0.39.
No. 5: Blackmores Men’s Performance Multi (100 tablets)[amazon box=”B01LW8UQFG” description_items=”0″]
Last but not least, here comes Blackmores’ Men’s Performance multivitamin. Our fourth and final Australian brand has been growing in popularity on the Australasian market, in great part due to their quality control. This means that this supplement offers great quality, and you can take full advantage of it without worrying for your health.
As you might have guessed from its name, this product is tailored for men, with the aim of boosting their mental and physical health. Besides the commonly found vitamins and minerals, it also contains plants that have been medically used for centuries, such as Tribulus and milk thistle. According to Blackmores, these tablets are suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Approximate price per tablet: $0.23.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about multivitamin supplements
Multivitamins are supplements that offer a variety of vitamins, and sometimes other compounds such as amino acids or essential minerals. These very popular products allow you to resolve different nutritional deficiencies in one go. This truly simplifies your supplementation without neglecting quality.
What are multivitamins exactly?
They are nutritional supplements that contain three or more vitamins and minerals, helping you stay healthy. Each specific product will offer its own combination of nutrients, which is why you need to know exactly hat your goals are before choosing a supplement.
These products are particularly handy to deal with deficiencies caused by malnutrition, a stressful life or any other vital demand that produces a nutritional imbalance in our organism. Certain multivitamins are also designed for more specific conditions, such as pregnancy and breastfeeding.
In Australia, multivitamins are considered food supplements as opposed to medicines. This means that these supplements are subject to much more permissive regulations than medical products. Unfortunately, this leads to some products with minimal or no effect being available on the market.
What vitamins are found in these supplements?
Vitamins are essential substances for the well-being of the human body. These microscopic compounds regulate cell functioning and are vital for our survival. However, our organism cannot synthesise these molecules, and they need to be obtained through food.
Not all multivitamin supplements are equal. You will find an infinite number of nutrient combinations that create very different products. Our age, gender, health status and activity level all play a role in determining our specific nutritional needs. This will lead you to pick this or that multivitamin supplement.
However, a number of vitamins are considered base components in these products. In the following table, we’ve summed up the main molecules that are found in most multivitamins, as well as what their main functions are:
|A||Maintenance of normal vision, of immunity and of skin integrity, cellular antioxidant|
|B1||Metabolism of carbohydrates and maintenance of a healthy nervous system|
|B2 (riboflavin)||Transformation of nutrients into energy, maintenance of normal vision and of skin integrity, and elimination of toxic compounds (detox function)|
|B3||Energy metabolism, DNA repair, elimination of toxic compounds and hormonal production|
|B5 (pantothenic acid)||Metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates and maintenance of skin and capillary integrity (under investigation)|
|B6||DNA repair, cell growth and preservation and maintenance of immunity|
|B7 (biotin)||Metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, energy production, cell growth and control of blood sugar levels|
|B9 (folic acid)||DNA repair, cell growth and preservation, and maintenance of a healthy nervous system|
|B12||DNA repair, cell growth and preservation, maintenance of a healthy nervous system, and red blood cell synthesis|
|C||Antioxidant function, increased nutrient absorption, collagen production and maintenance of the immune system|
|D||Calcium absorption, bone repair and creation, maintenance of the immune system and preservation of cardiovascular health|
|E||Powerful cellular antioxidant, maintenance of the nervous system|
|K||Antihaemorrhagic function (coagulation), bone repair and creation, maintenance of the immune system and preservation of cardiovascular health|
Most multivitamin supplements contain a combination of these vitamins. We encourage you to go for products that give you greater quantities of the you cannot obtain through your diet. Vegan and vegetarian individuals, for instance, will benefit from multivitamins that have high levels of vitamin B12.
What are the consequences of a vitamin deficiency?
If you do not meet your recommended nutritional intake, your organism will face imbalances that can damage your health in the short and long run. The most common symptoms are nonspecific, and include fatigue, general malaise and a higher tendency of getting sick. The lack of certain vitamins will cause more specific manifestations:
- Vitamin A deficiency will cause night vision problems. If it is prolonged, it will also affect your immunity, as well as your body’s ability to regenerate cells.
- Deficiencies in vitamins B1, B2, B2, B5 and B6. This will hinder your organism’s absorption and use of nutrients, and ultimately negatively impact your energy production.
- Folic acid (B9) deficiency can lead to anaemia, mouth ulcers and premature greying. The frequency of foetal malformations will increase in pregnant women.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency is a particularly big issues for strict vegans and vegetarians. It can cause anaemia, neurological symptoms (such as numbness of the limbs, memory loss and mood swings) and digestive symptoms (mostly loss of appetite and constipation).
- Vitamin C deficiency will provoke fatigue and hinder the immune system function. Severe deficiencies could lead to scurvy, a very rare condition that manifests itself through heavy bleeding, gum ulcers and psychiatric disorders.
- Vitamin D deficiency will affect your calcium absorption and its incorporation into the bones, increasing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. This deficiency can also harm your cardiovascular health, leading to hypertension and other cardiac disorders.
- Vitamin E deficiency can lead to premature ageing. Severe deficits can also damage the nervous system and affect your cognitive capacity, impairing memory and learning.
- A decrease in vitamin K levels will affect your body’s coagulating and healing abilities, leading to heavy bleeding and wounds that cannot heal properly.
It is important to know the main symptoms associated with hypovitaminosis – deficit of one or more vitamins. This will help you identify and solve any imbalance you might have you harm your health. Remember that stress and unhealthy lifestyle habits – such as drugs, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle – will aggravate these symptoms.
What other compounds are found in multivitamin supplements?
These supplements may also contain other nutrients vital for the proper functioning of your organism. Many of these products include one or several minerals. These inorganic substances are necessary to keep your body functions in order. They must be obtained through the diet, and we’ve listed the most commonly found in multivitamins for you:
- Calcium: While this mineral is best known for its importance to our teeth and bones, it is also essential for other vital processes such as blood coagulation and muscle contraction. Calcium deficiency will lead to general weakness and will affect your bones’ health. This will in turn increase the risk of fractures, rickets and osteoporosis.
- Iron: This element is needed to transport gases (especially oxygen) into the blood and muscles. Lack of it causes iron deficiency anaemia, in particular in women of childbearing age.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus is also involved in the creation of bones and teeth. In addition, it plays a role in energy synthesis and the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Phosphorus deficiency will affect your bone health and cause general weakness.
- Magnesium: This mineral is vital to create new muscle tissue. It also regulates the levels of other minerals. Excessively low levels will cause fatigue, weakness and mood swings.
- Manganese: Often confused with magnesium, this mineral is essential for hormonal synthesis and for the absorption and activation of other antioxidant compounds, such as vitamin C. Its deficiency will cause alterations at all levels of the organism (hair and nail loss, weak bones and growth alterations).
- Selenium: This antioxidant mineral contributes to preventing premature ageing. This compound may also increase fertility in men, by increasing sperm production.
- Copper: This mineral regulates the proper absorption of iron, which means that a deficiency may also be an indirect cause of anaemia. It is also essential in the production of energy, helping to keep fatigue at bay.
Some supplements may also contain other substances besides vitamins and minerals. Plant extracts and some chemical compounds are very common. Ginseng, for instance, provides energy, vitality and strengthens our defences. Coenzyme Q10 is a chemical naturally present in the human bod andy responsible for 95% of our energy production.
These substances may also include healthy fatty acids – such as the well-known omega-3 acids that keep the brain and heart healthy – and compounds. For example, phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that forms part of cell membranes and has proven to be an effective protector of our mental and intellectual functions.
Which groups are at high risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies?
Whoever may have an increased need for nutrients or an excessive decrease in intake may suffer from nutritional deficiencies. This will particularly affect vitamin and mineral levels. We can basically classify these individuals into these two main groups:
Individuals with increased nutritional needs
- Growth processes: Children and teenagers have increased nutritional demands for their hormonal, bone and brain growth and maturation. If their diet is not adequate during these periods, they may face severe deficiencies that will require medical control.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Foetal development and feeding the newborn are particularly straining on the mother’s body, which will need a greater nutritional intake to carry out both processes successfully. Doctors and midwives often recommend using supplements during this period.
- Wound healing and convalescence: Sports injuries, accidental fractures, burns and any other type of physically traumatic event will cause tissue destruction which must be replaced by the nutrients found in the body. This naturally increases our mineral and vitamin needs.
- Demanding training programs: Strenuous training stimulates muscle growth and repair. If you’re working out to increase your muscle mass, you will need to have a higher nutrient intake to support anabolic (growth) processes.
- Demanding lifestyle: Stress causes the release of dozens of hormones and chemicals into the bloodstream. They help cope with the different demands of daily life. We need high amounts f vitamins and minerals to produce these chemical compounds, which increases the risk of suffering from deficiency.
Individuals with intake deficits
- Elderly: The body of older people is less efficient at absorbing nutrients through their diet. Their senses of smell and taste may also be affected, therefore reducing their appetite. They have a greater risk of fractures and diseases, which means that this group is also more likely to suffer from deficiencies.
- Weight loss diets: Diets that aim to decrease body mass can be very restrictive. Monotonous or poor nutrition won’t provide enough nutrients, increasing the risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
- Vegans and vegetarians: Plant-based diets aren’t necessarily unbalanced. However, some essential nutrients like vitamin B12 are only found in foods of animal origin. This is why vegan and vegetarian individuals face higher chances of suffering from certain vitamin deficiencies.
- Absorption disorders: People with impaired bowel function (such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or after bariatric surgery) may have difficulties properly absorbing nutrients from their diet. These people will also have a higher risk of suffering from any type of nutritional imbalance.
These deficiencies may become particularly serious if an individual belongs to more than one of the groups mentioned above. During pregnancy, a vegan woman will need to closely monitor her nutritional status with the help of a healthcare professional. Her risk of suffering from vitamin or mineral deficiencies will be especially high.
How can I get healthy levels of vitamins and minerals from my diet?
A balanced and healthy omnivorous diet can easily provide all the nutrients – proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals – you need to remain perfectly healthy. Here is a table with the main food sources and the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of the most important vitamins and minerals:
|Vitamin A||Viscera, fatty cheeses, sweet potato, carrot, spinach, papaya, mango||700-900 micrograms|
|B vitamins (except B9 and B12)||Green leafy vegetables, viscera, egg, dairy products, legumes, whole grains||B1: 0.8-1 milligram B2: 1-1.3 milligram B3: 13-16 milligrams B5: 5-7 milligrams B6: 1.2-1.4 milligram B7: 30 micrograms|
|Vitamin B9 (folic acid)||Green leafy vegetables, citrus, legumes, whole grains||0.4-0.8 milligrams|
|Vitamin B12||Viscera, clams, sardines, tuna, veal, fortified cereals||2.4 micrograms|
|Vitamin C||Kakadu plum, citrus, tomato, chilli pepper, capsicum, parsley||90 milligrams|
|Vitamin D||Salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, oysters, shrimp, egg yolk, fortified dairy products||600 International Units|
|Vitamin E||Nuts, sunflower seeds, avocado, salmon, mango, kiwi, fish||15 milligrams|
|Vitamin K||Kale, chard, natto, raw spinach, Brussels sprouts, chicken, veal, pork, dairy products||120 micrograms|
|Calcium||Dairy products, chia seeds, canned fish, legumes||1-1.2 gram|
|Copper||Viscera, oysters, spirulina, mushrooms, nuts, lobster, green leafy vegetables||0.9 milligram|
|Phosphorus||Meat, viscera, shellfish, dairy products, sunflower seeds, nuts, legumes, whole grains||0.7-1 gram|
|Iron||Shellfish, spinach, viscera, legumes, red meat, quinoa, pumpkin seeds||18 milligrams|
|Magnesium||Cocoa, avocado, nuts, legumes, tofu, whole grains||400 milligrams|
|Manganese||Leafy green vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, dairy products||0.3-5 milligrams|
|Selenium||Nuts, fish, ham, chicken, turkey, fresh cheese, eggs, oats, dairy products, bananas||55-60 micrograms|
In addition to a healthy diet, certain nutrients also require certain lifestyle habits in order to be properly absorbed or processed. This is the case, for example, of vitamin D. Exposure to sunlight allows us to synthesise it much better than through food.
Unfortunately, many factors can make it more difficult to obtain all needed nutrients through our diet. These include our age, potential diseases and some physiological conditions (such as pregnancy), as well as certain dietary styles. This is the case for people following vegan, vegetarian, paleo or keto diets.
What are the benefits of multivitamin supplements?
Some nutrition experts like to say that multivitamins are “health coverage” that can protect us from deficiencies and imbalances in the body. This means that we can remain perfectly healthy over the years, keeping premature ageing at bay and promoting a proper recovery from injuries and illnesses.
These supplements will not be as effective as traditional drugs, and you should never replace your medication with multivitamins. However, their consumption may indeed contribute to your health. Based on scientific research, we’ve summed up the main benefits of using multivitamin supplements:
- Apetite control and weight loss: One study revealed that people following weight loss diets who took multivitamin supplements felt less hungry and lost more weight than those who dieted without supplements.
- Protection of memory: Experts in ageing believe that taking antioxidant-rich supplements may contribute to keeping a good memory over the years.
- Cellular protection: Some studies claim that the cells of people who supplement remained in better condition, as they contain less oxidised and damaged DNA than that of individuals who do not use multivitamins.
- Decreased frequency of cardiovascular disease: It has been demonstrated that individuals taking supplements had a reduced likelihood of dying from cardiovascular conditions. Note that we do not know yet the exact reason for this advantage.
- Healthier children: Studies show that women who take multivitamins before and during pregnancy give birth to healthier children. In Australia, some obstetricians recommend prenatal vitamins to all pregnant women.
- Healthier eyes: Several studies have concluded that using these supplements could reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a vision disorder that progressively affects the vision of older people and can eventually lead to blindness.
Consumer surveys also reveal that supplement intake is linked with a general sense of well-being and increased energy levels. Participants used multivitamins successfully to cope with the stress and anxiety of everyday life.
What types of multivitamin supplements are there?
There is an extremely wide range of multivitamins available out there. The possible combinations of these supplements are almost endless, with hundreds of products suitable for even the most specific of needs. Some people even get their very own preparations specifically made by a nutritionist.
Below, you will find a table to help you get started in the world of supplements. It will be useful for when you have to choose the multivitamin you need. Keep in mind that you may want to go without certain nutrients and add others, depending on your individual requirements.
|Population group||Desired effect||Multivitamin (combination)|
|Vegans and vegetarians||Prevention of vitamin B12 and D deficiencies, as well as calcium, zinc, iron and omega-3 deficiencies||Vitamin B12 + Vitamin D + omega-3 + iron + zinc|
|Women of childbearing age||Prevention of anaemia due to menstrual losses, increased energy and sense of well-being||Folic acid + vitamin C + vitamin E + iron|
|Older women (postmenopausal)||Prevention of premature ageing, coping with fatigue and preserve memory, vision and muscle capacity||Omega-3 + B vitamins + vitamin D + vitamin K + vitamin E|
|Young men||Increased energy, increased sense of well-being, prevention of premature ageing, increased fertility and sexual potency||B vitamins + vitamin C + zinc + selenium|
|Older men||Prevention of premature ageing, coping with fatigue and preservation of memory, vision and muscle capacity||Omega-3 + B vitamins + vitamin D + vitamin K + vitamin E + selenium|
|Students||Reduction of fatigue, coping with stress, preservation of memory and cognitive skills||B vitamins + vitamin D + vitamin C + zinc + magnesium + phosphatidylserine|
|People under stress||Reduction of fatigue, stress and anxiety, and promotion of healthy sleep habits||B vitamins + vitamin C + vitamin D + magnesium|
|Athletes||Increased energy levels, prevention of injuries, promotion of muscle gain, endurance and of the consequences of oxidative stress||B vitamins + vitamin E + vitamin C + magnesium|
|People seeking to lose weight||Appetite control, healthy weight loss and prevention of the rebound effect||B vitamins + vitamin D + vitamin C + omega-3 + iron + magnesium|
Note that this is a sample of the different combinations available on the Australian market. You can also find multivitamins specifically tailored to pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as children and teenagers. In those cases, you are advised to discuss the details of supplementation with a health specialist.
How should I take my multivitamin supplements?
While multivitamins have become extremely popular, many people still don’t know how to use them properly to maximise their efficiency, mostly limiting themselves to taking a pill at any time. If you want to make the most of your supplement, we encourage you to follow the recommendations listed below:
- When should I take my multivitamin? Nutrients that have energising properties should be taken first thing in the morning. These include vitamin C, group B vitamins (except B3) and vitamin D. On the contrary, vitamin B3 and magnesium have soothing effects and should be taken at night.
- How should I take it? Water-soluble vitamins (group B and C) will dissolve in water and are efficiently absorbed both with and without food. However, fat-soluble vitamins (A, E and K) need fats to be absorbed, and should therefore be taken with food.
- Which dose is most appropriate? According to experts, you should opt for a supplement that gives you 100% of the recommended daily allowance for each nutrient. Products with lower RDA may be ineffective, while exceeding the recommended dose could lead to dangerous vitamin and mineral overdoses.
You may also want to follow more specific recommendations depending on your individual habits. You can, for instance, take your multivitamin with orange juice if you’re looking to improve your iron absorption. Don’t forget that coffee decreases the absorption of most nutrients. In that regard, drink it one or two hours apart from your supplement.
What precautions should I take when using these supplements?
You would be very disappointed to buy multivitamins and realise after a few months of use that you hadn’t reached your goals. Did you know that most of these failures are due to easy-to-fix mistakes? Here are some very useful tips to help you avoid the main problems you may encounter if you use your supplements incorrectly:
Choose a suitable formula
- Avoid combining calcium and iron: These two minerals interact with each other, making it more difficult to absorb them. Avoid multivitamins that include both molecules. If you take iron supplements, do not take them with dairy products or calcium-rich foods.
- Choose active forms of nutrients: You can check the composition label of the supplement to see if it contains active forms of vitamins. This means that your multivitamin will be effective immediately once taken, and your body won’t have to metabolise it through chemical processes that could degrade the nutrients ingested.
- Remember that vitamin E is a complex of substances: This potent antioxidant vitamin consists of a group of molecules called tocopherols. If you want to take advantage of its protective properties, your supplement should include all types of tocopherols (alpha, beta, delta, and gamma).
Do not exceed the recommended dose
- The dangers of calcium: Excessive supplementation with a calcium-rich multivitamin can lead to constipation, alter heart rhythm, increase the likelihood of kidney stones. It will also accumulate on the artery walls, increasing the risk of cardiovascular events in the long run.
- You don’t always need iron: While iron is very popular in many supplements, it has a high oxidising capacity and shouldn’t be overused. Otherwise, it may accelerate ageing and damage your body’s overall health. Only take it if needed – if you are a woman with abundant rules, for example.
- The correct amount of folic acid: Excess folic acid can cause other nutritional deficiencies (such as vitamin B12) to go unnoticed for a long time, becoming chronic and irreversibly affecting health.
- The debate regarding vitamin D: Since vitamin D increases calcium absorption, some experts believe that excessive consumption could lead to the calcification of blood vessels, therefore damaging main arteries. Do not exceed the vitamin D RDA, and try to combine it with vitamin K. The latter combats arterial calcium deposition.
- Beware if you’re pregnant: Pregnant women (or any woman looking to become pregnant) should check with their healthcare provider before supplementing. The vitamin A found in many of these multivitamins may cause foetal malformations. These women should take specially designed prenatal vitamins.
Can my multivitamins cause pharmacological interactions?
Remember that these supplements contain substances that may interfere with your regular medication. Here is a quick guide to teach you about the most common interactions between vitamins, minerals and medicines. If you are on any drug treatment, please consult your doctor before supplementing.
|Nutrient||Drugs with which it interacts|
|Vitamin A||Retinoids, antibiotics and anticoagulants|
|B vitamins||Antihypertensives and chemotherapy|
|Vitamin C||Aluminium-containing antacids (Almax®), oestrogens (contraceptives), antipsychotics, chemotherapy, anti-HIV treatment, cholesterol treatments and anticoagulants|
|Vitamin D||Treatment for renal failure, antiepileptic drugs, cholesterol treatments, psoriasis treatment, antibiotics, Digoxin, antihypertensive treatment, diuretics, corticoids and laxatives|
|Vitamin E||Cyclosporine, chemotherapy, statins and analgesics|
|Vitamin K||Anticoagulants and antidiabetic drugs|
|Minerals||Activated charcoal, levodopa, antibiotics, antacids, hypolipemics (anti-cholesterol medication), levothyroxine (Eutirox®), and bisphosphonates|
Remember that these are just some of the interactions that could occur while supplementing with multivitamins. Even if your medication was not mentioned above, you should immediately discontinue use and see a doctor if you notice changes in the effects of your drugs after starting your supplementation.
What is the price of multivitamin supplements?
The price of these products will vary greatly depending on different factors. These include the amount of nutrients included in each formulation, the reputation of the manufacturer or the additional ingredients (such as plant extracts) found in the supplement. The best-selling multivitamins generally cost between ten and thirty dollars.
Some exclusive formulas contain activated molecules, new enzymes or compounds that are difficult to synthesise. These will naturally be much more expensive than other supplements. That being said, remember that the effectiveness of these modern multivitamins may not have been fully proven yet. Fortunately for you, the most beneficial compounds are generally the most affordable.
The main difficulty with finding the bets multivitamin for you is that the market offers many products whose quality is questionable. In the following section, we’ve detailed some key aspects that you should take into account if you want to make the right decision and be satisfied with your supplements:
- Allergies and intolerances
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Additional compounds
- Dosage form
- Sweeteners and colouring agents
- Value for money
Allergies and intolerances
The ingredients found in multivitamins may come from various origins: plant, animal or mineral. If you suffer from any kind of intolerance, please check carefully the allergens present in the supplement before making your purchase. Fortunately, you will find many products that are free of gluten, lactose, nuts and soybeans.
On the other hand, you will have to stick to animal-free supplements if you are vegan or vegetarian. Multivitamins that feature a vegan quality seal on their packaging guarantee that they are made entirely from 100% plant-based elements.
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You can safely use multivitamins if you follow the general recommendations that we have explained throughout this article. However, note that some individuals experience gastrointestinal discomfort when they add these products into their regular diet.
This discomfort – flatulence, abdominal pain or swelling – does not mean that you are suffering from any serious pathology. You can easily avoid them by taking your multivitamin with food. If you are prone to gastrointestinal discomfort, opt for a supplement specifically formulated for people with delicate stomachs, and avoid those containing iron.
You may find a variety of additional ingredients in your multivitamin supplements. Most will be enzymes – to generate chemical reactions – or plant extracts. If you see an unknown compound in your product, do a quick search on the ingredient to ensure its effectiveness and safety. Here are some compounds commonly found in multivitamins:
- Ginseng: This medicinal plant is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is known to hold multiple healing and energising properties.
- Gingko biloba: Also called maidenhair tree, this Chinese tree promotes blood circulation and improve blood coagulation.
- Guarana: This shrub from the Amazon has stimulating properties similar to those of caffeine.
- Camomile: This plant is traditionally used as a treatment for stomach upset, flatulence and restlessness.
- Valerian: This medicinal plant presents sedative and relaxing properties.
- Coenzyme Q-10: This enzyme is responsible for the creation of energy in the human body.
- Omega-3: This fatty acid is fundamental for our cardiovascular and cerebral health.
- Phosphatidylserine: Forming part of cell membranes, this compound may promote neuronal functions.
- L-theanine: This green tea extract has anxiolytic and antioxidant properties.
- Caffeine: This compound is a known stimulant and activates our metabolism.
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Whatchu know about GINGKO?! Ginkgo Biloba, also known as Maidenhair if you can guess why 😉 is another one of Aly’s favorite herbs. She first stumbled upon it when she was researching herbs that help boost energy, focus, mood & memory! It is one of the most proclaimed supplements in the world for improving cognitive health & preventing decline over the years. Its been widely studied for its effective anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, platelet-forming & circulation-boosting effects! 🧠⚡️ According to current research, Ginkgo Biloba benefits include improved cognitive function, positive mood, increased energy, improved memory & reduced symptoms related to multiple chronic diseases — for instance, it’s been used as a natural asthma remedy, natural ADHD remedy & dementia treatment. A list of the benefits include: 🌱 Protects & enhances cognitive health 🌱 Improves symptoms of dementia & alzheimer's 🌱 Helps fight anxiety 🌱 Fights symptoms of PMS 🌱 Helps maintain eye health 🌱 Helps treat & prevent ADHD 🌱 Improves libido 🌱 Helps treat migraines 🌱 Reduces symptoms of altitude sickness 🌱 Improves sleep quality 🌱 Fights fibromyalgia 🌱 Supports heart health 🌱 Promotes healthy skin * Source: Dr.Axe We make our own Gingko capsules & were surprised to find it’s also one of the many superfood ingredients in our shake! 😋 👉 Have you ever heard of it?
Most multivitamin supplements are sold in tablet form. That way, you only need to take a single dose per day to take advantage of their benefits. However, you also have access to some products in powder or liquid form. Know that the effectiveness won’t be affected, so you can choose the dosage form that best suits you.
Sweeteners and colouring agents
We recommend that you select supplements that are free of artificial colourings and sweeteners. While their purpose is generally to provide a better taste and smell to the product, they may cause intestinal discomfort and very unpleasant allergies. If you can, stick to multivitamins with 100% natural organic ingredients.
Value for money
You will generally supplement with multivitamins over a period of one to three months. We encourage you to choose a product that contains enough tablets, powder or liquid for thirty days or more. If you want to save money, you can also wait for the sales; these supplements take years to expire.
Multivitamins are a safe option if you’re starting out with supplements. Their balanced formulation is tailored to combat the most frequent nutritional deficiencies present in our society. Your well-being is at your fingertips, and one tablet a day is all you’ll need to complement your diet!
Remember that daily exercise and a healthy diet are your best allies to remaining in good health for longer. You may also want to avoid smoking, alcohol and other drugs. However, quality supplements can contribute to maintaining the balance you need to enjoy a full and active life, even in the most difficult of times.
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(Source of featured image: Supitcha McAdam: 76666448/ 123rf.com)