When Should I Start Taking a Multivitamin?
Do you remember taking a chewable multivitamin when you were a kid? Those brightly-colored pills may have saved you from a range of nutrient deficiencies, yet you probably gave them up long ago. However, there are lots of little bottles with a host of formulas lining supermarket and drugstore shelves. Are they effective? Should you start taking one such as The Myers Way® Multivitamin?
Why Do You Need Vitamins?
For optimal health, you must get all the essential nutrients your body requires to function. You must also guard against mineral and vitamin deficiencies, the most common of which are deficiencies in vitamin B-6, vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin B-12.
Would it be best to get everything you need from your diet? Food sources such as organic fruits and vegetables combined with grass-fed meats and wild-caught fish are the best way to get nutrients. Yet it can be difficult to get everything you require for optimal health, even from a balanced diet. For example, produce contains fewer nutrients than it used to. According to a recent report, today’s conventionally-farmed produce contains 10-25% less zinc, protein, calcium, vitamin C, and other nutrients than it did even 40 years ago.1,2
Modern cultivation practices focus on speeding growth, increasing size, and improving pest resistance. The increased production from artificial fertilizers decreases concentrations of minerals in plants. This is called the “dilution effect.”3 Furthermore, while modern agriculture has increased the food supply, making more food available for more people, that process has also stripped the nutrients from the soil where our food grows. This is called soil depletion, and every new season of crops grown makes the problem worse.
And we all know that farm-raised meats, poultry, and fish can be packed with antibiotics and growth hormones.
In addition to modern farming practices, several lifestyle aspects impact your need for a multivitamin. If you eat junk food containing unhealthy fats, toxins, and chemicals, you’re not only displacing healthy food, you may be depleting nutrients from other foods you consume.4 When your body processes sugary foods that don’t contribute vitamins and minerals of their own, that work uses nutrients needed for cell repair, enzyme production, and other important functions.
Additionally, those who follow a restricted diet or have food aversions lack variety in their diets so their nutrient intake may also be imbalanced.5 Furthermore, studies show that those with anxiety or depression are more likely to be malnourished because they eat fewer variations of nutrient-rich foods,6 and their diets contain more of the junk foods that steal nutrients during metabolization.
What are the Best Multivitamin Ingredients?
A good multi should contain the essential vitamins and minerals that virtually everyone needs in a daily supplement, at levels that are high enough to ensure general wellness and detoxification. I recommend looking for a multivitamin that contains the following micronutrients:
Is 100% of the RDA enough?
I recommend relatively large doses of certain vitamins and minerals because I find that the USRDA (the recommended daily allowance) for many nutrients isn’t enough to be truly beneficial. Some nutrients, such as vitamin C and vitamin B12, pass through the body quickly and cannot be stored, yet a deficiency in those nutrients can be damaging to the body.
Higher levels than the USRDA for vitamin C, for example, can support the repair of tissues, the formation of collagen, your immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.7 High intakes of vitamin C are generally well tolerated, so my multivitamin contains 1,000 mg of vitamin C, which is 1111% of the USRDA, yet half of the established upper tolerable limit.8,9
Vitamins and minerals interact, and they are also impacted by the food you eat. As your food is digested, digestive enzymes are produced to break them down. This is why multivitamins are best taken with food — the enzymes help your body absorb nutrients from the multi.
Multivitamins come in many different forms, including:
- Capsules: This is generally the best form because no added ingredients are needed for flavor. With capsules, nutrients that have a metallic taste, can be added without affecting the flavor of your multivitamin. Capsules can also include the broadest range of nutrients. This is the form I selected for The Myers Way® Multivitamin.
- Liquid: Liquids work well for adults who find it difficult to swallow capsules and tablets. However, they are often alcohol-based, have a shorter shelf life, and don’t lend themselves well to multivitamin supplements.
- Chewable: Children who haven’t yet learned how to swallow pills benefit most from chewable supplements. However, they are often artificially flavored, and because of the flavor, some formulations may not contain the necessary levels of nutrients such as iron. This applies to chewable vitamins for both children and adults.
- Gummi: This form of multivitamin is typically formulated for taste, not nutritional content. It often contains a lot of additives such as sugar. Gummis often don’t include many essential nutrients, and the vitamins may be sprayed onto the outside of the gummi. What’s more, the gelatin providing the gummy texture can bind to nutrients, making them difficult for the body to break down and absorb.
Does One Multivitamin Work for Everyone?
While The Myers Way® Multivitamin is formulated with the optimal blend of vitamins and minerals in their most bioavailable form, certain periods of life call for special vitamins. For example, women who are planning to get pregnant, or women who are already in early pregnancy should almost always take prenatal vitamins. These contain a greater amount of folic acid to support fetal development, as well as additional calcium, iodine, iron, and Vitamin D.10
How much you work out can also affect nutrient requirements. If you are a high-performance athlete — or training to become one — you want to make sure to get plenty of B Vitamins, calcium, vitamin C, zinc, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium to ensure more effective workouts and recovery.11,12
Low levels of B-vitamins have been shown to reduce performance in athletes engaging in high-intensity exercise. Potassium supports recovery time by helping your muscles and nerves work properly. Because of its high potency and bioavailability, The Myers Way® Multi can be a good option for those who enjoy a challenging workout.
Those with thyroid dysfunction also need a specially formulated vitamin. The Myers Way® Multivitamin is tailor-made to help with thyroid dysfunction, including Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease. It’s packed with micronutrients in the forms your body wants, and the amounts your thyroid needs. It contains optimal levels of thyroid supporting minerals such as zinc, selenium, and iodine, as well as vitamins C and E and other free radical scavengers to support general hormone balance.
It’s also great for anyone who is looking to support weight loss because it contains nutrients that help regulate your hormones, breakdown fat, and control satiety.13 There’s no other multivitamin on the market that goes to such lengths to give you targeted support in maintaining and reinforcing your health.