Beginner’s guide to multivitamins: Benefits, side-effects and more

Vitamins

Although taking a daily multivitamin improves energy and overall wellbeing, it should supplement and not replace a healthy diet.

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What are the benefits and side effects of multivitamins?

In the world of vitamin supplements, it can be difficult finding products that you know are safe and natural. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “unlike drugs, dietary supplements are not pre-approved by the government for safety or effectiveness before marketing,” so it is especially important that consumers do their research prior to taking a new vitamin. 

Below is a guide to multivitamins featuring some of the most trusted, reliable brands and safe ingredients. However, it is best to speak with your health care professional or dietician before taking any dietary supplements in order to know exactly what vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Key considerations

Benefits

Though many still need medications prescribed by their doctor in addition, there are loads of benefits that come with taking a multivitamin. For starters, it is perfect for anyone with a busy schedule and finds it difficult to keep up with a large 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 that we need. Here are just a few of the many benefits to taking multivitamins:

  • Increases energy
  • Protects immune system from sickness
  • Enhances brain function
  • Supports heart, eye, bone and joint health

Overall, taking a multivitamin daily may seem like a very small thing to do, but it can actually help you feel more energetic and healthy.

Common side effects

  • Nausea: Most vitamins in general cannot be taken on an empty stomach, but especially with multivitamins that contain a high amount and variety of vitamins and minerals consider that it can result in nausea or a stomachache unless taken with food. 
  • Constipation: It is important 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.

Legitimacy

With the help of marketing and ecommerce, more and more kinds of multivitamins are out, which can make it difficult to find ones that are legitimate. Here are a few tips to finding quality natural vitamins that are what they claim: 

  • Look for non-GMO-certified label 
  • Look for 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 any bogus manufacturers.

Age

  • Children: If you’re thinking about giving your child a multivitamin gummy or chewable tablet, consult with their pediatrician. Although for some it can be as young as age 4, it should be a formula specifically designed 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 any one specifically designed formula, so 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.

Best multivitamins for adults

One A Day Immunity + Energy Support Adult Multivitamin

One A Day Immunity + Energy Support Adult Multivitamin

As one of the most popular and trusted brands for multivitamins, this 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.

Sold by Amazon.

Thorne Research Basic Nutrients Multivitamin

Thorne Research Basic Nutrients Multivitamin

Enhances organ function, immunity and nutrition. This absorbent and natural formula does not include preservatives, artificial flavors or colors.

Sold by iHerb and Amazon.

Sundown Multivitamin Plus 24 Hour Immune Support

Sundown Multivitamin Plus 24 Hour Immune Support 

This is a natural, dairy-free, gluten-free vitamin that includes vitamin C, elderberry and zinc and supports bone and heart health, as well as the immune system.

Sold by Amazon.

Best multivitamins for women

New Chapter Women’s Advanced Multivitamin

New Chapter Women’s Advanced Multivitamin 

Made with organic, non-GMO whole foods, vegetables and herbs, this multivitamin is high-quality. It contains probiotics, as well as 24 vitamins and minerals in this fermented formula, which increases absorption while it is gentle on sensitive stomachs. 

Sold by iHerb and Amazon.

Hum Base Control 22 Essential Nutrients Plus Iron

Hum Base Control 22 Essential Nutrients Plus Iron

This includes pure, vegetarian ingredients and nutrients including iron. It is easy on the stomach.

Sold by Amazon.

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Whole Food Multivitamin for Women

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Whole Food Multivitamin for Women

This is a strong blend of whole foods, enzymes, antioxidants and live probiotics. Made from organic, non-GMO ingredients, this formula is specifically catered to women’s nutritional needs.

Sold by iHerb and Amazon.

Best multivitamins for men

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Whole Food Multivitamin for Men

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Whole Food Multivitamin for Men

This multivitamin is the real deal, based on raw foods. It consists of antioxidants, probiotics and enzymes in a fruit and vegetable blend.

Sold by iHerb and Amazon.

Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men

Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men

Containing all the basic vitamins and minerals, as well as amino acids for improved absorption, this is a reliable, but affordable choice.

Sold by iHerb and Amazon.

New Chapter Every Man's One Daily Multivitamin

New Chapter Every Man’s One Daily Multivitamin

Created from a blend of whole foods, this multivitamin is formulated to support a healthy digestive tract, immune system and cardiovascular system.

Sold by iHerb and Amazon.

 

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