Medically reviewed on May 13, 2022 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Daily exercise, a balanced diet, a consistent sleep schedule—prioritizing your health is a lifelong goal that’s supported by everyday decisions. One of those daily, health-focused decisions can be taking a multivitamin.
Do you know what to look for in a multivitamin? We’ll show you exactly what you’ll need so you can find the best multivitamin for you.
While there may be a lot to unpack—from the benefits of multivitamins to the criteria for choosing the right one for you—we’ll keep it simple. Read on to explore the chewables, capsules, and tablet options designed to maximize wellness. (Note that you can now shop Everlywell Vitamins and Supplements, including multivitamin supplements for your daily needs.)
Why should you take a multivitamin? No matter your age, you need vitamins—13 that are considered essential. Also known as micronutrients, vitamins are naturally occurring substances required for growth and development. Every essential vitamin contributes to a variety of bodily functions, from cell division to regulating metabolism.
The 13 essential vitamins include :
Depending on the vitamin under consideration and dietary patterns, it may be difficult to fulfill all of your daily vitamin needs from diet alone. That’s where multivitamins come in.
Multivitamins are a simple way to help ensure that you receive an adequate daily dose of vitamins every day.
According to recent data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), more than 50 percent of adults over the age of 20 take dietary supplements, including multivitamins . For many, they’re a way of supplementing dietary nutrition and protecting against vitamin deficiencies.
The benefits of multivitamins may be clear, but determining the right multivitamin supplement can take a bit more work. With thousands of multivitamins on the market today, the choice has never been more difficult for consumers—or more important.
Luckily, we’ve got answers. Explore the following criteria for a quality multivitamin.
As mentioned, there are more than a dozen different vitamins necessary for your body to function properly. That means a multivitamin should cover all the bases. A quality supplement will contain every daily vitamin in amounts that coincide with the recommended daily value (DV).
Check for the following information on the label of multivitamin supplements:
Remember: you can have too much of a good thing. Consuming more than the daily recommended value of some vitamins can pose a health risk, or toxicity, for some. Vitamin A, vitamin D, and iron can be dangerous or toxic if consumed at too high a level .
To avoid any potential adverse reactions, don’t forget to consult with a medical provider if you’re taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications. Any major change in health or lifestyle deserves a discussion with a qualified expert to ensure safety.
While vitamins are essential for everyone, the amount and concentration of certain vitamins may change depending on age, sex, or various health factors. To determine if a multivitamin is right for you, consider seeking out supplements designed for your specific needs.
Special factors and formulas for multivitamins may include:
After you’ve determined if a multivitamin fits your specific needs, you may wonder when the best time is to take multivitamins. A general rule of thumb is to take multivitamins with food, as it is necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
In the United States, foods and prescription medications are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal agency that has existed since the 1930s . However, the FDA is not authorized to review or certify vitamin supplements before they’re sold.
That being said, vitamin manufacturers are legally obligated to ensure their products are safe for human consumption. They’re also required to notify the FDA if they intend to introduce a new ingredient in their product. The FDA will review all new ingredients for safety purposes, and if any aspect of a multivitamin is found to pose a health risk, the product will be pulled from the shelves to undergo further review.
While the FDA cannot accurately assess any claims of effectiveness, there are several independent organizations tasked with investigating various supplements.
You might consider exploring the following organizations when researching a multivitamin:
The regulation of multivitamins may be less strict than standard medications, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely in the dark. Use the resources available to you and consider consulting with a medical provider if you have any questions or concerns.
To find the best vitamins and supplements for your health needs, consult your healthcare provider. Equipped with the right information, they can point you towards the specific nutrients that your body might need. Then, consider trying a monthly Everlywell subscription for the nutrient(s) of your choice, including:
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