It is hard to think of any supplement in the market today that’s as simple and straightforward as multivitamin capsules. In fact this is the reason as to why they are among the best (if not the best) supplement being used by the people vis a vis boys, girls, men, women, the elderly and literally everybody you can think of.
What’s a multivitamin?
A multivitamin is a combination of different vitamins that you’d normally find in food and other natural sources like fruits or vegetables. They (multivitamins) are used to provide the body with vitamins that could be lacking in diet. In addition to this, they can also be used to treat vitamin deficiencies brought about by digestive disorders, illness, pregnancy and many other conditions.
What are the benefits of using multivitamin capsules?
There is a good reason for you to consider taking multivitamin capsules. Just so you know, even the best diet plan can fall short of providing all the 40+ nutrients your body needs each day. Most people fail to meet the recommended dietary requirements for many reasons – it could be because they are on a strict diet, have poor appetite or they eating ‘not-so-healthy’ food. In such cases, taking multivitamin capsules is the easiest way to fill the nutritional gap.
In 2010, a report published in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans identified calcium, dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin D as among the key nutrients whose intake was low in adults and children alike. All these nutrients (except for dietary fiber) come packaged in multivitamin capsules. So that’s a good reason to be taking the supplement.
Are they safe?
Of course they are. Multivitamin supplements contain nutrients that your body actually needs. All brands you see in that supermarket aisle have been tested and proved to be fit for your consumption. Stick to the recommended dose. If it’s one capsule everyday then don’t take two. The government through a regulatory body sees to it that all brands use a tolerable upper limit of nutrients used in the capsules. As much as the composition varies from brand to another, you are guaranteed of quality.
How to choose a multivitamin supplement appropriate for your age?
Each nutritional supplement is formulated to meet the supplementary needs of a specific age group. At different stages of your life, your nutritional needs change. As such, it is only convenient that you find the multivitamin supplement that’s is designed specifically for you. There are multivitamin supplements meant only for seniors. Others for women of child bearing age (who might need a lot of iron) while some are meant for expectant women.
• For men only – these multivitamin supplements are tailored for men under the age of 50.
• Just for ladies – these multivitamin supplements are designed for women in the childbearing age of 18 – 50. They are often rich in folic acid and iron; two key nutrients which help prevent birth defects.
• For seniors – these are designed for both men and women above the age of 50. Such formulas take into account that after the age of 50, the human body’s ability to absorb micro nutrients like vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and calcium is slow. In addition to this they are rich in vitamin D.
Factors to consider when shopping for multivitamin capsules
Here is a list of the top 4 factors you should consider when you’re shopping for multivitamin supplements:
(i) The amount of nutrients contained in the capsule – talk to your doctor and ask them to recommend the ideal nutrient intake. Then, check to see if the multivitamin supplement has too little, too much or just the right amount of micro nutrients. If it contains too much of something then that’s just a waste of money. After all, a large chunk of it will be flushed down the toilet. Too little on the other hand isn’t good enough.
(ii) The type of vitamin and nutrients – did you know that different supplements might contain calcium but in different forms? For example supplement A may contain calcium in the form of calcium citrate while supplement B contains calcium in the form of calcium carbonate? Similarly, vitamin A can be available as retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate. The point is, you should ensure that the type of vitamin packed in the supplement is what you need. Your doctor should advise you on this.
(iii) The quality – For this you might have to check online reviews. In essence, the multivitamin supplement should contain all nutrients it has listed on the label. You should pay for what you’re getting and not a cent more.
(iv) Price – this is straightforward. Get the best deals. Period. Online reviews and comparison websites can come handy in here. If need be, ask the retailer whether they offer discounts for bulk orders. After all, you can store your multivitamin supplements in a cool dry place for use over a long period.
What are the side effects of using multivitamin supplements?
Using multivitamin supplements can result in a number of side effects. Most of these are mild in nature and go away fast. For example, you may get a stomach upset, diarrhea or constipation. If these symptoms persist, consult your doctor immediately. In rare cases, you can start to feel dizzy, nauseated or get an allergic reaction. Note that your doctor has your interest at heart so they’ve obviously weighed the benefits and side effects before recommending the supplement for you.
Multivitamin supplements can lose potency if they aren’t stored properly. Check the expiration date and storage directions. All brands include this information on the label.
It’s true that you can walk into any pharmacy today and buy a bottle of multivitamin capsules or even order for a package to be delivered to your address with just a click. Anyhow, it’s wise to talk to your doctor first. You might be allergic to some of the ingredients listed on the package. For example, if you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anemia) you must consult your doctor before you start taking supplements. Most contain folic acid which can affect some tests for pernicious anemia.
In conclusion, taking multivitamins has many benefits. Hopefully you’ve now been acquainted with all that there is to the supplement.