Multivitamins and Mineral Supplements

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vitamins and supplements

Vitamins and minerals are essential for life. They support growth, reproduction, recovery and so much more. We need them in our diets because our bodies can’t synthesize them quickly enough to meet our daily needs, and without them, a specific deficiency will occur. Nutrient deficiencies are particularly common within specific populations such as the elderly, athletes, people with malabsorption-related syndromes, someone following a very low-fat diet or vegan diet, and those within a lower socioeconomic status.

Choosing the Best Vitamin and Mineral Supplement

Taking a high-quality vitamin and mineral supplement increases overall nutrient intake and can help people fill in missing nutritional gaps when they can’t or don’t get them from food alone. When choosing a vitamin and mineral supplement, it’s important to purchase from a reputable, trust-worthy company.

A high-quality supplement will contain the most bioavailable, natural form for every listed nutrient.

Here are the most bioavailable forms of certain vitamins and minerals:

  • Folic acid: 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate or folinic acid or folate (from real food)
  • Vitamin B6: Pyridoxal 5’-Phosphate
  • Vitamin B12: Methylcobalamin
  • Iron: Ferrous fumarate, iron citrate, iron picolinate
  • Calcium: Calcium citrate and calcium citrate-malate

The best multivitamin will also be made without additives, binders, fillers, artificial colors, or artificial sweeteners. Artificial colors because contain aluminum, indicated by “Lake” (ie: Blue 2 Lake).

Taking a separate vitamin blend and a separate mineral blend is a great way to differentiate between men’s and women’s varying nutrient needs. Women still menstruating likely need supplemental iron, while men and post-menopausal women do not.

Magnesium Supplements

Certain vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, can be taken individually. Magnesium activates over 300 enzyme reactions in the body, translating to thousands of biochemical reactions happening on a constant basis daily. Magnesium is crucial to nerve transmission, muscle contraction, blood coagulation, energy production, nutrient metabolism and bone and cell formation. Unfortunately, many people in the U.S. are deficient in this vital mineral. When looking at a label, be sure it lists the amount of actual magnesium (or "elemental" magnesium) per dosage unit. Magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium chloride and magnesium L-threonate are all good forms of magnesium.

Vitamin B

Eight vitamins fall into the “vitamin B” category: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), biotin (B7), folic acid (folate or B9) and vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin). This group of vitamins are necessary for energy releasing processes and red blood cell synthesis. Since B vitamins are water-soluble and only so much can be absorbed at any given time, they’re best taken throughout the day. They’re also best taken on an empty stomach because an acidic environment helps improve absorption. Vitamin B12 is only found in foods from animal sources, so B12 deficiency is more common in breastfed babies of vegan mothers.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for overall health, but it’s naturally present in very few foods. Vitamin D can be taken separately from other supplements, and the best vitamin D supplements contain the D3 cholecalciferol form. Absorption drastically increases when vitamin D is taken with a meal containing fat.

Calcium

Improving calcium utilization and increasing calcium bioavailability to the bone is important at any age, especially as people age. This means optimizing vitamin D status, getting adequate vitamin K2-7, ensuring optimal levels of copper and magnesium and removing toxic metals that can interfere with calcium utilization, such as aluminum. When purchasing a calcium supplement, check the label for the milligrams of “elemental calcium,” which is different than the total milligrams of calcium. A look for these highly absorbable forms: calcium citrate and calcium citrate-malate.

It’s a good idea to take a high-quality vitamin and mineral supplement in order to provide a nutritional foundation for optimal health.

Human Vitamins and Minerals

Key vitamin and mineral formulas can provide a nutritional foundation for optimal health and performance to support the health and structure of all the body’s tissues for life, health, and growth.


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