There are so many multivitamins to choose from. How could you possibly sort through them all to choose the one for you?
This is one of the most common questions that we get here at NutriChem. I start by asking a few simple questions:
Is it for a menstruating woman? If yes, then it needs to contain iron.
If it is for a man or a non-menstruating woman, then I would choose one without iron.
I personally would only use a multi if the folate and B12 are methylated, meaning that a methyl group has been added so that your body does not need to do that step itself.
Folic acid by itself does not exist naturally in our bodies or in our food supply. The form of folate that you want to look for is 5-MTHF (L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate). For the B12, you want the form to be methylcobalamin rather than cyanocobalamin. The last B vitamin that I would pay attention to is B6. We want to see that vitamin in the from of P-5-P or pyroxidal-5-phosphate. B6 in the form of P-5-P is recommended to help with PMS (mood and cramps), nausea in pregnancy, helping minimize cravings in alcoholism, mood problems, insomnia and other issues.
Next, I take a peak at the vitamin E, or tocopherols. Many multivitamins have one type of vitamin E, alpha tocopherol. In fact, there are 8 types of vitamin E so I like to see a multi with mixed tocopherols in the ingredients.
Looking at the minerals, you want to make sure they are in absorbable forms. By form, I am referring to what they are bound to. Minerals cannot be absorbed by themselves. They must be bound to an acid, like citric acid, or an amino acid, like glycine.
I look for a few key ingredients: magnesium, and microminerals. In some multivitamins the magnesium is in the oxide form. Magnesium oxide is a laxative and is not well absorbed at all. Best forms are glycinate and bisglycinate, followed by citrate.
Microminerals are important nutrients that our body needs in small amounts compared to other nutrients, but that does not make them any less important! With the majority of our food grown in depleted soil, I would make sure that your multivitamin contains those important minerals such as selenium, manganese, molybdenum, iodine and chromium.
I avoid using products with added colouring, flavouring, or anything else that is not necessary. Ideally, the multivitamin is composed of the capsule (usually made of cellulose) and the vitamins and minerals contained in the capsule. I prefer powder inside of a capsule because you can be sure that it dissolves easily in the digestive tract.
Since we designed our own multivitamin here at NutriChem, we do make one that meets our own high standards! Double Take is designed to be taken twice daily to maximize absorption. It is iron free, so that it is safe for everyone to take. For women who need iron, we offer another multivitamin with iron for women.
Double Take is also enhanced with coenzyme Q10 for longevity, lutein for eye health, and curcumin for healthy inflammation levels.
We always recommend taking any multivitamin with food so that your body is actively digesting and ready to absorb the nutrients.
At NutriChem we also offer customized multivitamins tailored to the individual through our clinical services. Give us a call to inquire! 613-721-3669
Yours in nutrition,
Lauren Duffell, RHN
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