It's easy to become confused when it comes to multi-vitamins. Should you take one and if so, what is worth taking? We often see commercials touting the benefits of vitamins like Centrum Silver and think, if it's advertised and doctor recommended it must be good. It's not. There actually is a big difference between quality multi-vitamins and those that are better off being thrown away.
Many multi-vitamins are cheaply made and use poor quality ingredients. Here's what to watch out for:
4 Ingredients Your Multi-Vitamin Should Not Contain
1. Folic acid - the problem with folic acid is that it is not in a methylated form. Many people have a genetic mutation and cannot absorb folic acid. Your body has to convert folic acid to the methyl form and if you have the genetic mutation, which many do and don't know it, you cannot utilize it. Look for multi's that contain 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5 MTHF).
2. Magnesium Oxide - this is one of the reasons many multi-vitamins are so cheap. They use the cheapest and least absorbable forms of minerals. Quality multi-vitamins will use magnesium citrate, glycinate or malate. Magnesium plays a critical role with blood sugar, stress and nervous system function, sleep and more. It is critical to take a well absorbed form and many will need separate magnesium to give a higher dosage which is severely lacking in the cheap varieties.
3. Vitamin 12 cyanocobalamin - B12 should come in the methylcobalamin form which is better absorbed than cyanocobalamin. Again, absorption is the key.
4. Artificial colorings and synthetic binders - take a look at a typical multi in CVS and you'll see a paragraph of other ingredients under the label listing. These other ingredients include artificial colors like FD & C Red 40 and Blue 2. Quality multi's will not contain artificial colorings which have been shown to cause sensitivity and symptoms in some people. Titanium dioxide is also used and is classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Multi-vitamins and aging
If you're wondering if you should take a multi-vitamin, the answer is yes. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the telomeres of daily multi-vitamin users may be on average 5.1% longer than in non users. Telomeres are sections of DNA at the end of each chromosome that serve as a cap to the genetic material. Their purpose is critical to the life of the cell in that they serve as protective buffers that keep the ends of the chromosomes from becoming attached to each other or rearranging. Shorter telomeres have been associated with chronic generative diseases including cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease.
Multi's I recommend include Nutrient 950 (pictured above) and PhytoMulti by Metagenics (pictured below).
If you'd like to purchase Nutrient 950 by Pure Encapsulations or PhytoMulti you can click the link below. You'll be brought to Fullscript, an online dispensary. Create an account and you'll receive 10% off and free shipping over $50.
Have questions about which supplements are best for you and testing options to show your nutritional deficiencies? Schedule a free strategy session here.