What You Need to Know About Drugstore Multivitamins
If you’ve been in the pharmacy area of any national grocery store or drugstore in the last few years, you may have noticed: there is a truly overwhelming variety of vitamins and supplements out there on the market. Not only are there competing brands (which is good), but then you get to choose your flavor, your texture, your method of taking it (chewable, powder, pill), “all natural” or not, and then you can decide whether you want a specialized vitamin for:
- Weight loss
- Heart Health
And so on.
And that’s just at the chain stores. What about specialty shops, niche markets...companies like us? The options are staggering.
So what do you really need to know when trying to choose a multivitamin?
Most healthy people don’t need one.
Research shows that the best way to intake the vitamins and minerals necessary for good health is through diet. Naturally occurring vitamins, such as folate in spinach, are more readily absorbed by a healthy body than those present in synthetic forms. Plus, when you eat nourishing foods, you get all the other benefits that food has to offer. In populations where healthy food is accessible, most people get an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals through their diet. Those are often the same people who are conscious about taking multivitamins, so they’re doubling up unnecessarily.
BUT--someone who has a condition or who takes medicine that hinders or blocks absorption of nutrients is not, for our purposes, “most healthy people.” And there are actually scores of people who fall into this category, among them being people with Celiac, Crohn’s, alcoholism, people going through chemo, taking metformin or warfarin (to name a few)
and the multitudes of others with MTHFR issues. YOU NEED VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS, because even if you eat healthy foods, your body isn’t getting the full benefit because it’s malfunctioning on some major biopathways.
Dosages Are Important
If you check the back of the bottle of vitamins, you’ll see a column that says “Amount Per Serving,” and “Percent (%) Daily Value.” These matter. The dosage of nutrients should meet your needs, but not exceed the recommended amounts, because with many vitamins, like Vitamins C, B3 (Niacin) or Zinc, it’s very possible to have too much of a good thing.