Is it necessary to take a multivitamin?
Q. Dear Terry, “Is it necessary to take a multivitamin? If so which one, as there are so many out there? Thank you!” — Sharon K., Green Bay, WI
A. Dear Sharon, Yes, I believe taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement is warranted, especially if you find yourself eating the typical American diet of highly refined and processed foods.
Choosing the right daily multivitamin and mineral formula, however, can be a real challenge. I personally feel that multivitamin and mineral formulas have become too over-specialized. Or at least that is how they are marketed. The reality is that most people, regardless of gender and age, need the same nutrients – including bioavailable B-vitamins, and chelated minerals.
I recommend choosing a multivitamin that features B6, B12, and folic acid in their active forms – P-5-P, methylcobalamin, and L-methylfolate. These forms don’t require conversion by the liver, so they can go to work immediately to increase energy levels, support heart health and optimize metabolism.
You also want to look for a multivitamin that features chelated trace minerals. A “chelate” is a bond between a mineral and a molecule that helps the body absorb the mineral during digestion. Amino acids are excellent molecules to help shepherd minerals through the intestinal wall. Because they are so small, they can be transported directly into the cells of the body, where they can get to work right away.
The very best premium daily multivitamin and mineral formulas are taken more than once a day. Keep in mind that one tablet or capsule could not possibly fit the optimal amounts of vitamins, minerals, and herbs needed to provide significant nutritional support. In addition, many nutrients are only active in the body for a short period of time and need to be replenished every 6 to 8 hours. Multiple daily doses ensure that your body is receiving optimal nutrient levels throughout the day. When it comes to multivitamins, I recommend taking a minimum of 2 tablets daily for maintenance, or increasing to 4 tablets daily for optimal support.
Terry . . . Naturally