Multivitamins come in all shapes and sizes and should you browse through any drugstore or super market, you will know that multivitamins also come in all prices. Knowing what vitamins suit you best is something that takes time and research, particularly if you are supplementing in response to a deficiency brought about by a disease of illness. In this case it is worth consulting a physician and nutritionist to get the best nutrition plan based on solid scientific evidence. Of course an off-the-shelf multivitamin may not contain all the required nutrients in sufficient quantities or it may contain substances that you do not want to take. The best way to start choosing the best multivitamin for you is to decide if you need an individual approach or not.
Get Professional Advice and Get Informed
The first step should always be your physician, but you could also see a dietician and do some research prior to visiting the doctor’s office, in this way you will know the right questions to ask. Although due to the lack of training in medical school, there is a gap in understanding in the medical community concerning herbs and nutrition so it may be useful to present the reasoning behind your desire to supplement. If you know the predicted pharmacological action of the supplement, this would also be useful so the doctor may be better able to determine the relation to your illness. Most healthcare professionals will tell you to take a standard pill, which may not be the best multivitamin for your health so some evidence based research is required to find the best vitamins, herbs and minerals for your situation.
Follow the Mass Market Approach or Create Your Own Nutrition Plan?
Generally most people will take a multivitamin daily and these can come in specialized formulas for women, older people and other special needs groups. It is worth noting that the formulas usually contain somewhere near the Daily Values amount of each supplement, which is probably not the most suitable to your condition if you are looking to achieve enhanced effects or replace an induced deficiency. This mass market approach is fine for people who just want to make sure that they have not missed anything in their diet but some nutritionists insist that dosages must be far in excess of the FDA set daily values to achieve the desired result. This of course should be taken on research and advice for each individual case. Remember, more is not always better.
Choose a Method of Delivering the Nutrients
Multivitamins also now come in many forms such as gel, capsule, chewable caps, drinks or tablets. It is worth noting that from a pharmacologist’s point of view the delivery method of the multivitamin has no differences whatsoever to the effect or the biologically available amount of the multivitamin, and the best multivitamin is one that does not interfere with your drugs. There is a difference if it is delivered intravenously, but please do not try this at home! To find out if a supplement has any interactions with your medication, consult your doctor and see the resources on this site.
Getting children to take their pills can be a pain so there are also many flavored and shaped multivitamins that may not be any better for them than pills but will be infinitely better for your stress levels.
Time release multivitamins may have some small clinical value in allowing the supplement to be available to the bloodstream for longer; however most scientists agree this does not have much more than gimmick value.
Taking your Multivitamin – Get Used to it!
Compliance is a huge issue when choosing a vitamin regime, according to statistics, less than 30% of people who have bought vitamins, multivitamins or other supplements forget to take them as regularly as they first intended and vitamin bottles end up expiring on bathroom shelves.
Multivitamins are best taken with food, which helps the absorption of the nutrients. Taking a multivitamin with meals can also help with compliance, if you get into the habit of taking a multivitamin with your breakfast, the routine may stick.
Yet Another Miracle Cure
If you are considering starting to take a multivitamin on a regular basis, then you have probably heard of the benefits that certain nutrients can bring to the body. Although it does seem that practically every day new research is presented telling us the preventative or curative effects of certain nutrients against a huge variety of diseases from cancer and diabetes, to weight loss and cholesterol. It is always worth actually reading these published results yourself if you are considering following the indications of these studies as the dosages or the situations may not be repeatable, particularly with the mass market multivitamins. There is plenty of specialist advice available on the internet, just make sure you get your information from a number of sources to ensure a balanced view. Government sites are generally reliable.
Not a Replacement for a Good Diet!
Lastly, it is probably worth reminding you that supplements are not a replacement for a good balanced diet and the best multivitamin can not have everything your body needs and of course, a nice meal always tastes better than a pill.
Iris is a Canadian trained physician who has been involved in the nutritional world for over 15 years and has a major interest in traditional Chinese medicine. Iris currently works as a medical advisor to Mitamins, the custom made Health Supplements company.
Mitamins Health Directory [http://www.mitamins.com/directory/health-directory.html] Informative health information and custom nutrition formulas for a huge array of health concerns from Allergies to Osteoporosis.