How do I know which multi-vitamin is the right one?

There are lots of multivitamins that are aimed at different segments of the market.Here are some basics, to help you find the right multivitamin to help meet your needs:

  • For men: You need about 8 milligrams of iron per day and may be able to get that from your diet if you're a meat eater. Pork,shrimp,beef,liver and turkey all have lots of iron. Potatoes with the skin on,lentils,oysters and beans also contain lots of iron.Most multivitamins for men do not contain iron. They also typically contain extra selenium, which is a mineral, and vitamin E to help prevent prostate problems.
  • For women:You need about 18 milligrams of iron per day because of a loss of the mineral during monthly menstruation.If you have made it through menopause,then you now need slightly more vitamin D in your multivitamin.If you plan to have children,folic acid is big because it prevents certain neural tube defects like spina bifida,so doctors recommend that women take extra folic acid during childbearing years. Pre-natal vitamins that are specific for women who want to get pregnant include extra vitamin A and extra folic acid.
  • For kids:Contrary to popular belief, kids do not need large amounts of minerals and vitamins. A lot of foods for children already are fortified with vitamins and minerals,so if your child eats a well-balanced diet then a multivitamin may not be necessary. However, Vitamin D is important for bone growth and it is hard to get enough of this through diet,so most multivitamins for kids contains large amounts of it. Multivitamins for children often taste and look like candy,so be sure you keep them out of their reach.
  • Those over age 60 probably should take a daily multivitamin. Sadly,the older we get,the harder it is for out bodies to absorb certain vitamins and nutrients. Vitamin B12 is one of those, so multivitamins for older folks contain more of it. Vitamin K can help prevent hip troubles,but also can mess with blood-thinning medication, so consult your doctor for a multivitamin that meshes with your meds. Too much iron is not good for the elderly,so most multivitamins for the elderly does not contain any. When buying your vitamins,look for formulations designed for people over 60.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.