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The Right Multivitamin for You

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Today marks the first day of a new year and for many, the hopes of a renewed self. While the definition of a better self varies widely for each one of us, the goals we set for ourselves are similar in their end result.

One such resolution is to better our overall health and well-being in the coming months. To achieve this we may decide to join a gym, promising to incorporate activity in our daily lives, or it can be as simple as taking a daily vitamin. While our intentions are good, do we really know what our body needs or should we seek information from experts about what can improve our individual health?

An article, featured in Real Simple, was issued today highlighting the many different types of multivitamins and their intended dosage of the nutrients we each need. Broken up into categories, the simple choice of what vitamin you will take can be a daunting task.

The different types of multivitamins are listed below, along with their benefits and things to keep in mind as told by Real Simple.

• Basic Multivitamins: “They give you much of what you need in a day, including vitamins A, C, D, and E, B vitamins, and folic acid”
• Food-Based Multivitamins: These vitamins are made from broken down foods that are then mixed with powder and made into capsules. “Despite the name, the vitamins you're getting aren't necessarily more natural; often they're the same synthetically produced versions as in basic multis.”
• Adult Chewable Multivitamins: The benefit to these is the ease in which they are digested. Those who have trouble swallowing pills may prefer this version of the multivitamin.
• Women’s Multivitamins: Prepared and intended to provide nutrients specific to the needs of a woman’s body, “[t]hese formulas come in age-specific varieties, too. Ones for women over 50, for instance, may contain higher levels of vitamins C and E and less iron.”
• Targeted Multivitamins: “Pills formulated for a specific population, such as pregnant women or those worried about a particular condition (like heart disease, osteoporosis, or eye health).”
• Powdered Multivitamins: Many consumers complain about the after tastes of these powdered mixes. Stirred into a liquid, the nutrients in these multivitamins are more easily absorbed into your system without your body’s need to focus on the pill casing itself.
• Multipill packs of multivitamins: A pack of vitamins designed to work together. These multivitamins can give out a higher dose of necessary nutrients that may not be available in basic multivitamins. “Some have megadoses, which in the case of vitamins A, D, and E can be toxic …. [c]heck the website of the Institute of Medicine for the maximum levels of vitamins and minerals that can be safely consumed.”

As with any change to your dietary habits or use of medicines be prepared to talk to a doctor about what multivitamin may work best for you. In order to better understand what you are taking, the more time you dedicate to this year’s resolution will pay off in accomplishment and the fulfillment of your goals.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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