Erin Stokes, Naturopathic Doctor, MegaFood Medical Director | July 2019
"I eat really well, so I can skip the multivitamin, right?"
As a Naturopathic Doctor who talks with people every day about health and wellness, I hear this question often.
My answer? "No, don’t skip the multi!"
In our modern world, I don’t believe that we can get all of the nutrients we need from the foods we eat, even when we’re focused on a well-rounded, healthy diet. The reality is that gaps in the American diet are widespread. We eat very differently than our grandparents did, with most of us now consuming far more sugar and processed foods than our grandparents would have ever dreamed possible.
Nobody’s perfect, but even if we did eat “perfectly,” there is clear evidence for declining nutrient composition of food. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition looked at changes in food composition for 43 garden crops from 1950 to 1999. As a group, the 43 foods that were studied showed declines in 6 areas: protein, calcium, potassium, iron, riboflavin and ascorbic acid. Footnote 1 A rather important group of six!
When it comes to nutrition, food is always first. For most of us, however, we need a little help covering those dietary gaps. So, once you’ve decided to start taking a daily multivitamin, here’s what to consider before selecting one:
Convenience and delivery
Convenience might sound like a funny thing to have at the top of the list, but if it’s not easy to take your multi, you probably won’t end up taking it. MegaFood One Dailies multis support your overall nutrition as easily as possible - just one and done. If the idea of taking your multi morning AND night just seems like a bother, a one daily is a great option. Remember: the most effective multivitamin is the one you’ll actually take!
If swallowing tablets isn’t your thing, though, you’re hardly alone. Studies show up to 40% of the adult US population has difficulty swallowing tablets. So if you’ve got your eye on convenience and delivery, our One Daily Multivitamin Soft Chews are the perfect alternative. They help fill the gaps in the diet with a single, delicious chew that contains only 3 grams of sugar.
“If I’m going to take a multi, I want to take the best I can find.” If that sounds more like you, the MegaFood Doctor Formulated line is the way to go. This line was developed in conjunction with Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in dietary supplements, herbal medicine, women’s health and integrative medicine. She’s a force, and so are her formulations! These multivitamins provide up-to-date potencies and nutrient forms of vitamins and minerals recommended for men and women during varying phases of life,* Methylated forms of B12 and Folate, and active forms of B2 and B6 are included; forms that enable B vitamins to function efficiently in energy production, metabolism and more.* There’s too much packed into these multis to fit into just one tablet; it’s a two-tablet daily serving. This is a good thing, as it allows you to space out that supplement intake and maximize nutrient absorption.
Gender and age-specific options
Women and men have different nutritional needs. For example, women are generally recommended to supplement with additional iron, up until menopause, while iron is not generally recommended for men in supplemental form. Choosing the right formula ensures you are addressing those differing needs, and more.
Nutritional needs also change as we age. The nutrients we may need more of when we’re younger (women and iron for example), we may need less of when we’re older, and vice versa. For men, concerns with prostate health, for example, may become top of mind, so an optimal formula for them would address that.
If that sounds like a lot to take in, don’t worry. We condensed ALL of that multivitamin-wisdom into an easy-to-follow infographic to help you narrow down to the applicable options. You’ve got plenty of things to worry about, but choosing your multi shouldn’t be one of them.
All in all, nutritional needs differ from person to person; we are all unique. Recommended Daily Values (%RDV) are just that- recommendations. To take your supplemental nutrition a step further, you might consider an individual nutrition plan, designed to pinpoint areas where your daily individual needs may differ from that of the RDV.
Dr. Low Dog, published Fortify Your Life: Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and More and it's an excellent resource for those who seek more information.
Ready to find a multi to fit your unique needs? Choose now.
Interested in learning more about how our multis are made? Read about our promise and process, and obsession with quality.
1Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999. Davis et al. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Vol. 23, No. 6, 669–682 (2004)