Confused with the rows of different multivitamins for sale? Figure you're better off just eating whole foods and bypassing the multivitamin aisle altogether? Or as a minimum, buying the cheapest brand on the shelf just to cover all the bases? Consider this info before you decide.
Our food is not the food of 100 years ago. Food today is grown in soil that is depleted of nutrients and contaminated with toxins. It travels thousands of miles before it hits our grocery store. And many times food labeled as "fresh" is stored for months, sprayed, colored or modified to increase its shelf life and appeal. Asparagus, when stored a week, loses 90% of its Vitamin C. Blanching veggies or fish reduces up to 1/2 of their B-complex vitamins and destroys the Vitamin C.
Whole foods are fundamental to giving our body more nutrients, but that choice alone may not result in providing all of the necessary vitamins, trace minerals, co-factors, phytonutrients, and antioxidants that we need to function optimally. Beyond our minimum daily nutritional needs, our body also requires supplemental nutrients to rejuvenate, balance and heal our organs and systems from years of stress, medications, abuse. And females tend to have deficiencies in vitamin and minerals, particularly iron, Vitamin D and calcium.
All multivitamin supplements are not created equal. A lack of federal regulation has led to inconsistency in ingredient quality, quantity, absorption and safety. Therefore it is very important to evaluate your current products and any you may be considering. For example: 31% of multivitamin brands tested by Consumer Labs failed purity and content; 92% of calcium products had toxic lead content greater than the recommended limit; 40% of supplements failed to meet label claims; and 54% failed to disintegrate. According to the FDA: "Although dietary supplement manufacturers must register their facilities with FDA, they are not required to get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements."
To get started, here are 5 questions to ask (Google) when evaluating a multivitamin:
1. Does the manufacturer follow Good Manufacturing Practices and or meet stricter pharmaceutical (drug) standards?
2. Has the company had any violations with the FDA or recalls for contamination or mislabeling?
3. Does the product contain potential toxicities (artificial sugars, colorings, etc)?
4. Does the company submit its product to independent labs for testing? Is there a guarantee of potency and disintegration?
5. Who manufactures the products and where? Are they manufactured in-house with strict quality control of raw ingredients, in-process and the final product?
If you are unsure about any of the above or don't know where to locate answers to your questions, simply give me a shout. I'll be happy to help you make sense of it all.