The multi-vitamin market is rich with choice. It’s also very confusing. There are mega’s, potents, super all-day’s, vegetarian formulas, geriatric formulas, athlete’s formulas, recipes for men and women and teens! There are some things to consider when selecting a multi-vitamin supplement.
For the bariatric patient, first ask, “Can I swallow this and will it absorb quickly enough for my short circuited system?” Adult chewable tablets are available, but the taste is often unpleasant. However, these may be used during the first few months after surgery. Capsules and gels are a good choice because they are more likely to absorb quickly. Time released tablets should be avoided, they dissolve slowly, that’s what makes them timed release. There is no right or wrong form of supplement, just make sure to select a form you will take routinely.
Choose a gender and age specific formula. The more that is learned about nutrition, the more obvious are men and women’s different dietary needs. For example women need more calcium and iron in their diets. Geriatric vitamins often included chelated minerals for better absorption in addition to glucosamine to help with bones and joints and herbs to improve memory and wellness.
Finally, look for a supplement that contains most of the vitamins and minerals essential for good health – but does not exceed the U.S. RDA by more than 150 percent. (Most multi-vitamin supplements do not contain vitamin K – it is naturally synthesized by the body.) The label on the supplement bottle lists the weight in milligrams of the vitamin and minerals contained in the supplement.
The label also shows the percent of the U.S. RDA the supplement supplies. Natural and synthetic vitamins are virtually identical and most supplements are synthetic. It would require heaps of natural foods to extract enough vitamins for supplements and the cost would be prohibitive. One exception is vitamin E: the natural form is actually biologically more active and better absorbed and utilized by the body.
In addition to the multi-vitamin, it is important to supplement Iron, Calcium and B-Complex. For detailed information on these read some previous posts:
Organizing Your Vitamin Cocktail