vitamin-orange-juiceDay 30 of 31-Day Series “Your Last Health Resolution”

We’ve finally arrived at supplementation, the last Essential Element in the PRIMEpathway wellness protocol.  My research on this topic knows no end.  The amount of studies, testing, ingredient specifications, and upper daily limits can cause my head to swim.  The dizzying amount of often confusing information makes the task of choosing a multivitamin even more difficult.

Before I sort out the information, I have to address a concern from my post yesterday on maintaining a healthy marriage.  I did have a caveat that I normally don’t include marriage counsel in my wellness protocol.  Since one of my clients gave me a hard time about going off topic, I thought I’d tell you why it fits anyway.  More and more studies link marital stress to health issues, including but not limited to the following:  increased risk of diabetes, elevated stress hormones, increased risk of heart disease, mood swings, depression, weaker immune support, prolonged healing of wounds, increased risk of stroke, and increased risk of early death.  And all those have significant statistical findings.  That makes it worth including.

Back to the topic for today.  I’m going to sum this up as best I can by providing the three most important criteria for examining a multivitamin.  Before I do, let me recommend taking a multivitamin.  It’s proving more and more difficult to receive the amount of vitamins and minerals from your food with our current agricultural practices.  I therefore find it prudent to use a balanced supplement.

Quality is of highest concern.  Consumer Lab, an independent testing facility, has found 40% of multivitamins unacceptable according to their quality standards.  Manufacturers have either misrepresented the ingredients or have gone outside the guidelines for potential toxicity.  That’s a high percentage.  You need to know before you buy.

Look for these three things:

  1. Approval from Consumer Lab or a verification from USP or NSF.  If companies have chosen to use USP or NSF verification, they will place the label on the bottle.  This means they have voluntary met standards for purity, potency, absorption, and good manufacturing practices.
  2. Numerous vitamins and minerals.  If you’re multivitamin only has 10 vitamins, I would look for something more complete unless you plan on taking additional supplements.  It’s not uncommon for some blends to have over 30 vitamins and minerals.
  3. Additional ingredients.  You can find some multivitamins with beneficial additional ingredients, such as bioflavanoid complexes or even probiotics.  Many also cater to gluten-free or vegetarian consumers.

This represents the most important specifications.  I have more to say on this subject.  But we’ll cover that down the road.

So what’s the best multivitamin out there?  It depends on what you need.  I’ve taken USANA Essentials for years but am switching to a much more economical multi this next month.  I’ll be sure to let you know what it is.  And I’ll happily tell you why I made the switch.