Guide to Buying a Better Multivitamin

Even the healthiest eaters following a varied diet can have nutritional deficiencies including low levels of important vitamins and minerals. Without a comprehensive vitamin and mineral analysis, it’s nearly impossible to accurately assess which specific micronutrients you’re lacking, and even then changes in physical activity, stress, sunlight exposure, and numerous other factors can affect your nutrient needs.

Variety in your diet is good, but it still might not meet all of your vitamin and mineral needs.

Enter the multivitamin. Comprehensive multivitamins provide “nutritional insurance” by delivering adequate amounts of all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. But not all multivitamins are created equal; many vitamin manufacturers cut costs by skimping on vitamin and mineral quantities and by using the least expensive, least effective (and sometimes dangerous) forms.

Below is a list of the vitamins and minerals you should find in a good quality multivitamin. We’ve also included the Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily intake (DRI) for men and women, a recommended maximum daily intake (when appropriate), the forms to look for on your multivitamin’s label, and some common multivitamin add-ons.

DRI* – MenDRI* – WomenMax daily intakeWhat forms to look for
Vitamin A900 µg or 4500 IU700 µg or 3500 IU3000 µg or 15,000 IUMixed carotinoids and/or beta carotene
B1 (Thiamine)1.2 mg1.1 mgThiamine di-phosphate or thiamine HCl
B2 (Riboflavin)1.3 mg1.1 mgRiboflavin-5’-phosphate or riboflavin
B3 (Niacin)16 mg14 mg35 mgNiacin or Niacinamide
B5 (Pantothenic acid)5 mg5 mgPantothenic acid or D-calcium pantothenate
B6 (Pyridoxine)1.3-1.7 mg1.3-1.7 mg100 mgPyridoxal-5′-phosphate or pyridoxine HCl
B7 (Biotin)30 µg30 µgBiotin
B9 (Folate)400 µg400 µg1000 µg5-MTHF or folate/folic acid
B12 (Cobalamins)2.4 µg2.4 µgMethylcobalamin or cyanocobalamin
C90 mg75 mgAscorbic acid or ascorbates
D5-15 µg or 200-600 IU5-15 µg or 200-600 IU5000 IUCholecalciferol
E15 mg15 mg1000 mgD-alpha-tocopherol, mixed tocopherols, and/or mixed tocotrienols
K120 µg90 µgPhylloquinone or phytonadione
Potassium4700 mg4700 mgPotassium citrate or aspartate
Calcium1000 mg1000 mg2500 mgAmino acid chelate, malate, citrate, or carbonate
Magnesium420 mg320 mg750 mgAmino acid chelate, glycinate, or threonate
Zinc11 mg8 mg40 mgAmino acid chelate, monomethionine, or glycinate
Iron8 mg18 mg45 mgIron protein succinylate
Manganese2.3 mg1.8 mg11 mgAmino acid chelate or gluconate
Copper900 µg900 µg10 mgAmino acid chelate, lysinate, or glycinate
Iodine150 µg150 µg1100 µgPotassium iodide or kelp
Selenium55 µg55 µg400 µgSelenomethionine, amino acid complex, or glycinate
Molybdenum45 µg45 µg2000 µgAmino acid chelate or citrate
Chromium35 mg25 mgChromium polynicotinate (ChromeMate®) or picolinate
BoronBoron citrate or proteinate
Common add-ons
LuteinLutein
LycopeneLycopene
ZeaxanthinZeaxanthin
Choline550 mg425 mgCholine bitartrate or phosphatidylcholine
InositolInositol
Vanadium1.8 mgVanadyl sulfate


*The DRI – or Dietary Reference Intake – listed here is for men and women ages 14 years old and above. Micronutrient needs for infants, children, teens, and pregnant and lactating women can be significantly different than those listed.

The amount of each vitamin and mineral in your multivitamin should be somewhere between the minimum DRI and maximum daily intake. For nutrients without an upper limit – especially some of the B vitamins – it’s not uncommon to see amounts that are thousands or tens of thousands of times greater than the DRI. In this case, whatever isn’t absorbed will be eliminated (which is why high doses of B vitamins can make your pee glow).

For minerals, you might notice that there are quite a few different forms – amino acid chelate, glycinate, gluconate, carbonate, citrate, etc. The different forms can provide various unique benefits, but for a multivitamin the form to look for is amino acid chelate or amino acid complex as these are the most easily absorbed.

Our Performance Plus Packs provide the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals in their effective forms plus fish oil, a whole foods blend, immune system support, cognitive health nutrients, and antioxidants.

One last note: if you’re a man it’s best to opt for the iron-free version of a multivitamin, and many manufacturers now have men’s formulas that don’t contain iron. The same goes for post-menopausal women whose iron needs are far less than what they were before menopause.

About Causenta

Recognized as one of the most complete non-toxic wellness clinics and alternative cancer treatment centers in the nation, Causenta offers an array of cutting edge technology, a state-of-the-art facility and personalized medical protocols not found anywhere else in the world.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Instead of taking what we call the Band-Aid approach to your health and performance, we focus on discovering the ROOT CAUSE of what is holding you back.

For over 17 years, our highly experienced and trained doctors have combined traditional medicine and break-through therapies to provide patients the right treatment for even the rarest conditions.

  • Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy somewhere else are reporting little to no side effects when they’re working alongside our oncologist.
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  • We have seen patients that haven’t been able to walk for years, walking out of our clinic in perfect balance.
  • Radiation, chemotherapy and surgery are always the last resort to treating cancer at Causenta.