So many brands and types of multivitamins are available that cater to so many different people, it is impossible to narrow the choices down to one. The best multivitamins to take, according to the Mayo Clinic, are the ones tailored to your age, sex and medical condition. Whether you are pregnant, menopausal, aging or supplementing for a deficiency, you can narrow your choice to find the right vitamin for you.
Women in premenopausal stages should take a multivitamin that contains at least 400 mcg of folic acid and 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron, which is 18 mg. Folic acid is an important vitamin to take during the reproductive years, as it helps eliminate birth defects during pregnancy. Menopausal women should take the multivitamins that contain the mineral calcium, to help prevent osteoporosis. This multivitamin should also contain vitamin D as it helps increase the absorption of calcium into the body.
Men should take multivitamins formulated for men because women and men both require different levels of certain vitamins and minerals. Men require only 8 mg of iron, and some general multivitamins will exceed this amount to supplement women who require more than this. In addition, men need 900 mcg of vitamin A to support healthy eyes and lungs,according to Harvard Health Publications. Also purchase a multivitamin that contains at least 90 mg of vitamin C, needed for a healthy immune system and to help protect your cells from oxidation.
As you age, your requirements for certain vitamins and minerals might rise or decline, so purchasing vitamins for senior citizens might help you keep your vitamin and mineral levels balanced. Senior citizenss have an increased need for calcium and a decreased need for iron, so certain supplements will have higher-than-normal calcium levels and might omit iron completely.
During pregnancy, women are required to increase folic acid to 800 mcg and iron levels to 27 mg to help support the mother and baby during pregnancy, according to MayoClinic. You might find these levels in prenatal vitamins rather than general multivitamins or multivitamins specifically designed for women.
Men should not take multivitamins manufactured for women, unless requested to by a physician. In some cases, the levels of vitamins and minerals in these vitamins can cause vitamin toxicity. Similarly, women should not use prenatal vitamins if they are not pregnant and do not plan to become pregnant to avoid toxicity.