Diet and Nutrition

How Should I Choose Vitamin Supplements?

How Should I Choose Vitamin Supplements?

Key Takeaways

  • Many people do not get all of the nutrients that they need through diet alone.
  • With the plethora of supplement options available, choosing the right option depends on a number of personal factors.
  • When picking a supplement, look at its contents and opt for supplements that provide 100% of the daily required amount. 

Most of us fall short of meeting our daily nutritional requirements for various reasons. For some of us it is because of the special diet that we have been following. For others it is due to the time limit to choose a healthy and balanced diet. Many develop a nutritional gap because of a poor appetite. Whatever the reason is, it is important to fill this gap and what is better than to choose from the hundreds of varieties of supplements available in the market? The hardest part will be choosing the one that is right for you.

Supplements available on the market are tuned for different populations with different nutritional needs. Picking the right supplement depends on a person's specific nutritional requirements, age, gender, and stage of life. To have an idea of what each one of them offers it is better to know about the following:

  • Supplements for women – These mostly target women of the childbearing age with nutritional requirements for women in the age group of 20 to 50 years. They normally have more of iron and folic acid, which is very essential in preventing birth defects during pregnancy.
  • Supplements for men – These are tailored to meet the specific nutritional requirements of men containing several vitamins and minerals. These supplements may contain less iron as the need for this mineral is less in men.
  • Supplements for seniors – These target seniors, both men and women, above the age of 50 when the absorption of nutrients slows down gradually. These supplements contain calcium, vitamin D, and vitamins B6 and B12.

Therefore, one needs to choose the supplements formulated according to your requirements. One can also choose from a variety of formulations like capsules, gummies, injectables, powders, and tablets. These formulations differ in their rate of absorption by the body. Liquid formulations are more easily absorbed when compared to tablets and capsules. For those who find swallowing pills difficult, choosing a liquid formulation or capsule would be more convenient. Further, it is always better to take the supplement along with food to avoid stomach discomfort when taken alone.

What should one take note of when choosing the ideal supplement?

  • Look for contents in labels – Details of the ingredients are given in the labels. So choose your supplement based on the components and quantity needed.
  • Choose the one with basic components – If you are looking for a multivitamin supplement, choose the one with vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid (B9), B12, B5, biotin, A, E, D2 or D3, K, potassium, iodine, selenium, borate, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, and iron.
  • Opt for supplements which provide 100% of the daily required amount – Choose those supplements that will provide the Daily Value of the vitamin or mineral.
  • Supplements according to age and stage – Choose supplements based on the age and gender with the specific nutritional need.

Although supplements are good to bridge the gap in the nutritional requirements, it is always better to obtain the same from the diet. A healthy, balanced diet is all what the body needs!