All-in-one multivitamins are a great way to supplement your diet and meet your daily nutrient needs. But since those needs change throughout our lifetime, it’s best to choose one right for your age and sex. Here’s what you need to know about how to choose a vitamin for your stage in life.
Essential vitamins for all
No matter our age, essential vitamins A, Bs, D, C, E and K—along with minerals such as calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc—keep our system running smoothly and help prevent disease. While a healthy diet is vital for meeting your vitamin and mineral needs, multivitamins are a good supplementary source, especially if you follow a more restrictive diet. Check out the vitamin guide from Harvard Medical School to learn more about good food sources of different vitamins and to see the required daily amounts and upper limits for all the essential vitamins.
Women, especially during their prime child-bearing years, need to maintain proper iron, folic acid and choline levels. A targeted multivitamin like Dr. Mercola Whole-Food Multivitamin for Women is a good choice. Sourced from whole food, it combines essential vitamins and minerals with specific botanicals that keep women healthy, including cranberry for urinary tract health.
Men at this stage of life can benefit from vitamins that boost energy and help maintain a healthy heart and gut. One to try is Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw One for Men, featuring probiotics and essential vitamins sourced from 24 vegetables and fruits. Another good choice, especially for prostate health and a strong immune system, is Pharmaca Men’s Multivitamin with saw palmetto, zinc and bee pollen.
Adults age 40–55
Over the age of 40 our bodies start to change, muscle mass starts to decrease and our risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer increases. In addition, certain vitamins can be harder to absorb because we begin to produce less stomach acid. One vitamin that can be especially hard to absorb is vitamin B12, which is critical for neurological functioning. Magnesium and potassium are important too, as they help regulate blood pressure.
Women in this age bracket are often beginning a pre-menopause or menopause phase, so supplementing with essential vitamins and herbs may help symptoms related to fluctuating hormones levels. New Chapter Every Woman’s One Daily 40+ is a good choice, since it features red clover, raspberry leaf and chaste tree berry, which are all beneficial for women over 40.
Men over age 50 can benefit from multivitamins that help repair the damage from long-term exposure to environmental toxins. Natural Factors Whole Earth & Sea Men’s 50+ Multivitamin and Mineral is a good choice since it combines essential vitamins with powerful antioxidants from whole food sources like grapes, blueberries and acai berries.
Adults over 55
As we age, we want to focus on keeping our brains healthy and our body strong. Both men and women can benefit from multivitamins that include astaxanthin, which supports strong cognitive functioning. Two recommended products are NutriGold Men’s 55+ Multi Gold and New Chapter Every Woman’s One Daily 55+ Multivitamin.
Kids and teens
Kids need the same essential vitamins as adults, but in different amounts to support their growing bodies. As many parents know, getting kids to take a daily multivitamin often depends on how they taste—so gummies and chewables are an easy way to get them to take their dailies. SmartyPants Kids Complete Multivitamins meet all your kids’ vitamin needs, and are free of artificial preservatives and sweeteners (and, for those with allergies or food sensitivities, they’re also free of peanuts, tree nuts, fish and dairy).
For teens, they can simply toss a grab and go packet of Rainbow Light Teen Energy Multivitamin gummies in their backpack for a daily boost of essential vitamins that provide mental focus, energy and mood support.