It seems there is a multivitamin for everyone: young, old, men, women, expecting mothers, people who need added iron and others who need extra vitamin D3. The options seem endless. You can also choose multivitamins in the form of pills, gel capsules and gummies.
The customization options help supplement manufacturers reach different audiences. For example, Nature Made Prenatal has 400 mcg more folic acid compared to Nature-Made for Him because folic acid is known to prevent neural tube defects in babies.
Similarly, Centrum Men Multivitamins has 90 mcg of Vitamin C, but Centrum Women Multivitamins has 75 mcg of vitamin C because the National Institute of Health recommends those respective doses for women and men.
Multivitamin dietary supplements are like any other recipe. For example, every brand might be making “pumpkin pie” but some brands might choose to use more nutmeg than others, but in general, every brand will use the same or similar ingredients.
While each brand and product has different amounts of each ingredient, the best selling dietary multivitamin supplements contain these 23 ingredients.
1. Vitamin A
This vitamin helps keep your skin healthy and clear, but it’s also a key factor in disease prevention, immunity and even bone health.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does give guidelines stating the daily value (DV) of vitamin A in a healthy diet should be about 5,000 IU. Vitamin A is present in a variety of foods, so reaching 5,000 IU is achievable, but it's also not uncommon to see multivitamins with vitamin A present at 2,000 IU to 3,500 IU.
2. Vitamin C
Many people will reach for Vitamin C when they are sick in hopes of boosting their immune system to fight off a contagious illness like a cold. Vitamin C deficiencies can also lead to problems such as scurvy, fatigue or inflammation of the gums. Most people can reach the recommended intake of Vitamin C with a varied diet because a lot of fruits a vegetables contain high quantities. However, smokers are at an increased risk of deficiency and so are people with chronic illnesses that affect absorption.
3. Vitamin D
A recent study found that nearly two-thirds of all teens and adults in the United States have a Vitamin D deficiency because we spend so much time indoors as a society. Individuals over the age of 70 need the highest daily intake at 800 IU. For everyone else (except babies) the recommended dose is 600 IU.
Researchers are studying Vitamin D for its possible connections to diseases and medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
4. Vitamin K
Vitamin K plays an important role in preventing diseases like osteoporosis, but deficiencies are rare. The groups at the highest risk for a deficiency are newborns not treated with Vitamin K at birth and people with malabsorption issues.
Thiamin deficiencies are rare, but people with diabetes, alcohol dependence, HIV/AIDS or people who’ve undergone bariatric surgery are at a higher risk of deficiencies. People with a deficiency can experience symptoms such as short-term memory loss, gastrointestinal disorders and confusion.
A deficiency in Riboflavin is extremely rare in the United States, but the groups most at risk are vegetarian athletes, pregnant and lactating women and their infants, individuals who are vegan and people with infantile Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome. Some studies have found riboflavin helps fight migraines and could help prevent some cancers.
Niacin helps the digestive system, skin and nerves, and helps convert food to energy. A deficiency of niacin causes pellagra, which includes symptoms such as digestive problems, inflamed skin, mental impairment.
Children 1 to 3 years should intake 6 mg per day, and children 4 to 8 should consume 8 mg per day. Kids nine to 13 years old should take 12 mg per day. Males 14 and older should take 16 mg per day and Females age 14 and older should take 14 mg per day with additional amounts for pregnant or lactating women.
8. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 plays an important role in functions like movement, memory, energy expenditure and blood flow. Deficiency can cause symptoms like behavioral problems, increased anxiety and depression, confusion, muscle pains, fatigue or worsening PMS symptoms.
About 28 percent to 36 percent of the general population uses supplements containing vitamin B6.
9. Folic Acid
Pregnant women often consume folic acid supplements or purchase prenatal supplements containing folic acid because women who don’t get enough folate are at a higher risk of having babies with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid deficiencies can also lead to weakness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, irritability, headache, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath.
10. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 deficiency results in megaloblastic anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite and weight loss. Older adults and individuals with gastrointestinal disorders are at the highest risk of developing a deficiency. Most importantly, Vitamin b12 plays a vital role in fighting cardiovascular disease.
A deficiency in biotin in an individual eating a normal healthy varied diet has never been reported. It’s safe to say it’s a pretty rare deficiency. Biotin is often marketed as promoting hair, skin and nail health. However, the National Institute of Health reports that the studies backing up these claims were limited in scope.
One of the studies included only 22 women had soft or brittle nails who took 2.5 mg a day for 6 to 15 months and 10 women with healthy nails and the difference was not statistically different. Currently, there is no known risk for excessive intake of Biotin.
12. Pantothenic Acid
Almost all plant and animal-based foods contain pantothenic acid in some amount. If someone has a pantothenic acid deficiency, it is usually accompanied by deficiencies in other nutrients.
It’s difficult to identify the effects that are specific to pantothenic acid deficiency. The only individuals known to have developed pantothenic acid deficiency had diets with virtually no pantothenic acid or were taking a pantothenic acid metabolic antagonist.
Calcium helps prevent kidney stones, is essential for transporting nutrients, helps reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, could help prevent preeclampsia and is key for preventing osteoporosis. Groups at the highest risk for deficiency are postmenopausal women, individuals with a dairy allergies and vegetarians.
Iron is an essential part of life on earth. It is most common in red blood cells, allowing the movement of oxygen and carbon dioxide within the body. It is a metal with tightly controlled intake within the body, and it is possible to overdose. However, it does constitute the most common deficiency in the world, mainly among children and women, resulting in insufficient red blood cell production among those affected.
Your body converts iodine into iodide for use. Consuming Iodine is important for proper thyroid function. Iodine deficiencies affect nearly 2 Billion people worldwide, and results in easily preventable conditions such as Goiter and diet reduced intellectual capacity.
The body uses a lot of magnesium, most of which is contained in the bones because it is critical to calcium absorption. Magnesium also plays a role in heart health, reducing the risk of hypertension and lowered coronary artery calcification. Deficiencies are more common among older individuals and is usually a side effect of excess alcohol consumption resulting in a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness.
Zinc is beneficial to a healthy immune system and can help reduce the duration of the common cold. It is also critical to growth functions and synthesizing DNA. Deficiencies are rare but could include increased acne, hair loss, and loss of appetite.
Another important mineral to metabolic function, selenium can help promote a healthy thyroid and prostate. It is also an effective antioxidant for the body as well. Because selenium is so common, deficiencies occur but are not well understood currently.
Copper is a trace element that all living beings need to maintain a healthy metabolism and proper organ function. Because it is a metal with tightly controlled amounts within the body, it is very rare for most people to suffer from a deficiency, but it is still critical to ensure you're consuming the right amounts.
Manganese is essential to building and maintaining strong bones, managing a healthy metabolism, and improving thyroid health. While deficiencies are rare in developed countries, individuals lacking sufficient manganese can side effects such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Chromium is a mineral that can help the body metabolize lipids, promoting weight loss. Regarding a chromium deficiency, there is currently limited information as its effects haven’t been fully studied.
Molybdenum is a micronutrient that is essential to the function of amino acids in the body. It may also play a role in preventing tooth decay. Molybdenum deficiency is very rare since most diets contain a sufficient amount necessary. However, most best-selling multivitamins include small doses of the micronutrient.
If you are looking to help control your blood pressure, increasing your potassium intake can help counteract the effects of sodium. It is also important for anyone looking to build bone and muscle strength. A lack of potassium could lead to fatigue, weakness, and constipation.
The best-selling multivitamin dietary supplements all contain these 23 ingredients, but what makes them successful is how they tweak the formula to reach their audience like young adults or pregnant women.
They also implement other important strategies like having their customers review their products and creating crisp labels that are easy to understand.
You might be thinking about an audience you could reach with the next multivitamin. Maybe you're hoping to help men who are looking to improve their productivity and overall health or women who are hoping to maintain their bone strength into their retirement years.
If you have an idea for a multivitamin or any other type of dietary supplement, our FREE workbook can help you navigate the custom formulation process. Download your guide today, and then give us a call at 405.225.1804 to talk to an expert at Ameri-Kal.