A good multivitamin

One of the most common questions I get near the end of a visit is, “what’s a good multivitamin?” In last week’s article we reviewed my top five reasons for taking a multivitamin. I do not believe in over-supplementing, but I do believe a multivitamin is essential for most of us to get optimal levels of the most fundamental vitamins and minerals. In this week’s article, we will focus on the key characteristics of good multivitamins.


1.  The Right Nutrients

It’s clear when you compare 10 multivitamins on the shelf against each other that there is a wide variation with the number of nutrients in the supplement. Some multivitamins stick to the core 10 or so vitamins and 10 or so minerals. Others include amino acids, antioxidants, greens, and fruit extracts. The right nutrients for each person don’t vary much in my opinion. There are obvious exceptions like pregnancy, but for the most part I recommend multivitamins that have a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, greens, and fruit extracts. I believe this is often the best way to go because it allows your multivitamin to be a source of nutrients you have difficulty getting in your diet.


2.  Optimal Nutrient Levels

How much of each nutrient should be in the multi? This may appear to be a very difficult question to answer, but there’s a very practical way to figure this out. A good multi whether it’s in a pill, powder, or liquid should be designed for multiple doses in the day. We absorb these nutrients best in multiple dosages as opposed to one massive daily dose. The optimal nutrient level of a multi will change for each person but a good multi should be able to meet the needs of most people because those who need more can just take more per dose or more dosages.


3.  No Artificial Junk

What is not in the multivitamin is extremely important. Many of the less expensive multivitamins contain cheap binders and fillers. The problem with these binders like magnesium-sterate is that they decrease the absorption of the active nutrients in the multi. You could have a great profile of nutrients but if the binders and fillers are cheap and harmful then the multivitamin really loses its value.


The main goal of this article was not to be able to instruct people on exactly what multivitamin they should get. The goal was to give information on three very important aspects of multivitamins. There are a number of other things to consider when selecting supplements like interactions between the supplements or with medications. It’s always best to work with a qualified healthcare practitioner to figure out what is the best route for your individual health needs.


If you have any questions for Dr. Barlow or would like to schedule a consultation wit Dr. Barlow please contact his office at 250-448-5610.

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About the Author

Dr. Brent Barlow is a Naturopathic Physician practicing at The Kelowna Wellness Clinic in downtown Kelowna. Dr. Barlow has been in practice in Kelowna since graduating from the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in Vancouver in 2009.

Naturopathic Doctors are trained as primary care physicians, and primarily use natural medicine to treat disease and promote wellness. Dr. Barlow believes strongly in identifying and treating the causes of disease rather than focusing on the treatment of symptoms.

Naturopathic medicine utilizes diet therapy, botanical medicine, nutritional supplementation, acupuncture, spinal manipulation and other physical medicine treatments to treat the causes of disease. Dr. Barlow also trained in the specialized treatments of prolotherapy, neural therapy, intravenous nutrient infusions, and chelation therapy.

Dr. Barlow is in general practice and welcomes all individuals and families. As a naturopathic physician he is trained to treat all health conditions in the manner that best suits the goals of each individual patient. He also has special interests in natural treatments for pain management and digestive health.

To learn more about Dr. Barlow's treatments or to schedule a consultation, visit his website at www.drbrentbarlownd.com or call 250-448-5610.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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