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It’s a bold title aimed to get your attention because it’s something that everyone should know and the information is aimed to arm you with sound scientific facts to ensure you can make better, more informed choices when it comes to your use of a multivitamin, even if it remains a one day tablet.
As a bonus for reading this post you can get 50% OFF* Nexgen® PRO using the code NEX50 at the checkout.
*Offer valid until 31st May 2016
Before I continue I’d like to give a little background to the reason I wrote this blog. At Reflex Nutrition we manufacture two state of the art sports multivitamin formulae, Nexgen® and Nexgen® PRO, with arguably the most researched and highest quality forms of minerals, like Albion®, and vitamins like DeltaGold® in the world. I recently found myself in a health shop which did not stock Reflex Nutrition products so I thought it would be interesting to see what they thought their best multivitamin was. The normal three well-known brands were quickly revealed to me with the shop assistant proudly saying that these were the best because they sell more of these three products than anything else in the shop. I asked the assistant about the ingredients, again I was quickly told that they all provide 100% of RDA of vitamins and there was little difference between the three. The assistant was correct, all three were one day tablets made from almost exactly the same ingredients.
Here is the problem, many of those ingredients are poorly absorbed and they have little or no benefit. It’s my opinion that these types of products are simply made to a price to make as much money as possible. We do things very differently and some even question our business practises because they often come at the cost of profit. The point is though I make supplements because I love making them. If I want a multivitamin product I’ll make it myself, I’ll make the best, I’ll use the best possible most highly researched ingredients on the planet, I’ll use the best delivery format, I’ll use the best equipment and I’ll want research to back up every ingredient I’ve used. At that is exactly how Nexgen® multivitamins were born. Along with the rest of my family, I take Nexgen® PRO every single day.
So now that you have a taste of the passion I have for making multi-vitamins I’d like to tell you what to look out for when buying a multivitamin. Even if you are not a Reflex fan its worth reading and understanding the following differences because they are not small or slight they are overwhelmingly significant.
Top Tip Number One – avoid one a day multivitamins
Always be wary of any one-a-day tablet. To fit everything in a tablet requires the use of cheaper minerals like magnesium oxide, zinc oxide which are poorly absorbed. In addition tablets will often use binders to help them glue together, not ideal for digestion. To illustrate my point I don’t think I ever seen a one day tablet supply all the daily minerals in amino acid chelated form in just one tablet. In addition, many B vitamins are water soluble and are in and out of your body in hours. It’s another reason why a one-a-day is not a good idea.
Top Tip Number Two – avoid cheap poorly absorbed minerals
Minerals. I’d argue in most cases, that they are more important for people than vitamins. As mentioned in Tip One, the use of cheap minerals like magnesium oxide is absolutely rife in the industry. Look for a multivitamin which provides a significant proportion of the key minerals in amino acid chelated form or for minerals like magnesium in salts like magnesium citrate. Both Magnesium Bisglycinate (amino acid chelate) and magnesium citrate are enormously superior in terms of absorption when compared to magnesium oxide. The same is true for most minerals when comparing oxides to state of the art amino acid chelates. You can read more about amino acid chelates here.
Top Tip Number three – look for reputable branded ingredients
The best nutrients and nutraceuticals you will find in a multivitamin are nearly always those of which are branded, often patented and supported by published scientific studies. These are the ones to get excited about because the studies often demonstrate tangible benefits to those taking them. Brands like Albion® Minerals, K2VITAL®, DeltaGOLD®, Sabinsa® and more. It will come as no surprise that here at Reflex Nutrition we make extensive use of such ingredients.
Top Tip Number four – does the multivitamin offer value?
If a one-a-day multivitamin laden with cheap oxide minerals cost just 99p for a month supply it would still be poor value for money because your body really can’t absorb much of it. If you can find a quality product which delivers a decent range of minerals in amino acid chelated form, perhaps branded and your daily RDA of vitamins for £10 for a month supply you are getting good value. I have always thought that if you can find a product offering this type of value then that company must be doing something right. From £10-£25 products should be at the top of the game offering all minerals from amino acid chelates, additional anti-oxidants and well researched branded ingredients. Anything over and above £25 for a month supply needs to be offering something very, very special indeed.
Top Tip Number five – does the multivitamin contain shelf stable friendly bacteria?
Lots of multivitamins say they do contain pro-biotics or friendly bacteria but unless they are a known branded product which is scientifically proven to be shelf stable I’d very wary. In addition, many strains of friendly bacteria work best when coated with protective barriers so that they can survive the acid environment of the stomach and reach the intestines intact where they can flourish.
Top Tip Number six – look for multivitamins in capsules
Any company that makes capsules gets thumbs up from me. They will have done so really for one reason and one reason only, maximum absorption. Capsules cost more, are more difficult to make, the machinery is expensive and they are slower to make, so when a company does make capsules, they do so at great expense with really only one advantage, and that advantage is to the consumer- yes, absorption. It’s a big win and a big step in the right direction. Capsules are king.
Top Tip Number seven- look for multivitamins with a bioavailability enhancer
With so many ingredients in a multivitamin, your body needs all the help it can get. Luckily there is a well-known bioavailability enhancer called Bioperine® from Sabinsa. It is a patented extract of black pepper and has been extensively studied for its role in improving the bioavailability of various vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
Concluding, this blog has given you the basics of what to look out for and why, the best advice is to take your time to evaluate the product. I’ve no doubt you will be taking a multivitamin to support your health so don’t rush in and buy without thinking, millions of people are seemingly making this mistake every single day. It need not cost the earth either, just £10 will buy a multivitamin which is dramatically different to a one a day.