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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.
Today the market is flooded with multivitamins and the vast majority are one a day tablet products that deliver nearly all vitamins at 100% of the RDA (recommended daily amount) and only some of the minerals at 100% RDA. In fact the majority of the best-selling multivitamins in the U.K are one a day tablets. Convenience has dictated that one a day is best, but we at Reflex Nutrition challenge that notion for the very reason that we do not eat once a day. In addition to squeeze everything the body needs into a single tablet has its drawbacks…
The main drawback is the simple scientific fact that some of these vitamins, but especially the minerals they often contain are poorly absorbed and therefore have little or no benefit. As a result we feel that these one a day tablets are simply made to a price point to suit convenience first with quality, performance and bioavailability not being given priority. This seems wrong.
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 at Reflex Nutrition we manufacture supplements with our slogan at heart, “Tomorrow’s Nutrition Today”. It is our reputation at stake that has taken 20 long years to earn, so when we make a multivitamin we make the best. We use the best possible vitamins, the best minerals, the best antioxidants and the best pro-biotics. We then use pharmaceutical grade capsule machinery to make our vitamins to strict ISO9001 quality control procedures. As a result of our commitment to absolute excellence Nexgen® vitamin products are used by numerous of the World’s best athletes, sports teams and an ever increasing number of valuable customers who welcome the quality and performance that Nexgen® delivers. They are not one a day tablets, they are either 2 capsule per day or 3 capsule per day products.
Now that you have a taste of the passion Reflex Nutrition has for making multi-vitamins we would like to tell you what to look out for when buying a multivitamin. Even if you are not a Reflex Nutrition fan and don’t want to buy a product from us we really do urge you to read the following to give you an understanding of 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, which is not preferable for digestion. To illustrate our point we don’t think we have 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 really is not a good idea.
Top Tip Number Two – avoid cheap poorly absorbed minerals
Minerals. We’d argue in most cases, and we’re sure most sports scientists would also argue, that they are often 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. Try and 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
Some of best nutrients and nutraceuticals you will find in a multivitamin are often branded, often patented and supported by published scientific studies. They are by no means the cheapest but they are the ones that are most promising because they often have peer reviewed studies (the most reputable studies) which demonstrate tangible benefits to those taking them. Brands like Albion® Minerals, K2VITAL®, DeltaGOLD®, Sabinsa® and more focus on vitamin and minerals products and research. 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 low cost mineral oxides cost just 99p for a month supply it could still be poor value for money because your body may not absorb much of it. If you can find a quality product which delivers a high quality range of minerals in amino acid chelated form, perhaps branded and your daily RDA of vitamins for £10 for a month supply you are certainly getting good value. We 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 we’d be 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. At Reflex Nutrition it’s an area of interest that we have been focusing on for over a decade.
Top Tip Number six – look for multivitamins in capsules
Any company that makes capsules gets thumbs up from us. 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. We’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, yes Reflex Nutrition make one called Nexgen®, but there are others too.