Hundreds of millions of multivitamins are sold each year, but is that little pill you pop every morning beneficial, and perhaps more importantly, safe? For the most part, many multivitamins on the market are considered to be reliable and generally pose no side effects when taken regularly. “There were some studies done on elderly women that were misunderstood that stirred up a lot of controversy and led to this phenomenon of multivitamins being unsafe,” says New York celebrity nutritionist Oz Garcia. In fact, a large number of the test subjects used in the study were ill prior to taking the vitamins or participating in the study.
It is still beneficial to ensure that what you’re taking is beneficial and not harmful. To do so, make sure to consider these things when you choose a multivitamin:
1. Look for brands with proven track records-companies that are in good standing and are professionally recommended. It may take a bit of trial and error until you find a supplement you like. Garcia adds that you should do some online research and understand what you are putting into your body and how it is helping you.
2. Make sure that your vitamin packs necessary minerals and essential fatty acids and not too many fillers, namely hydrogenated oils, colorants, titanium dioxide and magnesium stearate, which can make the pill easier to swallow or more uniform in color or texture.
3. Opt for something that’s free of dyes, preservatives, lead and mercury.
4. Decide on the right time of day to take your vitamins. Take them in the morning, at night or even before you go to sleep. Always make sure you take your vitamins with food or on a full stomach.
5. Give it some time. You need to give a multivitamin at least a few days to get into your system before it starts to work. About one month after starting on a multivitamin you should feel more alert and energized. If you don’t feel some sense of improvement, it may not be the right pill for you.
For a more in-depth look at multivitamins, make sure to check out the spring-summer 2012 issue of NewBeauty magazine, on newsstands March 27th.
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