How to choose a multivitamin

In the current circumstances, the body experienceslack of vitamins and minerals. The solution may be taking a multivitamin complexes, which offer a large selection at any pharmacy. How to understand the huge number of items and decide what is right for you? What to look for when buying a multivitamin? Do I have to accept them?

Vitamins - a biologically active substancedifferent chemical nature, which are involved in all biochemical processes in the body, and so it is absolutely necessary for normal human life
It is believed that in the present conditions, taking into accountbad city ecology, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity the human body is constantly experiencing a shortage of vitamins and minerals (in other words - vitamin deficiencies). Particularly acute is evident in the winter-spring period. The solution may be taking a multivitamin complexes, large selection of which are available at any pharmacy. How to understand the huge number of items and decide what is right for you? What to look for when buying a multivitamin? And it is necessary to take them?

What are vitamins

Vitamins - a biologically active substancedifferent chemical nature, which are involved in all biochemical processes in the body, and so it is absolutely necessary for normal human activity. Vitamins act in our body from food or produced by the intestinal microflora (except nicotinic acid and vitamin D, which is synthesized in small quantities in the skin by exposure to sunlight).

Currently, 13 known vitamins, and about a dozen vitamin-like substances (see. Table).

Vitamin International name, vitamer
Water-soluble vitamins
Vitamin C Ascorbic acid
Thiamine (vitamin B1) thiamin
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) Riboflavin
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) pantothenic acid
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxal, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamins) Cyanocobalamin, oksikobalamin
Folate (vitamin Bfrom) Folic acid, folate polyglutamate
Niacin (vitamin PP) Nicotinic acid, nicotinamide
Biotin (vitamin H) biotin
Fat-soluble vitamins
Vitamin A Retinol, retinol acetate
Vitamin D (calciferol) Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2); cholecalciferol (vitamin D3)
Vitamin E (tocopherol) a-, b-, g-, d-tocopherols
Vitamin K Phylloquinone (vitamin K1); menaquinone (vitamin K2); 2-methyl-1, 4-naphthoquinone (menadione, vitamin K3)
vitamin-like substance
vitamin U S-methylmethionine
vitamin N lipoic acid
vitamin B8 choline
vitamin B10 P-aminobenzoic acid
vitaminV 13 orotic acid
vitamin B15 pangamic acid
vitamin P bioflavonoids
coenzyme Q10

Some of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D)replenished by digestion of dietary provitamin. For example, pro-vitamins retinol (vitamin A) - carotenes. At the same multivitamin complexes most often used provitamin A - beta carotene (has the highest biological activity), which, as has already been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers.

Many vitamins are part of the vitamincomplexes in the form of different compounds - vitamers that also need to be considered when purchasing multivitamin preparations. For example, vitamin E can be represented by a-, b-, g-, d-tocopherol, a-tocopherol is the most active.
As well as vitamins, for the body, we needed and minerals (macro and micronutrients). By trace elements are calciumPhosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium, chlorine,present in the body in large enough quantities to the trace elements - iron, cobalt, iodine and fluorine content of less than 0.01%. With food we can not always get enough of their volume. Therefore, minerals are often added to multivitamin complexes.

Symptoms of hypovitaminosis

Usually, that you lack vitamins, tell the skin, hair, nails
Usually, that you lack vitamins, tell the skin, hair and nails. If your nails become brittle and dull hair fall out, the skin is dry and flaky, often pimples, barleys and acne - so you have vitamin deficiencies. Also lack of vitamins in the body leads to deteriorationhealth, fatigue, decreased memory, attention. It appears irritability. The body can not cope with infections, which causes frequent colds. May start bleeding gums, vision problems (especially in the evening)

Lack of vitamins and minerals in childrenusually manifested delayed growth and development. Children are either too sluggish or conversely, overly excitable. They begin to learn worse, quickly get tired, get sick often.

There are primary and secondary hypovitaminosis. Primary hypovitaminoses developed with a deficiency of vitamins in the body due to malnutrition, diet, bad habits. Secondary hypovitaminosis are the result of disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract (which reduces the body's ability to assimilate vitamins and generation), increased diuresis (accelerates the removal of vitamins from the body), dysbiosis in patients receiving antibiotics, increase the body's need for vitamins due to the heavy loads during growth, pregnancy, lactation.

Do I need to take vitamins

The idea is that a full balanced dietIt should fully provide the body with all the necessary vitamins and trace elements. However, in practice it turns out that our food is far from ideal, and the products themselves, after treatment with chemicals, refining, long-term storage, preservation lose more vitamins. Smoking and alcohol consumption, use of many drugs, particularly antibiotics, stress, gastrointestinal diseases - it all leads to a reduction in the amount of vitamins and minerals in the body.

Doctors often recommend to prevent take multivitamin complexes, in addition to the daily diet, or courses for 1-2 months, 2-3 times a year
Therefore, doctors often recommend to prevent take multivitamin complexes, in addition to the daily diet, or courses for 1-2 months, 2-3 times a year.

However, there is another point of view, based onfrom which the human body can adapt to the lack of vitamins, and in the absence of functional abnormalities in health will be much more useful to organize a full-fledged diet, rather than solve the problem use of vitamins.

Taking a multivitamin is recommended to:

- The irregular, monotonous, unbalanced diet;

- Sitting on a strict, low-calorie diets and mono-diet;

- With increased physical loads and psihoemotsonalnyh;

- Athletes;

- In the postoperative period;

- During illness and recovery after the disease;

- People suffering from chronic diseases;

- Vegetarians;

- While taking hormonal contraceptives and;

- Women during pregnancy and breastfeeding;

- Children in the period of intensive growth;

- To old people;

- People taking medicines that reduce the absorption of certain vitamins in the body;

- People with bad habits (alcohol, smoking).

How to choose the vitamins

If you decide to spend on drink a course of multivitamins, pay attention to:

How to choose a multivitamin
1. Manufacturer. Usually we first pay attention toname of the drug and are often totally unreasonable choose the most advertised brand. Synthetic vitamins in domestic and imported complexes are identical, vitamins differ only in the number of submitted components and their dosage. The main disadvantage of domestic products over imported is less than their diverse composition. Instead, they contain a minimal number of different flavors. Some experts even advise to give preference to domestic producers, since these vitamins are balanced with the needs of our population, and they are easier to control the quality.

2. Composition. Be sure to look at the number of members of thecomplex vitamins and their dosage. If you purchase vitamins prophylactically our site advises to select those in which the list of vitamins contains the most complete, and the dosage is at least 50% of the recommended daily requirement of not more than 100%, especially in relation to the fat-soluble vitamins. Too high a dosage, several times the per diem rates can not only produce the desired effect, but also cause health problems (more on this, see the article - "How to choose a multivitamin, Part 2").

It was found that in the oxidation of vitamin C.2 the formation of toxic metabolites, respectively the higher dose of vitamin, the more toxic substances formed. Therefore, ascorbic acid daily dose should not exceed 100 mg.

The approximate daily requirement for vitaminsof different ages can be seen in the table below. It should be borne in mind that these figures reflect only the average, as the daily norm of various vitamins is composed of many factors, such as: height, weight, activity, lifestyle, diet, etc.

Category Age (years) A mg E mg D mg K mg C mg B1 mg B2 mg B5 mg B6 mg ATfrom mg B12 g PP mg N mg
infants 0-0.5 0.4 3 0.01 0,005 30 0.3 0.4 2 0.3 0,025 0.3 5 0.01
0,5-1 0.4 4 0.01 0.01 35 0.4 0.5 3 0.6 0,035 0.5 6 0,015
1-10 years
1-3 0.45 6 0.01 0,015 40 0.7 0.8 3 1 0.05 0.7 9 0.02
4-6 0.5 7 0.0025 0.02 45 0.9 1.1 4 1.1 0,075 1.0 12 0,025
7-10 0.7 7 0.0025 0.03 45 1 1.2 5 1.4 0.1 1.4 7 0.03
Children over 12 and adults, men 11-14 1 10 0.0025 0,045 50 1.3 1.5 4-7 1.7 0.15 2.0 17 0.03-0.1
15-18 1 10 0.0025 0,065 60 1.5 1.8 4-7 2 0.2 2.0 20 0.03-0.1
19-24 1 10 0.0025 0.07 60 1.5 1.7 4-7 2 0.2 2.0 19 0.03-0.1
25-50 1 10 0.0025 0.08 60 1.5 1.7 4-7 2 0.2 2.0 19 0.03-0.1
> 50 1 10 0.0025 0.08 60 1.2 1.4 4-7 2 0.2 2.0 19 0.03-0.1
Children over 12 and adults, women 11-14 0.8 8 0.0025 0,045 50 1.1 1.3 4-7 1.4 0.15 2.0 15 0.03-0.1
15-18 0.8 8 0.0025 0,055 60 1.1 1.3 4-7 1.5 0.18 2.0 15 0.03-0.1
19-24 0.8 8 0.0025 0.06 60 1.1 1.3 4-7 1.6 0.18 2.0 15 0.03-0.1
25-50 0.8 8 0.0025 0,065 60 1.1 1.3 4-7 1.6 0.18 2.0 15 0.03-0.1
> 50 0.8 8 0.0025 0,065 60 1 1.2 4-7 1.6 0.18 2.0 13 0.03-0.1
During pregnancy 0.8 10 0.01 0,065 70 1.5 1.6 4-7 2.2 0.4 2.2 17 0.03-0.1
During the period of lactation 1.3 17 0.01 0,065 95 1.6 1.8 4-7 7.1 0.28 2.1 25 0.03-0.1

The data for vitamin B12 are given in micrograms (1mkg = 0,001mg).

Values ​​for Fat-Soluble Vitamins (A, E, D)may be given in ME (international units). Each vitamin and provitamin has its own ratio of IU to mg. For vitamin A and beta-carotene, 1 mg = 3333ME, for vitamin D - 1 μg = 40 IU, vitamin E - 1 mg = 1.21 IU

Scientists have found that vitamin A overdose inDuring pregnancy (the use of more than 3,000 IU per day) can lead to abnormal development of the fetus, especially in the first trimester. Therefore, it must be applied with great caution, given that it contains in large quantities in the liver, egg yolks, butter and dairy products. If the woman was treated with large doses of vitamin A, planning to become pregnant should be postponed for a period of 6-12 months, as teratogenic (fetal development violates) the effect of it can be maintained during this time.

How to choose a multivitamin
2a. With or without minerals? On this issue, our website can not give a definiteresponse, especially that in the majority of the vitamin complex of vitamins and minerals are found in one tablet. On the one hand, the absence of micronutrient absorption becomes impossible vitamins (such as vitamin D absorbed only in the presence of calcium), on the other hand - the relationship of vitamins and minerals while not introducing into the organism investigated through. It is known, for example, that when used with copper, iron, and the latter is oxidized vitamin E, copper also leads to the destruction of vitamin C.

In addition, minerals for consumptionshould be approached with great caution, as an overdose of them are very dangerous and can cause the development of serious diseases. The difference between preventive and toxic dose is very low mineral content. Especially because in the industrial cities of the people and so often get their excess, which leads to poisoning of the body.

Often in the soil increased fluoride content, which is an overdose leads to the development of dental fluorosis - a disease in which changing the color of teeth, and there are various diseases of internal organs.

It is also shown that the metals of variablevalence (such as copper, chromium, iron, etc.) in their uncontrolled use can lead to proliferation of cells and induce mutations increase the number of cancer cells in the body.
Daily amount of minerals for adults (mg)


15 mg

0.1 - 0.2 mg

0.1 - 0.2 mg

2 mg

0.5 mg

0.5 mg

10 - 15 mg

10 mg

0.5 mg

0.5 mg



5 g

to 1 g

0.5 g

4 - 5 g

not installed

1.5 g

6 g

Excess of trace elements may be, anda consequence of certain diseases (for example, in the blood increased levels of copper eczema, arthritis - nickel). Uncontrolled use of mineral substances with a parallel reception drugs may decrease the effectiveness of the latter, so calcium intake, iron, zinc gives tetracyclines absorbability and high doses of potassium - reduced efficiency coagulants.

Therefore, doctors are more inclined to the viewthat vitamin complexes should be taken separately, and minerals - only after consultation with your doctor and make the necessary investigations to identify the deficiency of certain elements, and preferably in the form of monotherapies.

Despite assurances from the producers of synthetic vitamins that are "absolutely identical" natural, it is not so
As an option it is recommended to use a multivitamin,consisting of 2-3 tablets in which vitamins and minerals or divided, or combined taking into account their compatibility and interoperability. Usually tablets of these complexes should be taken at different times of the day (Duovit, Alphabet).

See also art. "Mineral substances and their effects on the human body"

3. Natural or synthetic?
Despite the assurances of manufacturersSynthetic vitamin preparations that they "absolutely identical" natural, it is not. Obtained from natural raw materials, vitamin supplements contain related nutrients that help the body to more efficiently absorb essential vitamins. The synthetic vitamin complexes are isolated, without these necessary elements provided by nature. Therefore, in spite of the same molecular structure, synthetic vitamins are assimilated worse than natural.

In addition, synthetic vitamins asfiller used artificial colorants, sugar, starch, talc, gelatin, preservatives, flavoring agents and other chemicals that may cause allergic reactions.

Note that if a multivitamin compositionspecified gum and algin. Gum (gum arabic) - vegetable gum allocated a type of acacia is considered harmless, and therefore it is allowed to be added to food. However, recent studies have shown that it can cause asthma attacks and rashes on the skin, especially for allergy sufferers and pregnant women. Algin (alginic acid or sodium alginate)- Vegetable carbohydrates derived from seaweed. It turned out that they have mutagenic: may cause developmental defects in the fetus, and to oppress the reproductive function, so women of childbearing age, pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid products, which include alginates.

However, the undoubted advantage of synthetic multivitamin complexes is their affordable price.

4. Instruction and quality mark. As for any medicinal product for the vitaminsshall be accompanied by detailed instructions, which indicates the composition, indications for use, dosage, side effects, shelf life, storage conditions, the registration number and location of the manufacturer (or his representative). If vitamins are certified, they will be a sign of "product is certified, approved by the Health Ministry." The guarantee of the quality of imported vitamins is a sign of «GMP - quality assurance", indicating its compliance with the international requirements of the pharmaceutical industry (Good Manufacturing Practices).

Note the shelf life and storage conditions of vitamins. Vitamins are stored in a cool, dry, dark place after opening the package, they should be consumed within 12 months.

5. Can the use of vitamins cause an allergic reaction? An allergic reaction can occur at anycomponent multivitamin preparation, whether it is natural or synthetic origin. Therefore, people who are prone to allergic reactions before you buy vitamins, you should consult a specialist.

6. How long can I take a multivitamin? Do not take vitamins all the time.

Do not constantly take vitamins
To prevent hypovitaminosis recommendedtake multivitamin complexes (the dosage of certain vitamins that do not exceed daily) courses in the winter-spring period, lasting 1-2 months, no more than 2-3 courses throughout the year. A more long-term use of vitamins can be recommended to sportsmen, workers of heavy physical labor, hazardous industries, the people living in the harsh climatic conditions.

our website warns that if the complex contains high doses of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K, E) - they should take no more than 3 weeks.

Taking vitamins is better in the morning and afternoon hours with food for their better absorption. It is undesirable to take vitamins at bedtime.

In any case, before you start to takevitamins, should consult a doctor and pass the necessary tests, which can be identified in the body lack of certain vitamins and minerals. This will help to choose the optimal set of vitamins which best fit for you!

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