Question:

I am so confused about reading so much information on which multivitamin to take or not to take. Is there a multivitamin that you would recommend for a woman 50+ years older? I am in menopause and did look at a vitamin for women 50+ and older.

– Mary F.

Answer:

I agree – there are so many brands for so many concerns! Age is one factor to consider. Diseases you’re at risk for are another aspect. What micronutrients* might be lacking in your diet is another. Menopausal women should focus on adequate B-complex vitamins, Vitamin D3, and magnesium. If you eat well, it’s possible you get enough of these from natural sources and fortified foods daily. But if you just want to cover the bases as an insurance, then a multivitamin/mineral that includes these would be fine. If your diet is all over the place with no consistency and poor nutrient quality, I’d go for a higher potency multivitamin/mineral. And if you’re taking other supplements that include vitamins or minerals (such as a calcium-enriched protein drink), you may want to adjust how much of those nutrients to target from your multi.

No matter the brand, I’d recommend splitting the tablets between morning and night for optimal utilization. More constant delivery best mimics how your body uses micronutrients throughout the day. It would also be the most cost-effectiven use of your supplement so you’re not losing (in urine) what you’ve paid for. I’d choose one with a USP Verified mark, which indicates the company has followed good manufacturing processes to ensure their product contains the micronutrient levels stated on the package.

*Phytonutrients, probiotics, coenzyme Q10 and omega-3s are not vitamins or minerals, and can be supplemented separately.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.


 

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