There Are So Many Different Formulas Of Multivitamin (Women's, Men's, Energy, Muscle, Etc.). Is There Any Particular Formula That's Better Than The Rest?

Victoria Maizes, M.D, Arizona

Question: There are so many different formulas of multivitamin (women's, men's, energy, muscle, etc.). Is there any particular formula that's better than the rest?

Answer: The variety of formulas on the market, for the most part, is a marketing strategy by the different companies to get attention to their particular product. There are exceptions to this -- for example, prenatal vitamins. Pregnant women have specific needs of multivitamins that are different than others. Also, menstruating women may have a need for additional iron, whereas men and women who are older than 50 or so after menopause don't have a need for additional iron.

Often the companies place additional herbs into a multivitamin to differentiate themselves and to make particular claims, but the doses of these herbs are usually too low to have significance in terms of their health benefits. And so I recommend that people take multivitamins without these additional herbs and add herbs or other supplements as needed for particular conditions that they may be treating.

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