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American Holistic Medical Association
Next time you head to the supplements aisle, take this cheat sheet to help you pick the best multivitamin for you. It will tell you how much of a nutrient to get each day and the best, most bioavailable form to buy, based on the recommendations of Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. Since you also get vitamins from food, roughly adjust your supplement intake accordingly, based on the nutrition info for the foods you eat.
|Vitamin A; daily dose: 5,000 IU||Cancer preventative; promotes healthy skin and eye function||Beta-carotene||Smokers shouldn’t take beta-carotene supplements because of a possible (though not understood) increased cancer risk.|
|Vitamin B6; daily dose: 2 to 6 mg||Critical for hormonal balance and the nervous system; lowers inflammation||Pyridoxine hydrochloride. Though if you have poor liver function, try pyridoxine 5 phosphate (the liver converts the former form into the latter).||Some experts recommend taking anywhere from 25 to 300 mg a day, so ask your healthcare provider what’s right for you. Also, alcohol accelerates the loss of vitamin B6 from the body.|
|Vitamin B12; daily dose: 5 to 25 mcg||Prevents anemia; important for neuron health||Cyanocobalamin. Those with pernicious anemia or malabsorption problems like Crohn’s disease may need B12 injections (usually the hydroxycobalamin form) at least initially, if not long term.||Since B12 occurs only in animal products, vegetarians may need higher amounts of the supplement (consult your doc for specific dosages).|
|Vitamin C; daily dose: 500 mg||Helps prevent free-radical damage linked to aging, colds, and atherosclerosis; boosts the immune system and reduces cholesterol||Ester-C. It’s better absorbed and gentler, though ascorbic acid does the job effectively, too.||Preliminary evidence shows that megadoses of vitamin C, though they seem to be safe, may destroy dietary vitamin B12. You can likely avoid this effect by taking vitamin C supplements between meals.|
|Vitamin D; daily dose: 800 IU||Helps prevent cancer, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease||Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the most bioavailable, naturally occurring form.||Caffeine inhibits vitamin D absorption, so have your coffee separate from your multivitamin and drink a glass of milk to compensate for any vitamin D loss.|
|Vitamin E; daily dose: 30 to 50 IU||Repairs DNA; may protect against heart disease and cancer||Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol). The synthetic forms (dl-alpha-tocopherol or all-rac-alpha-tocopherol), have also been show to have salutary effects, but not as many.||For best absorption, take it with food that contains a little fat.|
|Folate; daily dose: 400 mcg||Prevents anemia and birth defects; supports the nervous system||Folic acid||Do not exceed 1,000 mcg per day of supplemental folic acid without a doctor’s orders—too much can b...|
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