I’ll start this story off with a fact: a one-a-day multivitamin is a sales gimmick. That’s how it all started. People generally don’t like to take pills, and taking just one a day sounds really great.
I am going to introduce a great new one-a-day multivitamin I recently discovered, while also telling you that you can’t possibly get everything you need in one pill. Stick with me; I promise this is going somewhere!
1. Why It is Good to Take a Broad-Spectrum Vitamin
Your modern lifestyle and food do not set you up for getting enough micronutrients (vitamins and minerals.) Even if you feel you eat well “most of the time” or “mostly eat organic,” it still isn’t enough.
A. For one thing our soil is not what is used to be hundreds of years ago. Even if you grow some of your own food or shop at a farmer’s market, chances are you are not getting super fresh, super nutrient-dense food year round.
The phenomena of supermarkets is amazing, but much of the food is shipped from far away. It loses nutrients while being shipped, sitting in the store, and then sitting in your fridge. The delicate water-soluble nutrients are especially at risk.
This is why I avoid buying organic salad mixes at Trader Joe’s; I can tell from the label they are allowing 2 weeks from pick date to expiration. That’s too long.
B. Lots of other factors can decrease nutrient levels in our foods:
- Cooking with the lid open or draining the water
- Eating processed foods that require stored nutrients to be digested
- Being under stress, which demands more B and C vitamin
- Taking prescription medication, which requires stored vitamins to be processed
- Not chewing well, which may lead to less absorption
- Having an unhealthy gut (from parasites, food sensitivities, etc) so nutrients aren’t formed or absorbed
So, yes, taking a multivitamin is a great idea to make sure we are getting the nutrients our cells need to function. A micronutrient deficiency is insidious, and can lead to an array of issues- fatigue, poor memory, infertility, acne, sugar cravings and more.
I recently found O.N.E. Multivitamin by Pure Encapsulations. I was excited to find it because it’s got such a nice blend of high-quality multi nutrients, in one pill, at a great price point.
When I ask people about what type of multivitamin they take, they usually tell me they picked it up at Costco or Target. This is when I cringe a bit because I’m going to have to ask them to make a change.
These Big Box store-brand multivitamins have cheap ingredients, and they certainly aren’t formulated wit the latest research in mind. Let me tell you a few things that are different about O.N.E. multivitamin.
- Has a good amount of vitamin D included, in a good form
- Has a good amount of iodine (needed for your thyroid, most people are lacking)
- Contains chromium (needed to get sugar into your cells for energy)
- Contains a good amount of CoQ10 (good for your heart and lost with some anti-depressants)
- Has a high amount of zinc (great for your immune system and fertility)
- Contains activated B2 and B5 (see below)
- Has methylated folate and B12 (see below)
Some of us express genetic variations that make it harder to convert B vitamins into the form needed for cellular functions. According to Dr. Ben Lynch, a leading researcher/ speaker in the field of MTHFR gene mutation, your chances of having one of these variations are over 50%. You can get your genes tested, and you can also test your micronutrient levels, but an easy ‘insurance plan’ is just to take activated and methylated B vitamins.
2. Why Taking One Pill a Day Isn’t Enough
I’m not your physician, so please talk with yours (preferably your naturopathic physician) before making supplement decisions.
You may have noticed the above formula does not contain magnesium or calcium. These are large nutrients that will not fit into one capsule, and they are also better to take at a separate time of day to avoid nutrient competition while taking them. I do recommend that people take a high-quality multi-mineral at night.
You’ll also see that copper and iron are not in this formula. Copper can get to toxic levels, so I believe that’s why it’s not included. You can get copper from the food sources like avocado, seafood, kale and nuts. Iron is usually not necessary for men as a supplement, and for women only if found low with lab testing. Food sources of iron include lamb, bison and beef (please choose grass-fed), cooked spinach, lentils and chickpeas.
Other things I think people should consider daily are:
- Fish Oil or Vegan Algae oil (high-quality at min. 1,000 mg day)
- Possibly even more vitamin D (depending on your status and how much sun you get)
- Probiotics (combining food form and pill daily is nice)
Every body is different and we all need a different supplement plan. I hope that covering some of the basics as well as the quality issues with multivitamins was helpful for you.
We do stock O.N.E Multivitamin at Blue Sky at it's a little over $30 for a 2 month supply. You are also welcome to ask your practitioner about designing a custom supplement strategy for your health goals.