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What should I consider when choosing vitamins ?

Choosing vitamins can be tough decision, especially if you’re a first-timer. When you go to any drugstore, at least a dozen brands, types and flavors of vitamins would greet you, making a buyer choose any of them thinking they’re all the same. Contrary to this belief, vitamins come in different forms because the vitamin requirements of each person are also different.

Here are some important things you should consider in choosing the best vitamins:

1) Natural vs. Chemically synthesized – Choose ‘natural’ vitamins, instead of their chemically synthesized counterparts. This is important because the body absorbs the natural vitamins easier and more effectively. In chemically synthesized vitamins, you wouldn’t know exactly which ingredients the manufacturers used and you won’t know if your body absorbs them.

2) Avoid artificial everything – A general rule in buying vitamins is to avoid artificial coloring, sugar, starches and preservatives because the body can do without these ingredients.

3) Power of the B Vitamins – While other components of a multivitamin is also important, the 8 B vitamins should be included in your choice of brand. These include vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12.

4) Stay away from Rip-offs – Vitamins tend to oversell because of “special” abilities. For instance, you may see multivitamins with an “extra strength” labeled and a 5-dollar increase compared to other brands. Some also advertise the vitamins as “10% increase in absorption ability” and add $10 to the bottle. These extras are not needed, because the body can only absorb enough vitamins.

5) Certification – Since you would be taking these vitamins every day, it is important to check if the brand is approved by the USP and have been laboratory tested. You wouldn’t want to endanger your health by taking vitamins you ‘believed’ was beneficial, would you? Always do your homework when buying any kind of drug because your health relies on it.

Gender and age can play a role in your decision because men don’t need iron in their multivitamins, while women require more calcium in theirs. While shopping for vitamins, always read the fine print and check the expiration date.

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