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What should you look for in a multivitamin?

What should you look for in a multivitamin?

It can be a confusing shopping experience when you’re confronted by a number of multi-vitamin brands in an on-line shop, or a row of them on the supermarket shelves!

However, Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer, provides some clarity to enable you to make an informed choice. 

The most important guideline to follow is to always look for one that is specifically targeted at your age range but is also gender-specific.  Health needs vary considerably throughout your life but are also very different for males, females and children.  

Women in their 30’s and 40’s

Energy levels are going to be severely challenged at this time in most women’s lives; they may have young or teenage children, have full or part-time work and carry much of the responsibility of running a home and family.  It can be an exhausting time.  The family of B vitamins (there are eight in total) are key nutrients for producing energy, so always look for the full spectrum in your multi-vitamin.

Female hormones can behave erratically, particularly in-between pregnancies.  However, certain nutrients, specifically vitamin B6, can work wonders in keeping everything in balance, therefore always make sure there are good levels of this key nutrient in your chosen brand.


Women in their 50’s and beyond

Bone density can start to deteriorate for women as they go through the menopause.  Key bone building nutrients are vitamin D, calcium, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese and boron.  It makes perfect sense, therefore, to choose a multi that has these included (vitamin D is actually the most important nutrient for the bones!) 

Additionally, the menopause can frequently bring hormonal challenges, so look for a multi that provides a broad spectrum of nutrients (vitamin B6, iodine and zinc are key), to help smooth out any imbalances.

Men in their 30’s and 40’s and beyond

Men’s energy levels can be compromised at this time of life with the demands of a family and work pressures.  Again, the B vitamins are key in providing that much-needed energy boost!

Additionally, this is frequently a time of life when people are creating families.  Interestingly enough, whilst women will often prepare their bodies nutritionally prior to conception, men don’t really think about it!  The minerals zinc and selenium are key to producing healthy sperm, so both should be included in your selected male-specific multi-vitamin and mineral.


As we all know, children can be notoriously fussy when it comes to eating!  And getting them to eat their greens can be a real challenge!  Clearly, children need a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals, but particularly those used for growth, bones and brain development; iron, iodine and vitamin D are key but are also frequently deficient in children’s diets.  It makes sense, therefore, to ensure these are in your chosen child-specific multi, together with a good balance of all the essential vitamins and minerals the body requires on a daily basis. 

Taking a multi-vitamin and mineral is your insurance policy to good health and feeling great!