Understanding Multivitamin Labels
The questions that I often hear from my Patients and Clients is how much of each vitamin and mineral should we aim for daily. I would like to break down the various A's, Bs & C's along with some minerals most of us don't know what they do OR how to get them into our diets. The goal is combined with FOOD so it should be a SUPPLEMENT/ FOOD balance.
On our labels here in the USA, you will see RDA which stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances( varies by sex & age) and DV's which are Daily Values set by the Food and Drug Administration. We will see NEW DV's in July 2018.
I am providing a RDA on the pic above and DV listed for the following vitamins and minerals for some of the most common you will see on multivitamin labels.
Vitamin A - typically mixed with Retinol and Beta Carotene. The DV is 3,000 IU. Avoid more than 10,000 IU( 3,000 MCG), if pregnant. Avoid high doses of Beta Carotene 25,000- 50,000 daily if you smoke.
Vitamin D - 800 IU's from 400 IUs, the new DV has doubled. It is added to milk, some breakfast cereals and some yogurts. Sunlight is not good for our SKIN but most of us use it as a source of Vitamin D. In my field , I would aim toward food sources. I have certainly seen my share of Sun Damaged and that can't be reversed!
Vitamin B 12 - 2.4 mcg which is a drop from 6. We may lack some stomach acid to digest and absorb from our meats, eggs and dairy foods. It is best to get it from a supplement to assist along an adequate intake of food sources. This applies to our Vegans as well.
Biotin & Pantothenic Acid - Plenty of these 2 are in our foods!
Iron -Premenopauseal Women should get the DV which is 18 mg. Men and Post Menopausal this does not apply to.No more than 10 mg for this group.
Magnesium - DV is 420, a slight increase from 400 . Leafy greens, whole grains & nuts are the best food sources.
Selenium - DV is 55 mcg , dropping from 75 mcg.Most of selenium can be acquired by food sources.
Chronium - DV is 35 mcg from 120 mcg. Type 2 diabetics have heard it can lower blood sugar, that is false!!
Iodine, Manganese, Molybdenum Chloride & Boron - The CDC ( Center for Disease Control & Prevention) The 20's - 30's women should get enough iodine which is essential for a developing brain during pregnancy. Dairy and Seafood are good sources. The other minerals listed, we get from our food sources.
Vitamin C - DV is increasing from 60 mcg to 90 mcg. Smokers need 125 mcg. 2nd hand smoke should ingest 125 mcg as well. More than 1000 mcg can cause diarrhea.
Vitamin E - DV is lowered to 15 mcg from 30 IU. Food Sources include: nuts, oils, whole grains and leafy greens. Avoid taking doses greater than 100 IU.
Vitamin K - DV is 120 mcg increasing from 80 micro. Leafy greens are the best source. Be aware if you are taking blood thinners such as Warfarin. Check with Dr. if this is your case.
Folic Acid - DV is 400 micrograms Pregnant women should aim for 400 mcg, it can decrease the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida.
Calcium - DV is 1,300 from 1,000 mcg. Children aged 9-18 needs match 1,300 mcg. Pre menopause and Men up to 70 yrs old is 1,000 mcg, Post menopause and Men over 70 yrs old is 1.200 mcg. Food Sources include: Milk, Yogurt & Cheese.
Phosphorus- DV is 1,000 milligrams. Occurs naturally in meat, poultry, grains & dairy. Processed foods contain it as well which should be limited in your diet.
Zinc, Copper - DV is 11mg dropping from 15millgrams, DV for Copper is dropping from 2 mg to 0.9mg. Too much Zinc can make it difficult to absorb Copper.
Potassium - Dv is increasing from 3,500 milligrams to 4.700 mg.May of us can't reach this level. Potassium can help lower blood pressure. Most multis has less than 100 mg.In most multis , you get it in the form of Potassium Chloride. It is best to achieve needs from fruits , vegetables.
Nickel, Silicon, Tin, Vanaduim - nothing concrete that we even need these!