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The Wavelength

4 Things to Look for in a Multivitamin

One quick internet search will show you just how many multivitamin choices are out there. But, among the sea of options, how do you decide which one is right for you? Unless you have a registered dietitian at your disposal, it can be a tricky decision. 

First, you might wonder if you really should be taking multivitamins in the first place. 

We’ve done extensive research, and the answer is yes. Here’s why.

The typical American diet has major nutritional gaps. For example, when it comes to fruit and vegetable intake, only 1 in 10 Americans meets the recommended intake. And since fruits and veggies are sources of a slew of vitamins and minerals, those who fall into the minimal produce-consumption category are missing out on some essential nutrients. The same goes for other important foods like fish, where most Americans' diets fall short in getting enough healthy unsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty acids from fish.

While there’s no substitute for a good diet, multivitamins can be thought of as “nutritional insurance.” Most of us don’t have a perfect diet every day, but a multivitamin helps fill nutrient gaps from modern-day diets and lifestyles. 

As a registered dietitian, I have seen first-hand that not all multivitamins are equal in efficiency and quality. While there are some excellent choices out there, others leave a lot to be desired when it comes to the quantities of nutrients provided, the variety of nutrients supplied, and the quality of the ingredients themselves.

To help you make the best choice, here are five signs that a multivitamin is the right choice for you. 

#1 Consider your stage of life and specific nutritional needs

A 16-year-old female doesn’t have the exact nutrition needs as a 40-year-old male bodybuilder, and a generic multivitamin at the supermarket wouldn’t be a perfect fit for both, given their different nutrient requirements.

It’s better to turn to targeted multivitamins that are made specifically for your age, stage, and needs. 

Modern-day personalized nutrition can take your health and dollar farther than outdated broadly commercialized multivitamins. At Blueshift, we keep in mind your diet, age, and biological sex to target the specific areas where you could be lacking nutrients to help you look and feel your best. Blueshift's Foundations deliver a new take on the multivitamin in a drinkable format that your body can absorb while also personalized to you. 

For example, if you’re 50 or older, choosing Blueshift AM Foundation 33 is an ideal choice for vegan/vegetarian women, while Blueshift AM Foundation 21 targets menstruating women with an omnivorous diet 

#2 Aim for Easily Absorbed and Bioavailable Forms of Nutrients

When we say that a nutrient is bioavailable, we mean that it is efficiently absorbed and utilized by the body so that the nutrient can do its job. 

Most of us know nutrients like zinc and magnesium are important for supporting our overall health. But these minerals often come in different forms, and certain forms are absorbed more efficiently than others. For example, supplements that use magnesium oxide and zinc oxide often can’t get absorbed or utilized by the body because these forms are essentially insoluble in water.

When considering the minerals provided in your multivitamin, choosing options that do not contain magnesium oxide or zinc oxide is ideal.

Choosing a supplement in liquid form not only allows for the use of optimal forms of nutrients in larger quantities than what you may find in traditional supplements, but it may absorb faster in your digestive tract. That’s why Blueshift focuses on drinkable nutrition that your body can soak up. 

#3 Look for Nutrients in Active Forms. 

Depending on the nutrient’s form, the body may need to take an extra step to convert it into something active and usable, which may hinder bioavailability and efficacy.

Some people have no problem with this process. However, others may not be able to convert inactive vitamin forms to active forms efficiently due to genetic polymorphisms, compromised liver or digestive functioning, and the natural process of aging. 

Folic acid and vitamin B12 in the cyanocobalamin form are two examples that the body must first convert into active forms before the nutrient can be used. It has been estimated that about 30-40% of Americans can’t convert these nutrients to the active form for genetic reasons. This population should choose multivitamins that contain l-methylfolate and methylcobalamin as their ingredients. 

At Blueshift, we use bioactive, methylated forms of nutrients like l-methylfolate and methylcobalamin in our formulations to make sure you reap the benefits, despite your body's ability to convert them. Look for multivitamins with methylated nutrients when choosing the right one for you.

#4 Consider Your Diet and Lifestyle

Many people avoid certain foods like fish oil or dairy products or follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. Many multivitamins sold today may include ingredients that don’t fit into your diet – think milk, shellfish, and sometimes soy as examples. 

If you follow a vegan lifestyle, choosing a vegan-friendly supplement like AM Foundation No. 13 provides important nutrients for people following these diets. It contains nutrients that are difficult to consume in adequate amounts when avoiding animal products. Plus, unlike most multivitamins that carry little to none of these nutrients, we’ve added optimal amounts of choline, magnesium, and vitamin B12, which supplement a vegan lifestyle. 

Finding the Right Multivitamin For You

Choosing the best multivitamin for your unique needs is becoming easier with companies that are ditching generic solutions and considering the overall lifestyle of customers. While obtaining an optimal diet with our modern-day, on-the-go lifestyles is no easy feat, Blueshift’s foundational formulations are an easy way to nourish yourself daily and keep your health at the forefront.