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What Is in a Multivitamin? This Is Everything to Know

Have you wondered about what is in a multivitamin?

In the US, multivitamins are popular dietary supplements for many kids. Even US adults think that taking their multivitamins helps improve their health. A survey found that 86% of American adults take vitamins or supplements.

Before you invest in or start using multivitamins, you need to know what they contain. In this guide, we will tell you the key ingredients in a multivitamin. We’ve also included a few tips on how to pick the right multivitamin for you or your loved ones.

What Is a Multivitamin?

A multivitamin is a type of dietary supplement that contains vitamins and minerals. Others refer to it as a multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplement. It contains dietary minerals and other natural and nutritional elements.

Certain people use multivitamins to improve their health. For example, older people add multivitamin supplements to their diets. Another example includes those who often eat only processed foods.

If they can’t eat natural foods, they must get the nutrients they’re missing from multivitamins. Those who practice veganism or vegetarianism need certain minerals in their body. Iron comes from fish, and if they don’t eat fish, they need to take multivitamins.

The Food and Drug Administration or FDA approves vitamins as a dietary supplement. However, most multivitamins don’t need to undergo their testing procedures. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, the FDA’s checking of multivitamins is laxer and looser.

It has a list of all the possible elements and vitamins that cannot be in high concentration or dose. This is to prevent certain companies from making what can be unsafe multivitamins. They also mustn’t contain new substances without getting studied by the FDA first.

Also, did you know that the United Nations’ food standards authority is the Codes Alimentarius Commission? It recognizes multivitamins as a category of food.

A Short History of Multivitamins

Did you know that a person called Dr. Forrest Shaklee formulated vitamins in the US? T

He called them “Shaklee’s Vitalized Minerals” in 1915. Later, in 1929, Dr. Shaklee changed the product to only “vitamins.”

Types of Multivitamins

Multivitamins come in different types and forms. The preparations available for multivitamins include:

  • Tablets
  • Powders
  • Capsules
  • Liquid
  • Pastilles
  • Soft gel capsule
  • Injectable formulations

Injectable formulations are only available and administered under medical supervision. Since they come in various contents and types, multivitamins also have different prices.

Each type has a pro and con. For example, tablets are portable, cheap, and easy to store. Yet, large tablets are difficult to swallow. Also, only 10%-20% of the content goes into the bloodstream.

What Is in a Multivitamin?

The next thing we do is to answer the question of what makes a multivitamin. As we mentioned, most multivitamin manufacturers must include certain minerals in their products. Those elements and minerals include:

  • Calcium
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc

Our bodies need Vitamin D to absorb calcium better and achieve better bone health. If you don’t have enough Vitamin D in your system, you can get bone and hair loss. You also have a higher risk of getting sick or experiencing bone and back pain.

If you work the night shift, take multivitamins. Get some Vitamin D even without seeing the sun. Still, know that there is no better replacement than its original food item.


Magnesium is another vital nutrient to our bodies. It helps with our bone and energy production. It can also ease sleep problems, regulate muscle and nerve function, make DNA, and more. The problem is that only a few people eat the foods that contain the right dose of magnesium.

These foods include brown rice, pumpkin, spinach, soybeans, beans, and artichokes. If you can’t eat these foods, you may have issues with your blood sugar levels or protein production. Take multivitamins to balance out your magnesium intake.


Folic acid or folate drives your nails to grow and fights against depression. It’s also vital to fetus development and the prevention of congenital disabilities. If you don’t eat avocados, beans, citrus, or your dark leafy greens, multivitamins can help out.


Iron deficiency is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in the US. A good multivitamin must contain around 18mg of iron. It can be ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluconate, ferric citrate, or ferric sulfate. It will increase your energy, improve brain function, and keep red blood cells healthy.

Vitamin B-12

You may know that eight different B-vitamins add up to the B-vitamin complex.

Yet, did you know that each one has a specialized role? Vitamin B-12’s work is to keep your nerve and blood cells healthy and make DNA. Without it, you’ll have a harder time breaking down micronutrients.

What to Avoid When Looking for Multivitamins

You now know about what goes in a multivitamin. If there are ingredients that multivitamins must have, there are also those that they mustn’t have.

Ingredients that make multivitamins unsafe include:

  • Artificial color, food coloring, or food dyes
  • Corn starch
  • Maltodextrin
  • BHT
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Carrageenan
  • High fructose corn syrup or corn syrup
  • Artificial sweeteners

Some multivitamin manufacturers add fillers and other additives to their products. This can make them difficult for your body to absorb. Make sure you check first the ingredients listed on any multivitamin you plan on buying.

If you are allergic to a food item, countercheck the multivitamins for those elements, as well. For example, you may have allergies to wheat. Before you buy a multivitamin, verify that it doesn’t have any wheat or wheat product in it.

Be even more meticulous if you’re checking the multivitamins for your children. The same applies if you’re buying multivitamins for pets. You can read more here on ordering pet meds online.

Remember that it’s not enough to know what is in a multivitamin. You also need to know what the daily recommended values for those nutrients are. This way, you don’t need to take more doses than necessary each day.

How Many Capsules Can You Take Per Serving?

You know you’re not getting the right amount of vitamins that your body needs to be healthy. You may also start feeling that taking one multivitamin won’t be enough to get you through the day.

The question now is that is there such a thing as taking too many at a time?

Doctors will tell you that there is no harm in taking 1 or 10 pills of multivitamins a day. You won’t get poisoned or sick from taking too many in a short period. Instead, the rest of the vitamins you’ll take won’t have any effect on your system.

Imagine having an empty cup represent a daily vitamin deficiency. When you take a multivitamin, that cup becomes full right away. If you keep taking more multivitamins, the cup will only overflow but not cause further harm.

Yet, before you start giving yourself 10-20 multivitamin doses a day, think about it. No evidence shows that getting more than the daily one or two tablets will help you more. It will only lead to wasting the multivitamins.

With that said, you can consume multivitamins that are past their end date. However, it’ll be a waste of time and money. Expired multivitamins have lost their potency and have a changed odor or color. It’s better if you dispose of expired multivitamins and buy a new pack.

When you buy multivitamins, don’t forget to check out which patents are expiring in 2021. This way, you know if your preferred multivitamins are still in production or not.

How Often Can You Take Multivitamins?

If you don’t know how many pills or how much to consume in a day, check the label. Most multivitamin companies put up the recommended dose and how often on the label. The common recommendation is one to two tablets a day.

Taking a multivitamin daily is a great way to keep your health up, especially if you don’t follow a healthy diet. However, be wary of taking multivitamins if you’re also taking prescription medication. Talk to your doctor first and ask if you can take your meds with multivitamins.

Why Take Multivitamins?

The modern lifestyle puts many people at risk of nutrient deficiency. You may not eat enough vegetables anymore, especially if you don’t like them. Did you know that the smallest amount of vegetables you need per day is 5 cups or more?

You may prefer unhealthy foods rather than eating healthy ones. Or you’re not eating enough healthy fat and protein. Even if you do, raised meat and eggs don’t have as many nutrients as grass-fed, pasture-raised meat and eggs.

If these are your eating habits or choices, you need multivitamins to balance out your body’s needs. Unhealthy eating habits or lack of access to fresh and healthy food can make you sick. Often, this illness comes from the lack of necessary vitamins.

One of the top multivitamin benefits is that it can help you get through your stress. With the pandemic and other stressors, you have increased nutrient needs. The exposure to the toxins in the environment isn’t helping, as well.

Benefits of Multivitamins

If you want to be more specific about its benefits, we take a closer look at what multivitamins contain.

For example, multivitamins contain calcium. As you know, calcium builds and maintains our bones. With enough calcium, you have strong bones, a good heart, muscles, and nerves.

Some studies say calcium protects you against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. There isn’t a lot of definitive evidence. Yet, if you’re at risk of these health issues, there’s no reason not to up your calcium levels.

Zinc is another outstanding element you find in multivitamins and throughout your body. It helps your wounds heal faster, gives you a sense of taste and smell, and more. While zinc deficiency isn’t common in the US, it exists and can greatly impact your daily life.

If you want to avoid the health issues we mentioned, taking multivitamins can help. Even if you’re not at risk of them, you may have low levels of essential vitamins in your system. This may not increase your risk of cancer or diarrhea, but it can still lead to minor problems.

Who Can Take Multivitamins?

Some people need multivitamins more than others. Yet, multivitamins won’t always benefit everyone. For some people, taking multivitamins can even harm them rather than help them.

The people who can enjoy multivitamins’ benefits the most are older adults, vegans, and vegetarians. People who follow a plant-based diet will miss out on the vitamins found in animal foods. They often lack vitamin B12, calcium, zinc, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D.

There is nothing wrong with following a vegan or vegetarian diet. However, you must also remember that you need to take multivitamins if you want to live right. Multivitamins will get you the minerals and vitamins that a plant-based diet can’t get you.

As you get older, your needs for calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D increase. If you weren’t getting the needed minerals when you were younger, you’re unlikely to get more in your older years. Take multivitamins to help keep up with your body’s needs.

Some more people who may need to take multivitamins are those who went under surgery for weight loss. If you follow a low-calorie diet, you’ll also need to take multivitamins. Finally, if you don’t get enough nutrients from your food alone, invest in multivitamins.

Get the Right Multivitamins for You Today

Now that you know what is in a multivitamin, you should be more comfortable taking them. Find the right multivitamins for you, and start fulfilling your body’s nutritional needs today!

Are you looking for vitamins that suit your needs? We may have what you’re looking for. Visit our contact page to let us know which medications you need.

Works Cited:

Poll finds 86% of Americans take vitamins or supplements yet only 21% have a confirmed nutritional deficiency

Real Vs. Processed Foods: Why Are Processed Foods Bad?

Everything You Need to Know About Ordering Pet Meds Online

Which Drug Patents Are Expiring in 2021?

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