November 7th, 2014
Clients often ask us if they should be taking vitamins and/or other supplements. The short answer is: yes. Even if you’ve got a near-perfect diet, you can still benefit from vitamins.
A really good quality multivitamin is part of your foundation of good nutrition,” says holistic nutritionist Katie Chemij. “Even if you tried your hardest to have the best diet possible, the way we grow, and manufacture food now is not as nutritionally dense as it was even a couple of decades back. It’s really hard to get optimal levels of nutrients from food alone.” Therefore, she recommends combining a good quality supplement with good quality food.
But be warned – all vitamins are not created equally. The vitamin industry is massive and unregulated, and there are a lot of products on the market that are of very poor quality.
How do I know if a vitamin is a good one? When looking at a multivitamin, there are some telltale signs of a good product, and a poor product.
What To Look For
Look for a vitamin with a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals and ingredients derived from pure and natural sources.
Ensure the vitamin has a DIN number – this is present on all products that are considered pharmaceutical grade and means they are recognized for being safe and well-manufactured.
What To Avoid
Avoid products that contain sugar or corn starch – a common filler in low quality vitamins.
Avoid any kind of a one/day option. Higher quality absorbable products will have a dosage of multiple tablets, to be taken at different times throughout the day. This is for good reason – it is impossible to absorb the vitamins and minerals in a single tablet.
The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, is a book which includes product ratings for virtually all of the vitamins on the market. The rating criteria is in-depth and includes many factors such as completeness, potency, immune support, antioxidant support, among others. It is an excellent resource for determining the quality of a product.
Here are the ratings for a few of the more commonly used vitamins on the market here in Toronto:
- Centrum: 0.5 out of 5
- One-a-day men: 1.5 out of 5; women 0.5 out of 5
- Kirkland signature daily multi: 1 out of 5
- Jamieson Vita-Vim regular: 2 out of 5
- Progressive Adult: 3.5 out of 5
Does this surprise you? Many of the products on the market today really aren’t doing much for the people taking them – except lightening their wallet every month.
Improve Your Health
We recommend having a consultation with a certified nutritionist to help you determine which products will benefit you. And of course, always check with your health care provider before taking any supplements or vitamins.
As an added bonus for Nielsen Fitness Platinum clients, nutritional consultations are included in the cost of your training sessions, so be sure to take advantage of them and ask your trainer about how to tweak your eating habits to improve your health. If you aren’t a client, you can click here for a free workout and assessment for in-home personal training in Toronto, and virtual.
Updated on July 6, 2022.