What Makes the Best Family Wellness Vitamins?
Choosing a multivitamin that fits your whole family can be difficult, especially for larger families with various health needs and age groups to consider. However, there are a few core components that you can look for in any supplement to gauge whether it is worth your time. In this article, we will discuss what the best family multivitamins look like by examining three characteristics of wellness supplements: organic vs. non-organic ingredients, type of formula, and variety of nutrients.
The first component of what we would consider to be the best family wellness vitamin is organic ingredients. Taking a supplement that is USDA certified means that particular formula utilizes at least 95% or more ingredients that have been harvested in accordance with the standards of organic farming (1). These regulations prohibit the use of GMOs, insecticides, and pesticides for all crops. Ingredients harvested in this way tend to be safer in the long-term compared to supplements that utilize chemicals or synthetic alternatives.
One of the main reasons that organic supplements are better for your body is their bioavailability, or the ability of a substance to be absorbed and used by the human body. When your body absorbs nutrients directly from food, they are typically accompanied by a host of other vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants that are necessary in order to help your body absorb the main nutrients. Without these other micronutrients present, your body may not be able to properly utilize any of the nutrients it absorbs. Synthetic nutrients often lack these extra vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as they represent just one isolated nutrient by itself. Nutrients that have been obtained organically, however, tend to be more bioavailable. In fact, studies have shown that the natural form of vitamin E absorbs twice as effectively as its synthetic form, likely because the natural form is accompanied by the extra nutrients needed for vitamin E to be utilized fully in your body (2). Clearly, organic vitamins have the advantage over non-organic options when it comes to both the efficiency and quality of their ingredients.
The best family wellness vitamins also tend to be liquid formulas. Although this can vary depending on your family’s unique needs, most family members of all ages can benefit more from taking a liquid multivitamin compared to solid alternatives like pills, tablets, and gummies. This is largely due to two factors: absorption and palatability.
Containing just as many nutrients as any capsule supplement, liquid vitamins have the benefit of better and faster absorption. The presence of these nutrients in their liquid forms eliminates the need for your body to break down a barrier in order to retrieve the precious vitamins and minerals inside. By removing the digestion step in the absorption process, liquid multivitamins allow your body to pull much more nutrition from them than it normally would from a pill. Capsules and pills require your body to race against the clock when retrieving the nutrients inside, often exiting the body before they have been broken down and absorbed completely (3). Liquid supplements ensure that you and your family will receive all the nutrients you need without worrying about losing anything to time or digestive troubles, generating a little extra peace of mind for parents.
On top of their better absorption abilities, liquid multivitamins are also much easier to swallow than typical pills. This can be extremely helpful for anyone who experiences dysphagia or when dealing with picky eaters. A great way to incorporate a multivitamin supplement into your child’s diet, for example, is to add a liquid multivitamin to their favorite drink or even find one in a flavor that they enjoy. Not to mention, liquid formulas can be extremely helpful for elderly family members too, who are at an increased risk of dysphagia and digestive issues due to old age.
A Variety of Micronutrients
The best multivitamin formulas should aim to incorporate a variety of both vitamins and minerals in order to cater to as many systems throughout your body as possible. From antioxidants to trace minerals, there are numerous different micronutrients that your body needs to absorb on a daily basis in order to function at the highest capacity. You may want to look for a multivitamin that contains all 13 essential vitamins (vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins) as well as a number of necessary minerals like zinc, chromium, selenium, iodine, and more. You should also aim to select a formula that incorporates these vitamins and minerals in healthy amounts that do not exceed the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for each nutrient.
- McEvoy, Miles. “Organic 101: What the USDA Organic Label Means.” USDA, 13 March 2019, https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2012/03/22/organic-101-what-usda-organic-label-means.
- Burton, G.W. et al. “Human plasma and tissue alpha-tocopherol concentrations in response to supplementation with deuterated natural and synthetic vitamin E.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9537614.
- Giampapa, Vincent. “The Pro’s and Con’s of Liquid Vitamins for Adults.” healthycell, 21 June 2021, https://www.healthycell.com/blogs/articles/liquid-multivitamins-for-adults.