Vitamins & Supplements

How to Choose a Multivitamin

Vitabiotics | Published: 28/05/2024

How to Choose a Multivitamin

It’s important to choose the right multivitamin so that your body gets the right nutrients it needs to support good health.

But, what multivitamin is right for you to take? And what vitamins and minerals should these multivitamins contain? We break it down…

What is a multivitamin?

A multivitamin is a supplement which contains several nutrients to support overall health and wellbeing. This is unlike single vitamin and mineral supplements which contain just one nutrient.

Multivitamins are designed to be taken alongside a healthy, balanced diet, to support and safeguard your daily nutritional requirements of a variety of different nutrients.

Should I take a multivitamin?

A multivitamin is an easy and convenient way to help ensure you get enough of the right vitamins and minerals in your diet. After all, achieving the ideal diet, with the correct level of vitamins and minerals, every day, is possible, it can be challenging.

Although a multivitamin can benefit many of us, they can help plug any nutritional gaps for those who have a restricted diet such as vegans, and they can also be useful for children to help support their growth and wellbeing. Children may be fussier with their food, so a multivitamin can help safeguard their intake of essential nutrients.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women may also benefit from a multivitamin as they require specific nutrients to help support their growing foetus or infant, including folic acid and vitamin D.

How to choose the right multivitamin

Various factors come into play when choosing the right multivitamin for you. Men and women may have different nutritional requirements for example.

Plus, over the course of our lifetime, as we age, our body’s nutritional needs change. Discover exactly what nutrients may be needed for your life stage in our interactive guide Nutritional Requirements Through Life Stages.

Certain diets may also require extra support. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you may want to take a multivitamin that contains the nutrients which are found in non-vegetarian foods. Vitamin B12 is one such vitamin. Specifically, vitamin B12 supports normal energy release and contributes to normal red blood cell formation. Another element to consider when choosing the right multivitamin, is any particular health goals. For example. some multivitamins may include certain nutrients for extra support for immune health or energy.

When observing the contents of a multivitamin, it’s important to check the label where you’ll see the percentage of the Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) contained within the supplement. The NRV provides a guide to the daily amount of a vitamin or mineral that the average healthy person needs to prevent a particular nutrient deficiency. A multivitamin may for example provide 70% of the NRV for vitamin C.

Multivitamins also come in different formats such as capsules, gummies and even liquid, so it’s best to choose what is most comfortable and convenient for you. Children for example may prefer the taste and texture of a gummy multivitamin.

What vitamins are in multivitamins?

Multivitamins can contain a large array of vitamins and minerals which all play a role in supporting the body. This includes water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. Different multivitamins are likely to contain different combinations of nutrients, so it’s important to read the information on each product so you understand what is included.

Water-soluble vitamins, such as B vitamins and vitamin C, aren’t stored in the body and are excreted when we urinate. Therefore, these need to be consumed more often.

Fat-soluble vitamins on the other hand, such as vitamins A, E, K and D, are stored in the body until they are needed. It’s important not to have too many of these fat-soluble vitamins as they can be harmful in large doses.

Multivitamin supplements may also contain minerals. These include calcium, sodium, magnesium and potassium. Trace minerals, needed in smaller amounts include zinc, copper, iron and selenium, to name a few.

If you’re unsure whether you should take a multivitamin, consult a GP, pharmacist or healthcare professional for advice.

Are men’s and women’s multivitamins the same?

Although both men’s and women’s multivitamins will contain some similar nutrients, they do have their differences. Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or going through the menopause, may require different nutrients to support the hormonal changes that are occurring in their body.

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Which multivitamin should I take?

There are many multivitamins on the market, so it’s important to know which one is best for you and your needs.

What is a good multivitamin for women?

To support women’s health, various vitamins, minerals and nutrients are beneficial.

These include iron, which contributes to normal energy release and is an important consideration during the menstrual cycle, as well as vitamin B6 which contributes to the regulation of hormonal activity.

One of our best multivitamins for women is Vitabiotics Wellwoman Original which contains a comprehensive blend of nutrients aimed at supporting women’s health including biotin for help with normal hair and skin, vitamin D to support the immune system, , B vitamins and zinc. Each capsule also contains Evening Primrose oil and Starflower oil.

For women who are pregnant, Pregnacare Max is a comprehensive pregnancy multivitamin supplement that offers the maximum nutritional support during pregnancy. It contains an advanced formula designed to help safeguard the daily intake of important nutrients during pregnancy. It includes L-Methylfolate, an advanced form of folic acid, more readily absorbed by the body. Folic acid contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy.

What is a good men's multivitamin?

There are several vitamins, minerals and nutrients that can also be beneficial to men and should be considered when choosing a multivitamin for men.

The mineral zinc contributes to normal reproduction and maintenance of normal testosterone levels in the blood, whilst magnesium, iron and niacin (vitamin B3) all contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Vitamins B6, B12 and copper all contribute to energy release, and iron and zinc both contribute to normal cognitive function.

Wellman Max is a 3-in-1 multivitamin triple pack that contains over 30 nutrients to support men’s health. These help support key areas of health such as vitamin B6 for energy, vitamin D for immune system support , zinc to help maintain normal testosterone levels in the blood, calcium which is needed to maintain bone health, and pantothenic acid for normal mental performance.

Wellman Sport, developed for men involved in sports, fitness and gym, includes 27 nutrients that support performance, including iron which contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, and vitamin B6 and B12 which contribute to normal energy release and red blood cell formation.

What is a good kids’ multivitamin?

When choosing a multivitamin for kids, there are some specific vitamins and nutrients to look out for. The UK Department of Health recommends that all children up to the age of five years should be given a supplement that contains vitamin A, C and D every day. Vitamin D is needed for the growth and development of bone in children, and helps support their immune system function. Iodine is another nutrient to consider as this contributes to normal growth in children. The mineral iron, which contributes to normal cognitive development of children, is also a nutrient that will likely be found in a good kids’ multivitamin.

Wellkid Peppa Pig Multi-vits, aimed at children aged three to seven years, come in a strawberry flavour soft jelly. They contain all eight B vitamins a well as vitamins A, C, D and E.

For babies aged from six months to four years, Wellbaby Multi-vitamin Liquid can help offer support during a time of rapid growth and development thanks to 14 important vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins A, C and D. It also provides iron which contributes to normal cognitive development.

What is a good multivitamin for over 50s?

As we age, it’s important to give our body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. A multivitamin targeted to the over 50s can help safeguard your intake of vital nutrients and there are various different vitamins and minerals to look out for.

Maintaining bone health is important as you age, therefore calcium, vitamin D, zinc and magnesium are important as they all help to maintain normal bone health. On top of this, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and selenium can help support the healthy functioning of the immune system.

To support normal vision, look out for vitamins A and riboflavin (vitamin B2), as well as zinc and omega-3 DHA, with a beneficial effect obtained from a daily intake of 250mg of DHA.

Iron, zinc and iodine all contribute to normal cognitive function, whilst vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) contributes to normal mental performance.

To support heart health as you age, thiamin (vitamin B1) is useful as it helps to support the normal function of the heart.

There are several good multivitamins for the over 50s.

Wellwoman 50+ is a comprehensive vitamin and mineral formula for women over 50, which has been developed to help maintain overall vitality and areas of health particularly relevant to those in middle age, such as heart health with the inclusion of thiamin, with pantothenic acid to support normal cognitive function for the brain, vitamin B12 for energy release and vitamin C to help support immune health.

Wellman 50+ provides a comprehensive nutritional formula for men over 50. Each capsule contains the nutrients needed to support areas of health particularly relevant to men in middle age, such as vitamin B6 for energy release, thiamin to support normal heart health, hormone support with zinc to help support normal testosterone levels in the blood, and vitamin D to support normal immune system function all as part of overall health.

Ultimately, a multivitamin can offer many of us a convenient way to safeguard the intake of a combination of essential nutrients in a single tablet/capsule. Plus, certain multivitamins can offer extra support depending on your diet, life stage and gender. If you’re unsure on the best multivitamin for you, book an appointment with your GP or healthcare professional.

Meet the Author

lucy gornall

lucy gornall


lucy gornall


Lucy is an award winning freelance health, fitness and wellbeing journalist and copywriter. She is also a personal trainer, teaching at London based studios. With 10 years of journalistic experience under her belt, Lucy was formerly a health editor across various women’s magazines and also editor for a national women’s glossy title. She now writes for various publications whilst also working on various branded content

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