How to choose a quality multivitamin supplement. The fast and easy way!
Take a walk down the health aisle at any store, and you may feel overwhelmed with the overabundance of multivitamins. How do you know which is the best choice?
Not all vitamins are created equal.
As a nutrition expert, choosing the best multivitamin means opting for the most natural, whole food-sourced multivitamin. If you do not do your research, you are very likely to end up with a synthetic vitamin. If you are reading this blog, then you are probably at least somewhat interested in your health. So, why choose a synthetic/man-made form when you can have natural?
My secret to quickly knowing if a multivitamin is natural or synthetic.
The number 1 way to tell if a supplement is worth buying is to quickly look at the label and look at the Vitamin B12 source. There are likely one of 2 things it will say: “cyanocobalamin” or “methylcobalamin”.
Scenario 1: If the vitamin B12 source says cyanocobalamin- I know instantly to put it back on the shelf. Cyanocobalamin is a man-made form of Vitamin B12. Yes, made in a lab by scientists. This form of vitamin B12 needs to go through two process before your body can use it.
Process 1: Cyanocobalamin contains a cyanide molecule which needs to be filtered out by your liver. Cyanide? No thank you!
Process 2: Your body must use up a methyl group to activate the B12 into a form your body can (finally) use. Methyl groups are something we want donated to our body, not taken away! (More about methyl groups later)
Scenario 2: If the vitamin B12 source says methylcobalamin– I know it’s a multivitamin worth looking into and likely one I would buy.
Methylcobalamin is a natural form of vitamin B12. It is ready for your body to use. It already contains a methyl group, as you can tell by the name, therefore, it does not use up any of our methyl groups. And because it does not contain cyanide molecules, it does not need the liver to process that toxic piece out of our system.
In my experience, if a multivitamin lists methylcobalamin as it’s Vitamin B12 source, then it is likely a high quality product overall.
You see, cyanocobalamin is cheap for manufacturers to use, so if you find a supplement has made the decision to use the more expensive, higher quality, natural methylcobalamin, then it is likely the rest of the nutrients are quality, natural-sourced as well.
More about methyl groups…
Nutrients that naturally contain methyl groups, such as vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin), have been shown to help reduce cancers such as pancreatic, breast, and colon cancer.
Methyl groups also play an important role in keeping our homocysteine levels normal. Homocysteine levels correlate to our risk of heart disease. If you have high homocysteine levels, you are at greater risk of heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, and plaque covered arteries. Because of their methyl content, methylcobalamin, along with other vitamins, has been shown to help reduce homocysteine levels- therefore lowering many health risks.
If you think you’re doing yourself a favor by taking any old multivitamin, remember choosing a lab-made cyanocobalamin means you’ll be pulling from your methyl group pool….a pool we need to help ward of high levels of homocysteine.
All this is “one” more reason to choose a high quality, naturally-sourced multivitamin…and a good reason to think twice before deciding to just grab any bottle of a multivitamin.
Here is an awesome perspective on the power of methyl groups: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/nutrition/
Isn’t nutrition fun? Aren’t our bodies amazing? Keep visiting back to learn more about nutrition. As always, I strive to keep it short, interesting, and in layman terms so everyone can learn!
Thanks for stopping by!