Many of our patients ask us what multivitamin we recommend. They recognize that the healthiest American diet is still going to be deficient in key nutrients due to several factors associated with our corrupted food supply.

The answer to this question is simple: You need the multivitamin that is tailored to you.

Whereas the typical over-the-counter multivitamins that target children, adults, women, seniors, pregnant women, athletes, and so forth tout a dizzying array of essential nutrients, the reality is that the amount of any given nutrient is so small that it isn’t worth swallowing. Comprehensive nutritional testing often reveals deficits that require 10, 100, or 1,000 times as much of a given nutrient that is found in a multivitamin off the shelf.

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Even those multivitamins which do have higher doses of key nutrients miss the boat. Just because individuals in a certain category require higher than average amounts of selenium doesn’t mean that everyone in that category needs that same amount. Some will need more, some less.

Finally, the formulation of each element is important. Consumers often waste their money on supplements containing calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, probiotics, or Coenzyme Q-10 without realizing that the “good deal” they received bought them a formulation that the body cannot either absorb well or utilize effectively. It is easy to be fooled by a product that says it contains 1000% of the U.S. RDA of something when the nutrient in question reaches its target tissues in only minimal amounts. Calcium carbonate, for example, is worthless for preventing or treating osteoporosis. Even a small amount of calcium hydroxyapatite–the form that is incorporated into bones–would be more effective at increasing bone mineral density than a large amount of calcium carbonate.

For these reasons, we recommend only multivitamin/minerals of nutraceutical formulations customized to patient’s medical histories, lifestyles, and test results. Why try to wear someone else’s glasses?