Multivitamins contain a combination of vitamins – often as well as minerals – to support people's everyday nutritional needs at every life stage.
Multivitamins for children can help to ensure they have everything they need for their growth and development, while for adults, multivitamins can be a valuable way to support busy and demanding lifestyles. For older adults, a multivitamin supplement is a convenient way to obtain optimum levels of vitamins and minerals despite reduced absorption from the diet.
Healthspan's experts have formulated multivitamin supplements – including tablets and gummies – for all the family. Browse the whole range below.
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What are the benefits of multivitamins?
Although food should always come first, multivitamins are an important way for many people to keep their vitamin and mineral levels topped up each day.
Due to the wide range of vitamins and minerals included in multivitamins, studies have uncovered evidence for a wide range of benefits, from supporting the immune system to maintaining normal heart function.
Furthermore, a review in the Journal of the American Medical Association – which looked at more than 150 clinical trials – found that vitamin deficiency was shown to be a risk factor for osteoporosis, bone fractures and more. The authors of the review concluded that 'it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.'
Read more about the benefits of multivitamins.
What do multivitamins contain?
Multivitamins formulated for different ages and lifestyles will contain different vitamins and minerals. Formulations also vary between brands, but most multivitamin tablets will contain a range of nutrients, including vitamin A, C, D and E, alongside the B vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, selenium, iodine and zinc.
Between them, these vitamins and minerals help to support all major aspects of your health, from the heart, brain and eyes, to bones, teeth, skin and blood.
- Vitamin A has benefits for the eyes and skin.
- B vitamins help contribute to a healthy mental function, normal heart function, help to release energy from food and support red blood cell production. They also have benefits for hair and nails. Find out more about the benefits of vitamin B.
- Vitamin C helps promote a healthy immune system, build collagen, and keep teeth, bones, and gums healthy. Find out more about vitamin C's benefits.
- Vitamin D3 helps maintain normal bones, muscle function and immunity. Learn more about vitamin D.
- Vitamin K helps maintain normal bones and supports normal blood clotting and coagulation.
- Calcium helps maintain normal bones and teeth, and helps to reduce the loss of bone in post-menopausal women. Find out more about how calcium supports your health.
- Iodine supports brain, thyroid and skin functions.
- Iron helps contribute to a healthy mental function and is important for red blood cell production and carrying oxygen around the body.
- Zinc helps to promote a healthy immune system, as well as normal wound healing. It is also vital for fertility. Find out more about zinc.
Which multivitamin is best?
With all the options on offer, choosing a multivitamin can feel overwhelming. The most important things to consider are your age, lifestyle, and overall diet.
Healthspan's range includes multivitamins for people over 50 and over 70 years of age, for athletes, for vegans and vegetarians, as well as chewable multivitamin gummies suitable for children, to ensure you can find the right one for you.
Read more about how to find the right multivitamin.
Multivitamins for women
Generally speaking, women and men need the same vitamins and minerals for optimal health – but there are some that are particularly important for women.
For example, women may look for a multivitamin containing iron, particularly if they experience heavy or prolonged periods.
Iodine is another important nutrient, as research shows that most people – especially women – don't get enough from their diet. With an important role in hormonal support, thyroid function and metabolism, most women will benefit from supplementing their levels.
During menopause, women might also find supplements containing vitamin B6 (to regulate hormonal activity), calcium, magnesium and vitamin D (for healthy bones) and vitamin E (to protect cells from oxidative stress) particularly beneficial.
Biotin (a member of the B-vitamin family), is also particularly popular, for its benefits for hair and skin.
Find out more about Healthspan's chewable multivitamin for women.
Multivitamins for men
There are also some vitamins and minerals that play an important role in men's health. Selenium, for example, is a valuable addition to a men's multivitamin thanks to its role in normal sperm production and a healthy thyroid.
Zinc is another important mineral, as it plays a significant role in normal protein synthesis and maintaining testosterone levels in the blood.
Find out more about Healthspan's chewable mutivitamin for men.
Multivitamins for kids
The best way for children to obtain vitamins and minerals is through food. However, given their picky tastebuds, this can be difficult to achieve.
Supplements can offer some peace of mind, providing a convenient, fuss-free way to safeguard children's nutritional needs. Gummies are often the most appealing – but make sure you look for formulations with no added sugar and a selection of vitamins and supplements that can fulfil your child's daily needs.
Many adult supplements can be taken from age 12, and some men's and women's gummies are suitable for ages 5 years and up, so check the manufacturer's recommendation.
To ensure they're getting optimal amounts of vitamins and minerals to support their growth and the development of their organs and bones, most children's multivitamin formulations include vitamin A, B, C, D, E and K, as well as minerals calcium, iron, iodine and zinc.
Nutritional deficiencies in children can cause everything from subtle symptoms (including tiredness, a lack of concentration and pale skin from iron or vitamin B12 deficiency) to rickets and osteoporosis (from calcium and vitamin D deficiency).
For more information on childhood nutrition and in particular what teenagers need in their diet, see food scientist Audrey Deane's advice.
Multivitamins for the elderly
Older adults need several vitamins in higher amounts, as the body becomes less efficient at absorbing vitamins and minerals with age. In addition, ageing can bring a reduced appetite, meaning that nutritional shortfalls are both more likely to occur and harder to correct with diet.
As a result, older people tend to develop more vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Healthspan has supplements specially designed for those over the age of 70.
Multivitamins for vegans
According to nutritionist Rob Hobson, "the vegan diet can be incredibly healthy" – but meals must be well thought out.
According to Hobson, the most common vegan nutrient deficiencies include iron, vitamin B12, calcium, zinc and omega 3 – so it's worth looking at both your meal plans and your supplements to make sure you're getting enough. Find out more about common vegan diet deficiencies.
Are multivitamins good for you?
A healthy, balanced diet is always the best option when it comes to maintaining your health. However, whether as a result of dietary preferences or requirements, a busy lifestyle, cooking methods, food miles or farming methods, it can be difficult to ensure your body gets everything it needs from food alone.
For example, analyses suggest that the nutritional value of fruit and vegetables has fallen significantly. Most notably, copper and calcium content in food has decreased by as much as 76 per cent since 1940 – while magnesium had dropped by 25 per cent. Research has found the iron levels in fruit to be 25 per cent lower.
Multivitamin supplements are an easy way to ensure we are meeting all our nutritional needs, and can be particularly beneficial for children, older adults, vegans, vegetarians and anyone with a restricted diet.
If you do choose to take a supplement, always follow the dosage information on the back of the pack to make sure you're getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals. If you order through Healthspan's call centre, our trained advisors will let you know if the combination of products you have ordered will put you over the safe upper limit of a particular vitamin or mineral.
If you need any help or advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch.