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Research suggests you may want to pass on the multivitamins—here’s why


Multivitamins aren't what they say they are Pin It
Photo: Well+Good Creative

You’re not getting enough vitamin D in the winter, you have a sneaking suspicion you’re iron deficient, and since cutting out dairy, you’ve felt like you may be lacking on the calcium front. But instead of taking a dozen different vitamins, you’re opting instead for a single multivitamin, because #efficiency. Well, unfortunately, you may want to rethink that decision: According to a recent report from the independent testing group ConsumerLab, 46 percent of multivitamins don’t do what they claim.

Of the 35 popular multivitamins tested for nutrients including folic acid, calcium, and vitamin A, nearly half contained either less of or more of what was advertised and claimed on the bottle.

Of the 35 popular multivitamins tested for nutrients including folic acid, calcium, and vitamin A, nearly half contained either less of or more of what was advertised and claimed on the bottle, and both of those situations can be harmful and unhealthy for your body, Reader’s Digest reported.

So, how should you get more nutrients? Researchers say first, you should consult a nutritionist or another expert, and registered dietician Dana Greene added that the answer to your nutrient issues, somewhat obviously, begins with your diet. “Foods provide things that a pill can’t,” she said. “It’s not about isolating a magic ingredient but how all of the nutrients in a food work together, synergistically.”

But it’s totally possible that you may need to give your diet a helping hand to get all of your nutrients. When you are looking to up your vitamin intake, Tod Cooperman, MD, president of ConsumerLab, suggests you stick to single vitamin supplements, avoid gummy vitamins (a whopping 80 percent of those examined failed testing), and choose smaller capsules, which should lead to more accurately labeled vitamins. “If they are too large, they don’t break down fast enough,” he said.

But before you head to your local health store (or Sephora), consider this quick refresher on vitamin and supplement shopping.

Here are a few great reasons to take a magnesium supplement, and use this hack to increase your vitamin C intake