How Do Multivitamins Work?


Although consuming foods low in fat and high in nutrients is essential to a patient's health, some consumers choose to take a daily multivitamin to ensure they are receiving the correct amount of vitamins. Learning how these supplements work is essential in maintaining consistent daily use of the vitamins.


While most multivitamins are similar, dozens of types of daily supplements exist on the market, each aimed at a specific demographic. Almost all daily multivitamins are high in zinc, magnesium, Vitamin C and Vitamin A, among others, but specific multivitamins aim to target particular consumers. Women and children's daily supplements, for example, are high in calcium to promote bone health and strength, while men's supplements may be high in iron. Choosing the right multivitamin, with the right nutrients, is essential to benefit from daily supplement consumption.

How Multivitamins Work

Multivitamins are high in the necessary vitamins and minerals humans need, and these levels are absorbed by the body after ingestion. Just as the body digests food products, it is able to break down the multivitamin's casing and absorb the nutrients. The nutrients and minerals are consumed by the necessary organs and components, including the heart, blood and skin.

Understanding Vitamin Timing

To experience the maximum benefits of daily multivitamins, consumers should understand the role timing has in daily supplement consumption. Take a multivitamin in the morning, when the body is in need of nutrients and is struggling to wake and function. Pills should be ingested approximately 30 minutes after consuming a healthy meal, preferably one high in protein and calcium and low in fat. Taking multivitamins during a meal encourages consistency of use and helps reduce forgetfulness.

Understanding The Science of Vitamin Combinations

While many multivitamins offer daily requirements of the nutrients and minerals necessary to one's health, some consumers choose to consume multiple vitamins. This ensures the patient is receiving the correct amount of each nutrient, but understanding the science of how pills interact is necessary to experience the benefits of multivitamin use. Certain minerals and vitamins, for example, work well with others, while other combinations may hinder a vitamin's absorption by the body. Magnesium and Vitamin D, for example, assist in absorption of calcium and work well together, while calcium minimizes iron consumption and should not be taken with an iron supplement. In addition, Vitamin C maximizes iron absorption, and thus iron supplements should be taken with a daily multivitamin high in Vitamin C or with a glass of orange juice.

Supplements and Multivitamins

While most multivitamins offer the daily amount of minerals and nutrients needed by the human body, some vitamins specifically target certain demographics, ensuring that these consumers receive the proper amount of nutrients each day. Women trying to get pregnant or who are pregnant, for example, need increased levels of folic acid, a nutrient necessary for normal baby development; women who do not receive the necessary levels of folic acid have an increased chance of giving birth to a baby with brain or spine problems. In addition, men and women over the age of fifty need increased levels of calcium and iron, which assist in bone strength and promote circulation of blood to the heart.

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