Here is a spreadsheet showing my in-depth analysis of each of the supplements featured in my article “What is the Best Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement?“
Please note: it only displays the first screen of columns. To see the entire spreadsheet, click here to view the file on Google Docs, and then click File > Download to download the file.
- The ODAs listed are for an average person to achieve optimum health. HOWEVER, everyone is different, and some individuals are very biochemically unusual and require extra amounts of certain nutrients or are extra sensitive to some nutrients. For example, high histamine types, whose bodies naturally produce too much histamine. I myself am one of these people, and this means I need extra Calcium and Methionine, and need to avoid supplementing Folic Acid and Vitamin B12.
- If you are unsure about the levels of nutrients your body needs, you are advised to a consult a nutritional therapist.
- If you think you have a serious health problem that cannot be cured with nutritional therapy, you are advised to consult a doctor.
Other things to be aware of when looking at this table:
- A very healthy diet will provide a certain amount of most nutrients, which is why even a good high strength supplement may not provide the full ODA, although it will provide a lot more than the RDA. This is why I created the “Minimum Supplement Amount” column, which uses the amounts that Patrick Holford states should be the minimum amount you should supplement. However, I was curious to see that even his own supplement doesn’t provide 100% of some nutrients (although it does for most of them); for example it only provides 20mg of B6, whereas his book says it should be 45mg; it only provides 91mg of Vitamin E, whereas his book says 150mg; it only contains 30mcg of Molybdenum, whereas his book says 100mcg; Vitamin C is discussed below. Apart from this, it provides at least 100% of all the other nutrients, and on the whole it provides far better nutrient levels than many other supplements, and is only narrowly beaten by the Solgar VM-2000 supplement, making either of these two an extremely good choice of supplement.
- The ODA of Vitamin C is too much to fit into a multivitamin, and too much for most people to eat through diet alone, so supplementing additional Vitamin C is highly recommended. It’s worth supplementing another 1,000-2,000mg in a separate supplement, in addition to your multivitamin.
- You are advised to also supplement a high strength omega supplement, for example fish oil or flax seed oil. As a general guide, try to find a supplement that contains 1000mg of oil per capsule, and take 2 per day.
- Supplements are no substitute for a varied healthy diet. If you take supplements but then eat nothing but unhealthy food, you’re only half way there. However, the same is also true the other way round. If you eat an extremely healthy diet but don’t take supplements, you’re also only half way there. Why? For several reasons. One reason is because food is not quite as nutritious as it used to be many years ago, due to over-farming and the long distances food often travels. Also, there is a big difference between not being ill and actually feeling great. If you get halfway there (either by only eating a healthy diet or only taking supplements) then you will probably feel reasonably good and will be less likely to get ill. But don’t you want to feel great? And what’s better, taking drugs to feel great, or taking extra nutrients?
- Patrick Holford: Optimum Nutrition Bible
- Holland and Barrett
- Various other websites where I got the nutritional content of the various supplements.