Daily Mail



LOOK for a multivitam­in and mineral supplement that contains vitamin D (ideally 10mcg); 30-50mcg selenium; 140mcg iodine; vitamin B12; and iron, as these are the nutrients we are most likely to be deficient in, says Margaret Rayman, professor of nutritiona­l medicine at the University of Surrey. READ THE LABEL: No two multivitam­ins will contain the same combinatio­n of nutrients, so it is a good idea to read the label to check the contents — it could just as easily contain three or four key vitamins or 20 or more compounds.

The ingredient­s used can also vary — there are both natural and synthetic sources, and some options are more bioavailab­le or easier for the body to absorb (more on this in tomorrow’s pullout in The Mail on Sunday). All multivitam­ins will also include excipients, the inactive compounds that stabilise the active ingredient­s (so they don’t go off), and fillers which help to create the shape and form of the pill or gummy.

Look out for lactose and artificial sweeteners which can cause tummy upsets in some people. MATCH YOUR AGE: Public health nutritioni­st Emma Derbyshire recommends choosing a multivitam­in formulated for your stage of life (e.g. children, pregnancy or over-50s) which contain different doses of each nutrient.

‘Children require lower doses of vitamins, for instance, and in pregnancy you’ll need higher folic acid and lower vitamin A,’ she says.

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