I've tried to find an ideal multivitamin and did a little analysis. Please, correct me.
Here are the brands I looked at and some key indicator ingredients:
1 Opti-Men D3 - 300 IU, Magnesium Oxide, Aspartate 100mg, Folic acid - 600mcg, NO vitamin K.
2 Animal Pak D3 - 680 IU, Magnesium Oxide - 400mcg, Folic acid - 400mcg, NO vitamin K.
3 Damage Control Master Formula by Mark D3 - 2000IU, Magnesium (Oxide & Chelate) - 400mg, K2 (mk7) - 80mcg, NO folic acid / folate.
4 Athletic greens D2(!) - 110IU, Magnesium (as Magnesium Citrate) - 200mg, Folic acid - 350mcg, NO vitamin K.
5 USANA essentials - US version: 96.1% D3 - 900IU, Magnesium - ???, Folate - 500ug, vitamin K (Vitamin K (aS PhylloqUinone - in other words - К1) - 30ug.
6 Douglas labs - Ultra preventive X: 95.4% D3 - 1000 IU, Magnesium Aspartate/Ascorbate 500mg, Folate - 800mcg, NO vitamin K.
7 Vitamin Research Products - Extended plus: 93.1% D3 - 500IU, Magnesium aspartate, magnesium citrate 200mg, Folic acid - 200mcg, vitamin K1 & K2 (MK4 & MK7) - 75mcg.
8 Source naturals - Life Force multi: 92.8% D3 - 100IU, Magnesium (as magnesium chelate) - 100mg, Folate - 400mcg, NO vitamin K.
9 Source naturals - Elan vital: 91.8% NO vitamin K.
10 USANA essentials - Canadian version: 90.2%
11 Freelife - Basic mindell plus: 82.3% ?
12 Life extension foundation - life extension mix: 81.4% D3 - 2000IU, Magnesium (as magnesium oxide, citrate, glycinate taurinate, arginate, ascorbate) - 500mg, Folate - 400mcg, NO vitamin K.
13 NOW Superior Men's Multi - only has K1.
From this I concluded that there is no single "perfect one". Vitamin Research Products - Extended plus has good magnesium & K2 (which very rare) but has folic acid instead of folate. Out of those that have folate there is not a single one that has both good magnesium AND good K2 (in form of MK4, MK7).
Is there anything else I should be looking at?
Knowing all the trade-offs which one would you go with and why? I currently gravitate towards Vitamin Research Products - Extended plus but am I missing something important. Is there such a big difference between folic acid & folate?
BTW Ideally it should be a vitamin adapted for men (with various men-specific ingredients like saw palmetto) and ideally it should have good amounts, so it can be used by athletes.
So, what's your paleo multi of choice? Is there anything better than the ones mentioned here?
Please, don't write that you wouldn't use multi at all.
Thank you very much!
I low dose my multi. It's a three a day and I take one a day. My diets is nutrient dense but I like to be sure I cover my bases. Here's a good multi:
All the chelate are high quality the downside is that it's a six a day. That's one of the compromises of quality. Only the best.
** "An extensive body of evidence indicates that adequate folate intake may provide significant cardiovascular, cellular and neural protection. However, genetic variations affecting activation and metabolism of supplemental folic acid are highly prevalent. In line with our commitment to consistently offer innovative, science-based ingredients, Pure Encapsulations has updated a number of products†, including our multivitamins, to provide Metafolin® (L-5-MTHF). Metafolin® is a naturally occurring, universally metabolized and active form of folate, L-5-MTHF. As such, it can be directly used in a diverse array of essential methylation reactions to support cardiovascular, neural and emotional health. Additionally, clinical evidence indicates that the bioavailability of Metafolin® is superior to folic acid. In a double-blind, randomized, placebocontrolled intervention study of 144 women of child-bearing age, 5-MTHF supplementation resulted in a greater accumulation of 5-MTHF in red blood cells than equimolar doses of folic acid."
"Please, don't write that you wouldn't use multi at all."
Each of your above choices, for you, is a compromise (you used trade-offs, but it's the same thing).
Why not just buy the specifics you want at the doses you want and not worry about the trade offs. You will then have, in your mind, the perfect solution.
If you are not into taking a bunch of pills each day to get your optimum dose, buy all of them and cycle thru them daily, or better yet put them in a giant jar, mix, and randomly pull out one of them. Some days you'll be deficient on one thing, other days it will be something else. I'd think random doses of everything would be more paleo anyway.
My number one factor for a multi would be the absence of Folic Acid. (Thanks for listing those!)
I prefer to take Magnesium before bed because it helps me relax, so I don’t worry about it so much in a multi. My dosage is probably too large for a multi as well.
None of the multis you listed have the K2-MK4 or D3 dosage I want, so these become irrelevant since I will have to take a separate vitamin for each of these anyway. If that is not an option, I would favor K2-MK4 over D3. It doesn't cost anything to go outside and make some D3. You could change up the multi in winter to favor a higher D3 content.
The next factor I would look at would probably be selenium content and the source of the minerals in general. Many of the types of minerals used in multis are not very bioavailable.
The problem I usually find myself in is this: I’m already taking a separate Mg, a separate K2-MK4, a separate D3, and I am usually not happy with the mineral sources in multis; so what do I get from a multi?
ADDENDUM: Actually, the Pure Encapulations Nutrient 950 w/ Vitamin K listed in Curated Wellness's answer looks pretty good. Right now that looks like what I would recommmend for a multi for someone who doesn't want to order a lot of different types. I think it might be good option for my wife as well as someone who doesn't want to keep track with all that she is taking.
I stopped multivitamins because most contain some or all of the following: folic acid, iron, and/or calcium.
1) Douglas Labs B Complex with Metfolin/1 tablet/day
Thiamine (Vitamin B-1, as Thiamine HCI)..... 50 mg 3,333%
Riboflavin.......................................................20 mg 1,176%
(Vitamin B-2, Riboflavin-5-Phosphate)
Niacin ( Vitamin B-3, as Niacinamide)........... 50 mg 250%
Vitamin B-6 (as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate)....... 20 mg 1,000%
Folate (as L-methylfolate, Metafolin®) ....... 400 mcg 100%
Vitamin B-12 (as methylcobalamin) .......... 500 mcg 8,333%
Biotin .........................................................300 mcg 100%
Pantothenic Acid........................................... 50 mg 500%
(Vitamin B-5, as d-calcium pantothenate) Intrinsic Factor (from porcine) ....................... 20 mg *
2) Thorne Trace minerals (1-2 caps/day)
Zinc (as Zinc Citrate) 15 mg.
Selenium (as Selenium Citrate) 100 mcg.
Manganese (as Manganese Citrate) 2.5 mg.
Chromium (as Chromium Citrate) 100 mcg.
Molybdenum (as Molybdenum Citrate) 50 mcg.
Boron (as Boron Citrate) 700 mcg.
3) NOW Zinc Picolinate 50 mg/tablet
4) Green Pastures FCLO (Fermented Cod Liver Oil) 2 tsp (when not eating sardines/salmon) and 2 tsp FBO (Fermented Butter Oil)
5) KAL Magnesium Orotate 200 mg/2 tablets daily (hubby takes 4 tabs for 400 mg, I take 3 for 300 mg)
6) Carlson Bison Capsules or Radiant Life Liver Capsules 6 caps/day pp when not eating liver
7) Nature's Way Vitamin C 1000 mg (hubby take 6-8 caps over the day for 6000-8000 mg, I take 4-6 caps for 4000-6000 mg)
8) NOW Kelp 325 mcg/tab (2 caps or 650 mcg/day pp)