Sunday, August 5

comparing multivitamins (male)

My doctor hands all patients something I'll call This Year's Health Recommendations - at the Annual Physical Exam [APE]. One of those bullets includes "daily multivitamin" and I've gotten into the habit of buying Bayer's "One-A-Day Men's Health Formula". Honestly, I never thought much about it.

Recently (at Costco), I spotted a different multivitamin: Nature Made's "Multi for Him" and thought it was probably a clone of the Bayer product: not so. A closer examination showed significant differences between the products. Should I switch?

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I'm just trying to make sense of this stuff.

I was mildly surprised to see that there's disagreement between what the Feds (US Department of Agriculture) and the supplement manufacturers place on their label. The most recent USDA info I found is dated 2002 and I suspect those are current recommendations. I further suspect that this stuff is examined by Real Experts, but I couldn't find it anywhere on The Internets. So, I made my own chart (the numbers are for men age 31-50 and don't apply to anyone else).

Supplement100% DV
100% DV
(USDA, 2002)
Nature Made
Vitamin A5000 IU900 µg50 (60% beta carotene)70 (14% beta carotene)
Vitamin C60 mg90 mg300150
Vitamin D400 IU5 µg250100
Vitamin E30 IU15 mg167150
Vitamin K80 µg120 µg10025
Thiamin(B1)1.5 µg1.2 mg10080
Riboflavin(B2)1.7 mg1.3 mg100100
Niacin20 mg16 mg10080
Vitamin B62 mg1.7 mg200150
Folic Acid400 µg400 µg100100
Vitamin B126 µg2.4 µg300300
Biotin300 µg30 µg1010
Pantothenic Acid10 mg5 mg10050
Calcium1000 mg1000 mg1621
Iodine150 µg150 µg100-
Magnesium400 mg420 mg2530
Zinc15 mg11 mg100100
Selenium70 µg55 µg100150
Copper2 mg900 µg100100
Manganese2 mg2.3 mg200100
Chronium120 µg35 µg100100
Molybdenum75 µg45 µg100-
Potassium4.7 g4.7 g-3
Lycopene (no RDA)650 µg  600 mcg (no DV)

So what did I learn after making this analysis (remember, I Ain't No Doctor)?
  1. The USDA (2002) and the supplement manufacturers don't always agree on RDA [Recommended Dietary Allowances];
  2. The Nature Made product is better in 10 categories;
  3. The Bayer product is better in 5 categories;
  4. Not all categories should be weighted equally (Vitamin C is more important than Molybdenum?)
Bottom line decision? I'll buy whichever is on sale.

No comments: