“Certain multivitamin formulas align with dietary patterns and cultural food beliefs and practices, and I think it’s important for these offerings to exist,” Ferira says. One example: vegan multivitamins. These formulas exclude ingredients of animal origin (so no lanolin-derived D3, for example) and typically leverage botanicals.
People in different life stages and experiences may also need different multivitamins. “A specialized multivitamin for prenatal support in women trying to get pregnant or who are pregnant, for example, should feature higher levels of key nutrients, particularly iron, calcium, vitamin D3, iodine, and certain B vitamins–like folic acid–on top of the baseline full array of vitamins and minerals in a regular multi,’* she explains.
Children and teens also have “unique daily vitamin and mineral needs, as well as daily tolerable upper intake levels that shouldn’t be exceeded unless expressly recommended and approved by their health care provider,” Ferira adds.
For all of these reasons, different people may need different multivitamin products.
However, Ferira generally believes that adult multivitamins have become overcomplicated and overly fractionated. “Brands who wanted to diversify their portfolios to make more money started offering multis for women versus men, active versus not active, the list goes on,” Ferira says. “In reality, these formulas have negligible or no differences and, in some cases, do silly things like cut the iron out completely for men and older adults–who still have daily iron needs, mind you–or include less calcium in a men’s formula, even though men have the same exactly daily calcium needs as women.”
That’s why Ferira says she’s a fan of a “genderless, ageless multivitamin/mineral supplement that’s truly comprehensive, high-potency, premium, clean, and supports all adults and their daily nutrient and whole-body health.” Bottom line: Don’t get too caught up in the marketing.