Multivitamins and Minerals


Manganese has received a lot of attention for its role in bone and joint health. Most multivitamins provide only a few milligrams of manganese – enough to satisfy the minimum requirements – but you may want to look for one that provides more than the minimum or consider taking a separate trace mineral supplement.

Benefits of Manganese

  • Promotes normal growth and development
  • Assists enzymes in generating energy
  • Promotes normal cellular function


Chromium is important in sugar and lipid metabolism and should be included in any multivitamin formula. However, some manufacturers include far less than the recommended 50 to 200 microgram sin their product’s daily dose. Organically bound chromium is much better absorbed than inorganic chromium chloride.

Benefits of Chromium

  • Assists in the regulation of blood sugar
  • Improves glucose tolerance in people with type 2 diabetes
  • Promotes healthy glucose metabolism


Selenium is an important antioxidant cofactor and may be important in cancer prevention. A new RDI has been established at 70 micrograms, but many formulas contain as much as 200 micrograms, which some authorities consider to be in the upper range of recommended intakes.

Benefits of Selenium

  • Acts as a powerful antioxidant
  • Teams up with vitamin E for additional antioxidant properties
  • Promotes normal growth and development

Other Nutrients

Multivitamins vary widely in their nutritional composition. Many include trace minerals such as boron, molybdenum and vanadium. While there are no established recommendations for these nutrients, experts agree that they’re necessary for good health. If your multivitamin doesn’t contain trace minerals, consider taking an occasional trace mineral supplement.

The Bottom Line

If you were to take only one dietary supplement, a good multivitamin would be your best bet. Many of us aren’t getting optimal levels of all the essential nutrients, but a multivitamin can ensure that our nutritional needs are met. The multivitamin / mineral supplement could now replace the apple in a new adage, “A multi a day keeps the doctor away”.

Multivitamin / Mineral Fast Facts

Product forms: Tablets, capsules, liquid, powder and chewables.

Uses and Benefits: Multivitamin supplements prevent nutrient deficiencies and help maintain basic body functions and processes. Multivitamin supplements may also help prevent health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritis.

Special Considerations: Always consult with a qualified health care provider before taking a dietary supplement to help treat a specific disease or condition.

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