When It Comes to Your Multivitamin Label, Less Is More
When It Comes to Your Multivitamin Label, Less Is More

Science

When It Comes to Your Multivitamin Label, Less Is More

6 min read

Essential Takeaways

  • Nutrient overflow is real: Overdoing it on one thing might make it more difficult for your body to absorb another. Most of us can get a lot of the nutrients we need through diet alone.
  • We take a food-first approach to our multivitamins, nixing the excess (like fillers and additives) and instead focusing on nutrients that fill gaps in your diet.

Unread emails. Cologne. Dinner options. Sometimes, less really is more—and in our POV, that includes your vitamins.

For example, did you know that you probably get plenty of vitamin C from your diet alone? And vitamin A, and selenium? It’s easy to see these nutrients on a vitamin label and assume that they’re needed. After all, more of a good thing probably can’t hurt, right?

But the truth is that nutrient overflow is a real thing. There’s a delicate balance to the way that nutrients work together in our bodies, and too much of one thing can hinder the delivery of another. Plus, it’s just not always necessary—and in some cases, can even be harmful. (More on that in a minute.) We’re all about a food-first approach to nutrient intake, and believe a multivitamin should only help fill the gaps in your diet. That’s why you’ll only find nine nutrients in our Essential for Women and twelve in our Essential Prenatal. Hold the extras, please, including fillers, mystery ingredients and other shady additives.

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But let’s dive into some specifics, shall we?

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Nutrients that you won’t find in our vitamins (and why):

Calcium. Here’s a surprising fact: While American women typically get more calcium in their diets than women in other countries, their bone and cardiovascular health generally isn’t any better. That’s because helper nutrients like Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, Magnesium and Boron are key to ensuring that the calcium we consume through our diets makes it into our bones in the first place—and without their support, supplementing with more calcium won’t necessarily help with bone health. (Some recent large-scale human studies even show that supplementing with calcium alone results in poor outcomes for building bone mass.)

These are all reasons why we skip it in our vitamins and prioritize the helper nutrients we mentioned instead: so you can build the proper foundation to absorb the calcium you’re already getting from your diet.

Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps out with immune system maintenance as well as vision. But the liver does a really good job of storing a sufficient supply, which is why we don’t usually need additional supplementation. (We also consume vitamin A via foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, and fish.)

PSA: Your nutrient needs change when you're pregnant or thinking about conceiving.

But the right prenatal can help support your pregnancy nutritional needs.
Learn more

B-Complex. Of all the B vitamins, we prefer to only include folate and B12 in our multi. That’s because they're so essential for life (both help out with DNA synthesis, for example) and can be really difficult to absorb through diet alone for different reasons. Consider B12, which is most commonly found in meat, dairy and eggs—that's tough for vegans and vegetarians. And in the case of folate, up to 40% of women have genetic variations that make it difficult to reap the full benefits of folic acid through diet alone. (That's why we opted for a form called MTHF, which is easier to the body to use.)

Vitamin B6 is also important for nervous and immune system health, but most women get enough of it through foods like eggs, meat, whole grains, and vegetables—which is why we decided it wasn’t necessary in our vitamins. The same goes for other members of the complex, which you might recognize by their other names: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), and pantothenic acid (B5), for example.

Vitamin C. Vitamin C’s great rep is well-deserved, since it’s vital for immune system support, bone and teeth health and more. But the good news is that we typically get plenty of it from our diet (citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, and bell peppers, to name a few), so most women don’t need additional supplementation. It’s also worth mentioning that overdoing it on vitamin C can interfere with the absorption of certain other nutrients, namely B12.

Copper. Copper is an important supporting player, aiding iron absorption and partnering with it to form new red blood cells. But most women get enough of it from their diets: nuts, beans, and seeds are great sources of copper.

Manganese. If anything, we’ve found that most women are actually getting too much manganese in their diets—and that’s an issue, since an excess can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients like iron and zinc. This nutrient is important for brain health, but you’re almost definitely getting plenty of it through food products containing soy, as well as shellfish and sweet potatoes. You won’t find it in our vitamins.

Selenium. This mineral aids with our metabolism and thyroid, but we only need a small amount of it—which most women get easily through food sources like nuts and fish.

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Fillers and additives have no place in your multivitamin.

Nutrient overflow is one thing. Filler ingredients are quite another, especially since they’re often difficult to discern on your vitamin label, so you don’t totally know what you’re putting in your body. We skip unnecessary extras like colorants, mystery synthetic fillers, sugar, and common allergens like gluten. Instead, we only include high-quality, vegan-friendly nutrients your body needs… and none of the B.S.

Basically, we decluttered your vitamin for you. But the nine nutrients we do include in our Essential for Women are where we put the “more” in “less is more.” It wasn’t enough for us to zero in on the nutritional gaps most of us need filling (and skip the rest). We also had to cross the globe to find some of the very best forms of those nutrients, and reimagine a capsule that would deliver those forms in the most optimal way possible. In other words, it’s doing way more with way less—an MO we can definitely stand behind.

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