The Truth: There’s no legal definition for “multivitamin.” Manufacturers apply the term to any product supplying two or more vitamins (minerals, phytochemicals and herbs too). In a 2006 study of 26,735 people out of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, the “multivitamins” subjects reported using included 1,246 different formulas. Nearly 70 percent were “one-a-day” types; 16 percent, B-complex blends; and 14 percent, “antioxidant” mixes. Products in the same group (e.g., B-complex) varied wildly; many provided megadoses of some nutrients.
The Bottom Line: Read labels to find a “multi” that doesn’t exceed 100 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for any nutrients.