You asked, we answered: How to choose a multivitamin

Bottle of vitamins


There are a lot of multivitamin options out there. What should I look for in choosing the right one for me?

Answered by Aaron Kassebaum, PharmD, pharmacist:

Most over-the-counter multivitamins have very similar ingredients and daily values of the different nutrients, so it’s hard to go wrong with any of them. Ultimately, it depends on your preferences.

Brand name vs. generic

There isn’t much difference between brand-name multivitamins and their generic versions other than cost. I would choose generic if you are looking to save money.

Gender- or age-specific

It is OK to choose a vitamin labeled for your particular age or gender if that is important to you. But a general multivitamin is just as effective. The one exception is if you are pregnant, in which case a prenatal vitamin is preferable. This is because it includes more folic acid than the standard multivitamin.

Gummy vs. pill

Gummy vitamins are made of gelatin, which is tasteless. Sugar is added to make gummies taste super-sweet. Certain gummies contain almost 20% of your daily sugar intake. If you can tolerate the pill version, that’s generally the healthiest option because of the high sugar content in gummies.

Eating a balanced diet

Multivitamins are a great supplement to your diet, but they should never be a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet. It’s best to get your nutrients from whole foods like lean meats, fruits and vegetables when possible.

Get your vitamins at the University Health Center Pharmacy

The pharmacy offers a variety of over-the-counter vitamin options for your needs. We sell generic versions to help you save money. Visit us during business hours to shop our selection.