what vitamins and minerals are good for the brain?

How to Select the Best Multivitamin for Brain Function

David Tomen
Author:
David Tomen
18 minute read

vitamins for brain function and concentration

Did you invest as much time and effort selecting the multivitamin you use every day as you did for the last nootropic you added to your stack?

Like most of us, your answer is likely “No”.

With thousands of multivitamin and mineral complexes to choose from where do you even start?

And then at least once a year we’re slammed with headlines proclaiming multivitamins are harmful to our health.[i] Or simply do not work.[ii]

Who are we to believe?[iii]

In this post we investigate top health concern and the proven benefits of using multivitamins and minerals[iv]. Vitamins that are critical for optimal concentration, memory[v], mood, eliminating brain fog and for overall brain function[vi].

We delve into why we avoid “pharmaceutical grade”, “USP grade” and other synthetic multivitamins and minerals. And how to quickly evaluate “Whole Food” and “Raw Food” vitamins when optimizing brain health.

And which is best? Vitamins and minerals grown in yeast? Or are “chelated” nutrients best for protecting cognitive health.

We then summarize what to look for in a multivitamin supplement, so we are not only getting our money’s worth. We are also choosing the best multivitamin and minerals for optimal brain function while avoiding cognitive decline.

The best multivitamin for men and women on the market today is:

Performance Lab NutriGenesis® Multi

Multivitamins Proven to Benefit Healthy, Young Adults

Research on the effects of multivitamins are most often with the elderly or people dealing with a specific disease. And not with healthy young adults.

So, researchers at Northumbria University set out to determine the effects of multivitamins in healthy people. To find out if a vitamin and mineral supplement could improve mood and mental performance and reduce fatigue.

In a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study, 215 healthy men aged 30 – 55 were given a multivitamin or placebo for 33 days.

What to look for in a multvitaminThe men were tested at the beginning of the study. Then again at the end for mood, stress, memory and general health.

After 33 days of using a daily multivitamin, researchers reported significant improvements in general mental health, reduced stress, increased vigor, and an overall improvement in mood.

The men who used multivitamins during the trial also showed improved memory and reduced mental fatigue. The placebo group experienced no significant changes.[vii]

While the study itself is encouraging, it fails to report if the “healthy young men” were nutrient deficient in the first place.

Most nutrition experts insist on telling us that a balanced and nutritious diet is the best way to obtain the nutrients we need for optimal health.

But what most of these so-called “experts” who are often quoted in the press fail to recognize is most “healthy” people in our society maintain a less-than-perfect diet.

And study after study show the majority of ‘healthy’ people are nutrient deficient.[viii]

Even the most determined biohackers following a “perfect diet” can still be starved of nutrients.[ix]

Because even if you do eat well, where and how your food was grown directly influences your nutritional intake. Soil quality, storage, processing and cooking all have a significant impact on nutrient levels in your food.

Vitamins for brain memory and concentration

The Problem with our Food Supply

A 2004 study of fruits and vegetables found that everything from protein to calcium, iron and Vitamin C has significantly declined since 1950. The study looked at data for 13 nutrients across 43 vegetable crops.[x]

Research of fruits and vegetables show minerals, vitamins and protein content has dropped substantially over the past 50 – 70 years.

And the problem is not just Big Agra developing new varieties to increase yields at the expense of nutrient density.

The Problem with our Air

Irakli Loladze, a mathematician by training, studied nutrient and vitamin levels in plants for the last 15 years. Loladze found the earth’s atmosphere had 200 parts per million of carbon dioxide (CO2) before the industrial revolution.

Last year, the planet crossed over the 400 parts per million threshold for CO2.

Now this may seem like a good thing because plants thrive on CO2. And higher CO2 levels aid in photosynthesis which means increased plant growth and more food.

But increased and rapid growth also leads to plants creating more carbohydrates like glucose. Instead of other nutrients that our bodies and brains need like protein, iron and zinc.

While at Princeton University in 2002, Loladze published his first paper in Trends in Ecology and Evolution. His paper argued that rising CO2 and human nutrition were inextricably linked through this global shift in plant quality.

This problem with the world’s (and our) food supply has not yet crossed the radars of most health and nutrition experts. Loladze was the first to pull together the math and biology needed to get to the bottom of this potential global catastrophe.[xi]

What does this mean for you when doing whatever you can to improve cognition, memory and mood?

It means you do what you can to eat the best quality and variety of food that you can find. And make up the rest of your body and brain’s demand for nutrition through supplements and nootropics.

One of the best things you can do for your nootropic stack is add a good quality, daily multivitamin.

How to choose a multivitamin

What to Look for in a Multivitamin

If your multivitamin/mineral supplement doesn’t seem to be providing a benefit you can feel

… chances are you bought the wrong supplement.

Multivitamins and supplements sold by the big chain discount stores or drug stores are often cheaper, synthetic and usually petroleum-based compounds. And not food-based supplements.

For example, a recent review of 67 studies found “no convincing evidence” that antioxidants reduce the risk of death. And that vitamins A and E interfere with the body’s natural defenses.

Naturally, Big Pharma and mainstream media ensured this study made headlines about how vitamins do not work. And are bad for you.

But no one seemed to notice a quote near the very end of the study that said, “Because we examined only the influence of synthetic antioxidants, our findings should not be translated to potential effects of fruits and vegetables”.[xii]

Best Vitamins for the Brain

As a neurohacker, you are likely onboard with the idea that whole foods are better for you than refined foods. And the same goes for vitamins and minerals.

what vitamins and minerals are good for the brain?Food-based vitamins and minerals are isolated from foods that naturally produce that nutrient. Or created in a yeast-based culture that produces a form identical to what your body recognizes as a vitamin or mineral.

For example, Vitamin B1 (thiamine) exists in food in the forms of thiamin pyrophosphate, thiamin monophosphate, and thiamin. Non-food Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate) is a coal tar derivative which is never found in the human body.

The table below provides the form of each vitamin found in a food-based multivitamin. And the same type of vitamin to avoid because it is made from a chemical process often using petroleum.

Use the table below to compare to your own bottle of multivitamins. Or a bottle you find on the shelf at the vitamin store.

One of the best ways to tell if a multivitamin bottle contains natural vitamins or non-food vitamins (often called “USP vitamins, or “natural”) is to know the chemical names.

When you see the word “natural” on the bottle, you can be sure it is not the type of vitamins your body will recognize as food.

Food vs Non-Food Vitamins

Look for this form of vitamin in your multivitamin to
buy (food-based)
Look for this form of vitamin in a multivitamin to avoid (vitamin analogue chemical form – often called “natural” or USP)
Vitamin A/Betacarotene; retinyl esters; mixed carotenoids Vitamin A acetate; vitamin A palmitate; betacarotene (isolated)
Vitamin B1; thiamin pyrophosphate (food) Thiamin mononitrate; thiamin hydrochloride; thiamin HCL
Vitamin B2; riboflavin, multiple forms (food) Riboflavin (isolated); USP vitamin B2
Vitamin B3; niacinamide (food) Niacin (isolated); niacinamide (isolated)
Vitamin B5; pantothenate (food) Pantothenic acid; calcium pantothenate; panthenol
Vitamin B6; 5’0 (beta-D) pyridoxine Pyridoxine hydrochloride; pyridoxine HCL
Vitamin B9; folate Folic acid
Vitamin B12; methylcobalamin; deoxyadenosylcobalamin Cyanocobalamin; hydroxycobalamin
Choline (food); phosphatidyl choline (food) Choline chloride; choline bitartrate
Vitamin C; ascorbate (food); dehydroascorbate Ascorbic acid; most mineral ascorbates (i.e. sodium ascorbate)
Vitamin D; mixed forms, primarily D3 (food) Vitamin D1 (isolated); Vitamin D2 (isolated); Vitamin D3 (isolated); Vitamin D4; ergosterol (isolated); cholecalciferol (isolated); lumisterol
Vitamin E; RRR-alpha-tocopherol (food) Vitamin E acetate; Mixed tocopherols; all-rac-alpha-tocopherol; d-l–alpha-tocopherol; d-alpha-tocopherol (isolated); dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate; all acetate forms
Biotin All non-yeast or non-rice vegetarian biotin forms
Vitamin K; phylloquinone (food) Vitamin K3; menadione; phytonadione; naphthoquinone; dihydro-vitamin K1[xiii]

avoid folic acidI’ve found one of the simplest and quickest ways to assess a multivitamin or B-Complex bottle for quality and “food-based” is to look for Vitamin B9 (folic acid) or Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin); neither of which is food-based.

If either one is on the label then the entire bottle is to be avoided because the rest of the bottle is unlikely to be a quality, food-based vitamin complex.

The bottom-line is there are only two types of vitamins sold; food vitamins and non-food vitamins.

The label of a food multivitamin will typically read “100% Food”. And should also state “no USP nutrients” or “no synthetic nutrients”.

Avoid USP Vitamins, Pharmaceutical Grade, and Natural or All Natural

Non-food vitamins are a little more difficult to distinguish. They certainly will not state “100% Food” on the label. And they certainly will not claim “no USP or synthetic nutrients”.

"natural" multivitamins are all syntheticIf a multivitamin label states that the product contains “USP vitamins” or “pharmaceutical grade” nutrients you can be sure that it is NOT a food-based vitamin.

If a multivitamin bottle declares that it is “natural” or “all natural” you can be pretty sure it is a chemically-derived vitamin complex.

One of the bigger red flags is when a vitamin manufacturer uses the term “yeast-free” on the label. The problem here is most of the highest quality, 100% food-based vitamins are grown in a yeast culture.

Beware of Whole Food Multivitamins

Another sneaky marketing trick vitamin and mineral makers use is to include a blend of fruit and vegetable powders in their multivitamin formula. Leading you to think this “Whole Food” vitamin and mineral stack is all food-based.

If the manufacturer states that their multivitamin is “food-based”, it often indicates synthetic vitamins with a small amount of food powder mixed in to trick you into thinking it’s the real deal.

Whole Food ≠100% Food-Based Vitamin

whole food multivitamins food powders block absorptionBut there’s another problem with these fruit and vegetable powders …

“Whole Food” multivitamins contain anti-nutrients

Natural foods contain oxalates (reducing absorption of calcium, iron and magnesium), phytates (reducing absorption of calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and Vitamin B3 (niacin)) and lectins (which can cause leaky gut and make it difficult to absorb micronutrients).

Doesn’t it seem counter-productive to choose a 100% food-based multi but then have it include fruit and vegetable powders that will prevent their absorption?

Best Minerals for the Brain

Studies have shown that certain minerals are directly involved in cognitive function and assist with avoiding age related cognitive decline.

best minerals for your brainThe most critical of these minerals include; calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc.

The full list of macrominerals and microminerals looks more like this; boron, calcium, copper, chromium, iodine, iron, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, strontium, vanadium, and zinc.

In an ideal world, we get minerals from our food. But poor farming practices, depleted soil, loss during storage and transport, loss during cooking, poor digestion and dysfunctional metabolism means …

… most us are deficient.

So, we must supplement with minerals if we want to achieve optimal performance and cognitive health.

But taking minerals as supplements is not as easy as it sounds. Most neurohackers agree that we should avoid consuming industrial chemicals when it comes to vitamins.

But we often overlook these synthetic chemicals when it comes to the minerals our body and brain need to survive and thrive.

Inorganic vs organic minerals

Unlike humans, plants have roots or hyphae which aid in the absorption of minerals. And plants can also decrease the toxicity of compounds by changing their biochemical forms.[xiv]

The first problem is most minerals used in supplements including multivitamin formulas do not contain protein chaperones or other food factors needed for mineral absorption into your cells.

And second, nearly all minerals in supplements are industrial chemicals made from processing rocks with one or more acids. Which is not only un-natural but can lead to toxicity in your body and brain.

Pick up most multivitamin bottles and look at the bottom of the ingredient list for minerals. You will notice right away minerals bound to inorganic minerals like ascorbates, aspartates, glycinates, carbonates, phosphates, picolinic acid, or oxides.

These additional inorganic minerals are bound to other inorganic minerals (processed rocks) in multivitamin formulas in an attempt to boost bioavailability.

But your body was designed to eat food and get your minerals from foods.

Organic minerals naturally found in food are typically attached with some type of peptide. Once digested, the minerals bind to amino acid carriers for transport into and throughout your body.

This binding process is called “chelation”. By binding the two, the amino acid can transport the mineral across the intestinal lining into your bloodstream. And then release the mineral to do its designated job.

Chelated Minerals

We attempt to duplicate this natural process by using mineral supplements. And this is where things break down.

Our bodies are not designed to metabolize minerals like plants do. Binding ground up rocks and attaching the mineral molecule to another inorganic molecule has a questionable safety record.

For example, no one knows for sure the ramifications for the human body by using something like zinc attached to picolinic acid (zinc picolinate) long-term.

Look for a multivitamin that uses chelated organic minerals, or minerals naturally grown in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (brewer’s yeast).

Both methods produce organic minerals that your body can recognize and use.

Yeast-Grown Minerals

Minerals that are cultured in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (brewer’s yeast) use a manufacturing process very similar to conventional farming. The process uses a preparation of the target mineral, seeding it into a yeast culture, allowing the culture to grow and then harvesting.

multivitamin with yeast-grown vitamins & mineralsThe result is a mineral like what your body expects if it got the same mineral from food.

You’ll recognize this form of mineral when it is listed on the ingredients label that reads like; “Selenium – from S. cerevisiae”. It means the selenium was cultured in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Mineral chelates are more difficult to distinguish. Because any manufacturer can claim their product is a mineral chelate by simply adding an amino acid to a mineral molecule. Which is supposed to improve its bioavailability.

But not all mineral chelates are nutritionally functional or useful to your body.

multivitamin with chelated-mineralsThe science behind a nutritionally functional chelate is far too complex for this post. To put it simply, a mineral must be chelated in a specific manner for maximum bioavailability and for metabolism to occur.

The only company that I know of who produces mineral chelates that work. And have the science to support their claims is Albion Minerals. The company has more than 70 patents backing up their chelation procedures.

Albion licenses their products to a few of the larger supplement manufacturers like Blue Bonnet, Doctor’s Best, Nature’s Sunshine, Natrol, NOW Foods, Douglas Laboratories, Solgar, and Swanson Vitamins.

Best multivitamin for brain function

What to Avoid in a Multivitamin

The vitamin and dietary supplement market is a $132.8 billion industry.[xv]

This staggering number means an overwhelming number of choices when you’re trying to select the best multivitamin/mineral supplement along with your healthy diet.

We can narrow our focus by choosing to ignore all the vitamins made or processed with petroleum derivatives or hydrogenated sugars.

Some glaring examples of what you do not want in your body. And can be used as a model for your ‘exclusion’ list.

Centrum Multivitamin/Mineral is manufactured by one of the kings of Big Pharma – Pfizer. The Centrum formula contains hydrogenated palm oil, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, and artificial color Yellow #6 which are poison for your mitochondria. The entire formula are synthetic vitamins and minerals made primarily using petroleum derivatives.

Flintstones Complete Multivitamins for kids must safe – right? Think again. Their formula contains glucose syrup, sugar, gelatin, beeswax, carnauba wax, and vegetable oils. Every vitamin and mineral in this stack is synthetic.

One A Day Men’s Health Formula Multivitamin is Amazon’s #1 bestseller for a men’s multi. Which is disheartening. The biggest red flag here, and which you can take away across all major multivitamin brands, uses the dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate form of Vitamin E.

Whenever you see this synthetic version of Vitamin E in a multi formula you can be certain the rest of the formula are cheap, synthetic versions of each vitamin and mineral. Which could result in age related memory decline and cognitive aging instead of keeping your brain healthy.

The quickest way to access the quality of a multivitamin is to scan the ingredients label for the type of Vitamin E, Vitamin B9 (folate) and Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin).

Folic Acid is the cheap, synthetic version of Vitamin B9 you’ll find in most major brands of vitamins and fortified cereals and other processed foods.  You can read more about the problems with Folic Acid in my review of Vitamin B9 here.

Cyanocobalamin is the cheap, synthetic version of Vitamin B12 found in most major multivitamin brands. Your body uses methylcobalamin and not cyanocobalamin.

We have plenty of studies demonstrating the problems using folic acid and cyanocobalamin. One example comes from Johns Hopkins University which found pregnant women with high circulating levels of folic acid and cyanocobalamin tripled their risk of having a child with autism.[xvi]

We have similar problems with synthetic vs natural forms of Vitamin E. Natural Vitamin E is composed of α-tocopherol, ß-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol and δ-tocopherol, and four tocotrienols subunits.

The most common form of synthetic Vitamin E is called DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate (also called all-ras alpha-tocopherol acetate). If you see either terms for Vitamin E listed on a multivitamin label, put it back on the shelf. It doesn’t work.[xvii]

So keep this in mind …

If you see just one of the synthetic versions of Vitamin E (DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate), Vitamin B9 (folic acid) or Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) …

… you can be certain the entire multivitamin stack is synthetic and useless. Do not buy it!

The bottom-line here is to avoid mass-market synthetics like Centrum, drug store chain brands, grocery store chain brands, most vitamin store chain brands, and membership club brands.

Best Multivitamin for Brain Health

First, be aware that most multivitamins marketed as “natural”, “food-based” or “USP-grade” are synthetic.

If a multivitamin formula contains 10% natural, plant-derived ingredients it can be advertised as “natural”. The rest of the formula (90%) is synthetic.

A multivitamin can be marked as 100% organic and not contain a single plant ingredient. It could even be derived from coal tar or wood pulp. But marketed as “organic”.

So, ignore bright, pretty photos of fruits and vegetables and happy models, and concentrate on the ingredients label.

Many ‘natural’ vitamins are synthetics. But not all synthetics are “bad”.

Manufacturers will include something like acetate, bitartrate, chloride, gluconate, hydrochloride, nitrate or succinate to improve bioavailability.

‘Food-sourced’ ingredients generally have some type of food listed after the vitamin name on the label. Identifying the ‘source’ of that nutrient.

cheap multivitamin minerals are just ground up rockIf the vitamin or mineral listed on the ingredients label contains no source (i.e. it’s blank), you can be sure it is synthetic. And is likely a petroleum derivative (or ground up mineral rock).

The “d” or “dl” form of any vitamin is synthetic. And is almost always bad news. For example, the “DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate” form of Vitamin E has been shown to increase the chances of stroke.[xviii]

Refer to the table above in “Food vs Non-Food Vitamins” of each vitamin for the preferred source.

It should be listed on the label as derived from a food source or made using a yeast culture (i.e. Saccharomyces cerevisiae) for safety and better bioavailability.

Any minerals listed on the label without a source are basically ground up rock.

Minerals that are bound to inorganic minerals like; ascorbates, aspartates, glycinates, carbonates, phosphates, picolinic acid, or oxides are an attempt by the manufacturer to boost bioavailability in your body.

The best source for minerals that your body can use naturally are cultured using yeast (i.e. Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Or are chelated using the chelation method invented and patented by Albion Minerals. Check the label.

And finally, capsules are better than tablets because they usually do not contain binders, flavoring and coloring. And do not lose their potency which can happen from the heat produced by pressing tablets.

Multivitamins and minerals in capsule form also dissolve better and faster in your digestive system.

The bottom-line: the best multivitamin/mineral formula for you is the one that works best. You should feel the difference after supplementing with it for a few days.

My favorite multivitamin is the  Performance Lab® NutriGenesis Multi because it reflects everything I’ve covered in this post for selecting the best multivitamin. And I feel great when I’m using it.

You’ll know it’s working if you run out and you don’t feel like yourself until you replenish your supply.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may also contain other affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

[i] Mursu J., Robien K., Harnack L.J., Park K., Jacobs D.R. Jr. “Dietary supplements and mortality rate in older women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study.” Archives of Internal Medicine. 2011 Oct 10;171(18):1625-33. (source)

[ii] Huang H.Y., Caballero B., Chang S., Alberg A.J., Semba R.D., Schneyer C.R., Wilson R.F., Cheng T.Y., Vassy J., Prokopowicz G., Barnes G.J. 2nd, Bass E.B. “The efficacy and safety of multivitamin and mineral supplement use to prevent cancer and chronic disease in adults: a systematic review for a National Institutes of Health state-of-the-science conference.” Annals of Internal Medicine 2006 Sep 5;145(5):372-85. (source)

[iii] Summers W.K., Martin R.L., Cunningham M., DeBoynton V.L., Marsh G.M. “Complex antioxidant blend improves memory in community-dwelling seniors.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2010;19(2):429-39 (source)

[iv] Harris E., Macpherson H., Vitetta L., Kirk J., Sali A., Pipingas A. “Effects of a multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplement on cognition and blood biomarkers in older men: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial.” Human Psychopharmacology. 2012 Jul;27(4):370-7 (source)

[v] Kesse-Guyot E., Fezeu L., Jeandel C., Ferry M., Andreeva V., Amieva H., Hercberg S. Galan P. “French adults’ cognitive performance after daily supplementation with antioxidant vitamins and minerals at nutritional doses: a post hoc analysis of the Supplementation in Vitamins and Mineral Antioxidants (SU.VI.MAX) trial.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2011 Sep;94(3):892-9. (source)

[vi] Macpherson H., Silberstein R., Pipingas A. “Neurocognitive effects of multivitamin supplementation on the steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) measure of brain activity in elderly women.” Physiology & Behavior. 2012 Oct 10;107(3):346-54. (source)

[vii] Northumbria University “Multivitamins can add sparkle for healthy young people.” ScienceDaily. 20 May 2010.  (source)

[viii] “Nutrient Deficiencies” Journal of Nutritional Disorders & Therapy. (source)

[ix] Calton J.B. “Prevalence of micronutrient deficiency in popular diet plans” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2010; 7: 24. (source)

[x] Davis D.R., Epp D.E., Riordan H.D. “Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 23 (6), 669-682 (source)

[xi] Loladze I. “Hidden shift of the ionome of plants exposed to elevated CO2 depletes minerals at the base of human nutrition” eLife 2014;3:e02245 (source)

[xii] Bjelakovic G., Nikolova D., Gluud L.L., Simonetti R.G., Gluud C. “Mortality in randomized trials of antioxidant supplements for primary and secondary prevention”. Journal of the American Medical Association. February 28, 2007. 297:8. (source)

[xiii] Thiel RJ. “Natural vitamins may be superior to synthetic ones.” Medical Hypothesis 2000 Dec;55(6):461-9. (source)

[xiv] Huang Y., Chen U., Tao S. “[Effect of rhizospheric environment of VA-mycorrhizal plants on forms of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd in polluted soil].” The Journal of Applied Ecology [01 Jun 2000, 11(3):431-434] (source)

[xv] “Global Dietary Supplements Market will reach USD 220.3 Billion in 2022: Zion Market Research” Nasdaq Globe Newswire January 11, 2017 (source)

[xvi] “Too much folate in pregnant women increases risk for autism, study suggests” JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY BLOOMBERG SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH 11-MAY-2016 (source)

[xvii] Blaylock R.L. “Methodological problems with population cancer studies: The forgotten confounding factors” Surgical Neurology International 2015; 6: 93. (source)

[xviii] The Alpha-Tocopherol Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group “The Effect of Vitamin E and Beta Carotene on the Incidence of Lung Cancer and Other Cancers in Male Smokers” The New England Journal of Medicine 1994; 330:1029-1035 (source)

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Join The Discussion - 65 comments

Loki
January 26, 2023

[edited for length]

What do you think should be feared in this supplement? Or is it more or less safe? I read that vitamin E dl causes a stroke, but just the version d-Alpha Tocopheryl did not have such data?

    David Tomen
    January 27, 2023

    Loki, I do not critique individual supplement brands. That is why I wrote this article so you know how to choose a high quality Multivitamin.

Tom S
October 16, 2022

Informative article, but I’m somewhat confused. At one point in the article you state “If the vitamin or mineral listed on the ingredients label contains no source (i.e. it’s blank), you can be sure it is synthetic. And is likely a petroleum derivative (or ground up mineral rock)”.

In going to the website for the multi by Performance Lab and reading the label for supplement facts, there is no mention of any source, good or bad for anything.

Also I noticed that where they speak of their manufacturing they state “USP standards for heavy metals compliant”. In your article you state “First, be aware that most multivitamins marketed as “natural”, “food-based” or “USP-grade” are synthetic”.

If I’m confusing the facts in your article in some way please let me know, or where it tells anything more about the sources in the Performance Lab multi.

Thanks.

Jatin
August 10, 2022

Hi Sir,

Thank you for an amazing article!

Could you please have a look at this Trexgenics MV99 Multivitamin? Is it alright as per you. This is the best one we got here in India. I know it has Vit E in DL form but I’m not a smoker.

Also, do you think that this Trexgenics Tranquilax 5X Adaptogen is a good mix of adaptogens?

Thanks

    David Tomen
    August 10, 2022

    Jatin, that multi looks OK because they are using bioactive rather then synthetic ingredients. The only thing I don’t like is magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide. Those two can be toxic and there is no benefit to you the consumer from including them. They only help the manufacturing process. And they are not needed in 2022.

    As for the adaptogen, it depends on why you are using it. Look up each individual adaptogen to see what it does on this website then decide if that is those are the benefits you are looking for.

      Jatin
      August 10, 2022

      Thank you so much for replying.

      So is it alright if I go ahead with the multivitamin for now? I’ll raise this concern with the company. They are quite responsive.

      Secondly, I want the adaptogen mix for a boost (focus and a better mood for studying) and to balance the effects of L tryptophan.

      I started L tryptophan after reading your post. It has helped me immensely for sleep and having a calm mind the next day. I have ADD. I have tried methylphenidate but I don’t like it. We don’t have other ADD meds available here.

      Thanks!

        David Tomen
        August 11, 2022

        Jatin, you can use it for now. The problem is when you are using several supplements every day that all contain those toxic ingredients. That’s when it can become a problem.

        If you find L-Tryptophan helps that means serotonin needs support. The other inhibitory neurotransmitter is GABA. So check each one of those adaptogens here on Nootropics Expert and see which ones support serotonin and/or GABA.

        This is the protocol you can follow for ADHD if you do not want to use methylphenidate: https://nootropicsexpert.com/best-nootropics-for-adhd-add/

        Jatin
        August 11, 2022

        I can’t thank you enough for the work you are doing. I had no clue about the bioavailable forms of bcomplex etc earlier. I was severely deficient in b vitamins 2 years back and so started supplementing but I was consuming synthetic versions due to a lack of awareness until recently. I developed liver toxicity as well on top of add due to the above.

        Currently on L tryptophan, milk thistle, NAC, dandelion root tea, rutin powder and Acerola cherry extract (vitamin C). Feeling much better.

        All thanks to you!! I’ll surely check out the other stuff you mentioned.

Andy Lucian
March 1, 2022

Thanks for this article full of information I didn’t even know about. Like most, I buy for example a vitamin b complex without having much information regarding the form of the vitamins. Funny thing is that today I went to my family doctor and asked him to recommend a product containing only vitamin B12. I came home, searched, found it, was amazed at the high price, but was not surprised when I saw that vitamin B12 = Cyanocobalamin (Vitasprint B12 Trinkfläschchen in Germany).

    David Tomen
    March 1, 2022

    Andy, be careful with supplementing only one B-Vitamin like Vitamin B12. Because increasing this vitamin alone and not B6 and B9 will increase your homocysteine levels.

    This is why I always recommend either a bioactive B-Complex or Multivitamin. Balance is key.

Ted
January 3, 2022

Hi David. I’ve been taking the performance lab multi vitamin for some time and it’s by far the best I have taken. For ease is it that much of a difference if I just take all 4 tabs at once in the morning? Or does splitting the dose really improve absorption?

    David Tomen
    January 4, 2022

    Ted, only that many of the ingredients in this multi are water soluble. And your body will excrete what it does not use. I like covering my bases by splitting the dose to ensure my body is getting the benefits from the vitamins and minerals in this Multi all day long instead of just part of the day.

Wong
August 15, 2021

Hi David

I have been using performance lab multi through your recommendation and it really pure with no other ingredients and work great for me. I even recommended my wife to use it and she agree with me.

However I have a 4 year old boy and want to build his immune system . I am thinking of giving him 1 of my multi for him to take or could you recommend a child multivitamin for him as I search high and low through Amazon and found a a lot of junk after reading on your post on “ how to select a multivitamin “

Thanks and hope you could help.

    David Tomen
    August 15, 2021

    Wong, I have consulted with some parents on exactly this issue and found that same thing. But I think if you take a look at how much of each ingredient is used in kid’s multivitamins and compare it to one or two capsules of the Performance Lab Multi you’ll be on the right track.

Jessica
April 13, 2021

Hi David!

I came across your article recently as I’m looking for a new multivitamin. I had been taking Ancestral Supplements Beef Organs as a “natural” multivitamin, but you have to take so many in a single serving and they are quite pricey so I’ve been taking only 2 a day and therefore not noticing a huge difference.
I’ve been looking at all kinds of different brands, Thorne, Pure Encapsulations, Garden of Life, Designs for Health (all very good brands), but I’m trying to find a food-based multi and was interested in what you shared about Performance Lab.
From what I understand, the vitamins and minerals are made from probiotics and yeast, is that why they don’t share the forms on their nutrient label? Because it’s all bioavailable anyway? If so, I’ve been thinking of ordering from them and giving them a try!
Thanks!

    David Tomen
    April 15, 2021

    Jessica, Performance Lab share more detail about each of the vitamins and minerals on their website here: https://www.performancelab.com/pages/nutrigenesis.

    And they have link called “Advanced Usage” at the bottom of that page which tells you even more but you need to subscribe to their website before you can access it.

    The “forms” are the natural, bioactive form of each vitamin and mineral. I really can’t say any more about this except try it. Then come back and let me know if I was telling the truth.

salem
March 9, 2021

hi david

how we can decrease the phosphorus on the body?
i did hair test, it shows high, i guess due to high intake eggs and chicken i get on daily basis

what mineral i can take to lower the phosphorus?
is magnesium good ?

    salem
    March 9, 2021

    because i have like daily diarrhea for a whole month, and its high phosphorus symptoms

    David Tomen
    March 9, 2021

    Salem, to reduce phosphorous you need to cut back on foods containing it. You cannot “counteract” it with something else.

    Phosphorus is naturally found in protein-rich foods such as meats, poultry, fish, nuts, beans and dairy products. Phosphorus found in animal foods is absorbed more easily than phosphorus found in plant foods.

    AND Phosphorus is added to processed foods as an additive or preservative (inorganic phosphorus). You’ll get it in fast foods, ready to eat foods, canned and bottled drinks, enhanced meats, and most processed foods. Look for phosphorous (PHOS) on nutrition labels on packaged foods. Avoiding those is the easiest and quickest way to reduce phosphorous levels.

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