How to Choose The Organic Vitamin Supplements You Need

If you don’t get all vitamins you need in your food – and most people don’t – organic vitamin supplements can fill in the gaps. But when you’re shopping for vitamins, remember that “natural” and “organic” are not necessarily the same thing. An organic vitamin must come from an organic food source. An organic food must meet the production, handling and labeling standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program.

A natural vitamin isn’t the same as an organic vitamin. And not every company is scrupulous. One advocate of organic foods and vitamins says that if a product calls itself an organic vitamin, consumers should ask the manufacturer to produce the certification proving it’s organic. When choosing your organic vitamin, remember that most experts recommend just a basic multivitamin.

Selecting Organic Vitamins

Organic vitamins tend to cost more, as does organic food. That’s because the methods for producing organic food are more costly. Proponents of organic food believe it’s worth the extra money. But few companies are making organic vitamins. Ronnie Cummins, president of the non-profit Organic Consumers Association, says that if at least 95 percent of the ingredients of a vitamin are from an organic food source, that product may use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s organic seal. The U.S.D.A’s National Organic Program oversees production, handling and labeling standards for organic agricultural products. Cummins says New Chapter Inc. makes a 100 percent organic vitamin line, and those products do bear the seal. Other companies make vitamins with at least some organic ingredients. According the Cummins, the best way to select your organic vitamins is to scrutinize the labels. If a product says it’s an organic vitamin, he says you should look for the U.S.D.A. seal and then ask the manufacturer to produce the paperwork proving its organic certification.

What Kind Of Organic Vitamins Do You Need?

If you’re a vegetarian, you may not get enough vitamins B12 and D. Cigarette smoking decreases the body’s absorption of vitamins C and folate, so smokers may need more of those vitamins. The Harvard School of Public Health says the vitamins most likely to be lacking in the average diet are folate, B6, B12, D and E. It suggests that a multivitamin is the way to go for most people. Consumer Reports magazine recommends a basic multivitamin that contains vitamins A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, B12, folate, C, D, E, and K. The amounts of those vitamins should be at or near levels recommended by the government Dietary Reference Intakes guide. Avoid supplements with super-sized doses of vitamins, because too much of some vitamins can make you sick.

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