Forget the claims that a product is “complete,” “balanced,” “high potency,” or specially formulated. This hype has little to do with the real formulations. Claims that a supplement will cure, treat, or even prevent any health condition are more hype than fact, too. Also, ignore any phytonutrients that are randomly added, such as lycopene or lutein. There are almost 1 million phytonutrients in real food, we don’t know optimal intakes or how they work together, so adding one or two is more marketing than health. Ignore the packaging and go straight to the nutritional information on the back of the label.

Select a broad-range multiple that supplies as close to 100%, but no more than 300%, of the Daily Value for a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. For men and post-menopausal women, select a multi with little or no iron. Make sure the multi has some of the lesser-known nutrients, such as chromium, manganese, molybdenum, and selenium. For quality sake, stick with the major brands, such as Centrum or Nature Made, or with a product with the USP quality seal that guarantees high standards.