What are the Different Kinds of Multivitamin Capsules?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

There are many kinds of multivitamin capsules on the market, most of which are formulated for specific age groups and genders. There are also some multivitamins that are meant to help people achieve specific health or beauty goals. Some multivitamin capsules are meant to be taken by people who are trying to lose weight. Others are meant to be taken by people who are trying to improve the appearance of their hair, skin, and nails. In almost all cases, multivitamin capsules are meant to be taken on a daily basis.

Older adults should take multivitamin capsules that meet their needs, such as calcium supplements for post-menopausal women.
Older adults should take multivitamin capsules that meet their needs, such as calcium supplements for post-menopausal women.

Some of the most common multivitamin capsules formulated for people of certain age groups include capsules for children and capsules for senior citizens. The exact age range for which such capsules are formulated many vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. In many cases, vitamins for children are created in the form of chewable tablets or even gummy substances that resemble candies. There are, however, some multivitamins for children that come in the form of capsules. Multivitamin capsules for senior citizens are often appropriate for use by both men and women who are over a certain age, but there are some exceptions.

Multivitamins are sometimes made for certain people in certain age groups.
Multivitamins are sometimes made for certain people in certain age groups.

While multivitamin capsules for children are not generally divided by gender, multivitamin capsules for adults often are. Many companies that make multivitamins create formulas specifically for men and women as adult men and women have slightly different needs. There are also multivitamin capsules for women who have reached menopause or are past menopause. Pregnant women are very often prescribed multivitamin capsules to take in order to keep themselves and their babies healthy during their pregnancies. These sorts of capsules are unique in that they are meant to nourish both the mother and the child at the same time.

Many children's vitamins resemble gummy candies.
Many children's vitamins resemble gummy candies.

The term multivitamin is generally used to describe capsules that are formulated with many vitamins, often more than a dozen. There are other kinds of capsules that do contain more than one kind of vitamin but are not as complete in their scope as standard multivitamins. For example, it is common for calcium and magnesium to be blended in a single vitamin tablet. The same is true of calcium and vitamin D. In some cases, multiple related vitamins will be blended together in what is referred to as a "complex" vitamin, such as a B-complex vitamin that may include multiple kinds of B vitamins.

Some multivitamin capsules are formulated with a dozen or more vitamins.
Some multivitamin capsules are formulated with a dozen or more vitamins.
Multivitamins are often prescribed to pregnant women.
Multivitamins are often prescribed to pregnant women.
A multivitamin may be taken to promote healthy hair growth.
A multivitamin may be taken to promote healthy hair growth.
Multivitamin capsules may be taken by people who are trying to lose weight.
Multivitamin capsules may be taken by people who are trying to lose weight.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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