Multivitamins are in huge demand ,and these supplements earn billions of dollars for the pharmaceutical companies. The two main reasons people take multivitamins are for overall health and wellness and to fill in nutrient gaps,
We have been made to believe that eat crap all day and just pop a multivitamin tab daily and it will take care of all your micronutrient requirements. But is it really true?
Recent multiple researchers have concluded otherwise.
Summary of few of these findings are mentioned below-
• An analysis of research involving 450,000 people, which found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for heart disease or cancer.
• A study that tracked the mental functioning and multivitamin use of 5,947 men for 12 years found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for mental declines such as memory loss or slowed-down thinking.
• A study of 1,708 heart attack survivors who took a high-dose multivitamin or placebo for up to 55 months. Rates of later heart attacks, heart surgeries and deaths were similar in the two groups.
Researchers says that popping multivitamins without any proper diagnosis may result into more bad than good. It may result into accumulation of some of the nutrients which may be harmful or our body may simply be flushing some of the nutrients out wasting our money on these multivitamins.
But the debate still continues-
Jonny Bowden, board-certified nutrition specialist and nationally known expert on nutrition and health, says “The answer I always give to the question of do we need vitamin supplements is this: We don’t need indoor plumbing, but why on earth would we want to do without it? We need vitamins to exist and vitamin supplements are an excellent, high-tech way to deliver the nutrients our body needs to survive and thrive,” explains Bowden. “Can we live without supplements? Sure. But we’re highly likely to be missing some essential nutrients and almost certain to have less than the optimal amounts of many others.”
Wellness coach Dana Kofsky explains that vitamins are essential to take in addition to a healthy diet. “I think there’s only so much we can get through food,” says Kofsky. “I do find it very helpful to take vitamins in addition to practicing a healthy diet. Oftentimes, people will take vitamins and then not get any of their nutrients with food. In order for them to be most effective, it’s important to eat right first and then supplement with vitamins.”
Celebrity fitness trainer and health expert Latreal Mitchell also believes that in a world full of processed foods, supplementing nutrients with vitamins couldn’t be more important. “It is so important to take quality, science-based vitamins because in this era of fast food and convenience over quality, there is no way for people to get all the vitamins and nutrients they need through food alone,” explains Mitchell. “Most people skip meals, eat unhealthy food on the run, and skip green veggies with all the great phytonutrients that are essential for optimal health. I’m a strong believer that everyone should get a little help no matter how healthy or unhealthy they eat. There is more processed food and GMOs on the market, and all the good stuff is being pulled out of our food to make things quick and easy. Good, quality vitamins and supplements are a great source of those missing nutrients.”
In our opinion, multivitamins should be made a part of our daily supplements only in special cases when our body is deficit in certain multivitamins. For example –
• You are over 60. Most older people don’t get the nutrients they need, for various reasons. Major problem nutrients for older people are vitamin D, certain B vitamins and magnesium.
• You are a woman of childbearing age. Women capable of becoming pregnant need at least 400 micrograms daily of folate (the form in supplements is called folic acid). This B vitamin helps prevent neural tube birth defects. In addition, premenopausal women can benefit from the iron in a basic multi.
• You are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should probably take a multi, but discuss your special needs with your doctor.
You are a strict vegetarian. If you eat no animal products, you may not get enough vitamin B12, zinc, iron and calcium.
Or your doctor has suggested fro multivitamins.