Multivitamin:What are the Benefits of Taking a Multivitamin?

multivitamin

Multivitamin

Does eating a balanced meal justify not taking a multivitamin supplement?

Many of us argue, that we do not need a vitamin as we already eat a healthy balanced meal. Eating a balanced meal does not mean that your body is getting adequate nutrition; taking a multivitamin must be incorporated into your daily routine as it fills in the gaps left by the non-absorption of vitamins and acts as an insurance against vitamin deficiencies.

Why is the body unable to absorb vitamins from food?

Food that we eat every day is highly processed. Even if you are eating totally organic food, but have a condition like  food intolerance, inflammation in the lining of your stomach due to IBS or Crohn’s disease, or any other condition that might prevent vitamins to be absorbed  and used by the body, it is very important that you take vitamins for optimal health.

What happens when you eat processed food?

Processed food is made from real food that has been put through chemical processes and is infused with chemicals and preservatives. Too much stress is placed on the liver, as the liver is unable to process these chemicals and it losses its ability to function properly.

What is the difference between fat soluble and water soluble vitamins ?

Fat soluble vitamins can only be soluble in fats or lipids (vitamins A, D, E and K). So if you were to take these vitamins with water, your body would not absorb them. A person can be deficient in fat soluble vitamins if fat intake is too low or the absorption of fat is compromised by a certain disease called Cystic Fibrosis, where there is deficiency of enzymes secreted by the pancreas. Fat soluble vitamins are stored by the organs in your body. Therefore, if you were to take too many fat soluble vitamins over time, it can result in hypervitaminosis (or in layman terms vitamin poisoning). This happens only due to the high supplement intake and not from dietary sources of the vitamin.

Water soluble vitamins are not stored by your body, but are eliminated through excretion if they are not used by the body (Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin C).

Does it matter what kind of multivitamin you take?

An article at the Harvard School of Public Health says that, “It is not necessary to buy an expensive “designer” supplement or a name-brand kind to reap the health benefits. A standard store-brand multivitamin-multimineral supplement is fine.” But according to a report made by CNN, a majority of multivitamins are not required to undergo rigorous testing procedures by the FDA since they are considered to be dietary supplements. Therefore, the vitamins differ from company to company as they do not have any uniform rules for their production. This means that the vitamin bottle may not contain what it says or what it might have been contaminated. Always buy a multivitamin having a  United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), NSF International (NSF), or ConsumerLab.com (CL) seal on it. The USP and NSF are nonprofit groups that make sure that the companies offer contamination-free products and are using good manufacturing practices. Just because a vitamin supplement is expensive does not mean that it is better than the store brand.

What multi-vitamin is right for you?

Multivitamins are available in a wide range of formulas that are targeted at helping people with specific nutritional needs or conditions. Read the label carefully and choose the vitamin that provides 100% Daily Value (DV) of vitamins and minerals.

What time of the day should multi-vitamins be taken?

Multi-vitamins are better absorbed when they are taken with first meal of the day. They can also be split between breakfast and lunch.

What form of Multivitamin is better?

Multivitamins come in many forms, like tablets, powders, chewables, gummies, and liquids. The only difference between them is the rate at which they are absorbed by the body. Liquids tend to be absorbed more quickly then coated pills  because the coating prevents the absorption in the stomach. Some people prefer liquid then swallowing pills. Absorption is the key to a good multivitamin, so it’s important to get a pill that dissolves well.

Dr Oz’s ultimate supplement check-list:

A Multivitamin
A study of 3 million people showed that less than 1% of the participants got enough essential vitamins only from diet. So it is very important to take a multivitamin to prevent heart disease, breast cancer, and colon cancer.

Dose: Look for 100% of the daily value of the 12 essential vitamins and minerals – like vitamins B, C, E and zinc.

Note: Only women who are menstruating need a multivitamin with iron. If you are post-menopausal or a male, you do not need a multivitamin that contains iron. More is not better so avoid taking vitamins in mega-doses. You only need 100% daily value, not 500%. Take half of the multivitamin in the morning and the other half at night to maximize absorption. You use a multivitamin’s various components during the chemical reactions that are occurring throughout your body, so it is important to maintain constant levels as it assures a steady supply of these vital nutrients. 

  • Calcium
  • Calcium is a necessary supplement for strong, healthy muscles, bones, and teeth. You need to take it in combination with magnesium (to prevent the negative side effects of calcium) and vitamin D (to help the body absorb calcium) in order to achieve maximum benefit.
  • Dose: Calcium (600 mg) with magnesium (400 mg) and vitamin D (1,000 IU). Take the dose with a full glass of water, 2 hours after eating. Calcium blocks the absorption of other supplements and prescriptions, so be sure to take it separately.
  • Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and strengthens your immune system, blood vessels, muscles, and nervous system. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D from sunlight, especially if you live in a northern climate or are dark-skinned. Vitamin D prevents certain cancers including colon, uterine, breast, and endometrial cancer.
  • Dose: 1,000 IU  including the multi-vitamins.Vitamin D is fat soluble, so it works better when taken with a little fat. Eat it at breakfast with milk or yogurt.Fish Oil
    Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids called DHA and EPA which are essential for optimal functioning of the heart and brain. They reduce  risk for a heart attack and breast cancer. Dose: 600 milligrams of the DHA omega-3 fatty acid. Refrigerate, if you buy a big bottle to prevent it from going rancid.Baby AspirinBaby aspirin prevents heart attacks, reduces the chances of stroke, and prevents almost every cancer.Dose: Take 2 baby aspirin pills daily. Always consult your doctor before starting a daily aspirin regimen.

 

Sources:

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/multivitamin/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/08/22/healthmag.multivitamins/index.html

Multivitamin

Dr.Oz list of Multivitamin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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