Do you intake Multivitamins & Dietary Supplements to sustain your daily dietary plan? If you are eating a well-balanced diet there’s little to be gained by taking multivitamins & dietary supplements. However, there are some cases where a supplement can be beneficial.
For example in a frail older person with a poor appetite or someone who has a limited diet due to food allergies. There are also situations where taking specific vitamins or minerals is warranted. Such as vitamin D for someone who doesn’t get much sun exposure.
And also vitamin B12 for those following a vegan diet and folate for women who are planning a pregnancy.
Bearing in mind, food or nutritional and herbal supplements have been quite popular in the world for some years.
They are often packaged in tablets, pills, capsules or liquid forms, and they can be vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanical plants. Vitamins are substances that your body needs to grow and develop normally.
There are only 13 known vitamins your body needs;
- the Vitamin A. B and
- vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and folate).
What are Multivitamins?
Multivitamins are supplements that contain many different vitamins and minerals, sometimes alongside other ingredients. And as there’s no standard for what constitutes a multivitamin, their nutrient composition varies by brand and product.
Multivitamins are also called multi-minerals, multis, multiples, or simply vitamins. Not to mention, they’re also available in many forms, including tablets, capsules, chewable gummies, powders, and liquids.
Most multivitamins should be taken once or twice a day. But, make sure to read the label and follow the recommended dosage instructions. Not forgetting, multivitamins are available in pharmacies, large discount stores, and supermarkets, as well as online.
What are Vitamins?
Vitamins are an organic molecule (or related set of molecules) that is an essential micronutrient that an organism needs in small quantities for the proper functioning of its metabolism.
Always keep in mind, that essential nutrients cannot be synthesized in the organism. Either at all or not in sufficient quantities, and therefore must be obtained through the diet.
As an example, Vitamin C can be synthesized by some species but not by others; it is not a vitamin in the first instance but is in the second.
The term vitamin does not include the three other groups of essential nutrients: minerals, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids.
Notably, most vitamins are not single molecules, but groups of related molecules called vitamers. For example, vitamin E consists of four tocopherols and four tocotrienols.
The 13 vitamins required by human metabolism are:
- (Retinol and Carotenoids) vitamin A
- (Thiamine) vitamin B1
- (Riboflavin) vitamin B2
- (Niacin) vitamin B3
- (Pantothenic acid) vitamin B5
- (Pyridoxine) vitamin B6
- (Biotin) vitamin B7
- (Folic acid or Folate) vitamin B9
- (Cobalamins) vitamin B12
- (Ascorbic acid) vitamin C
- (Calciferol) vitamin D
- (Tocopherols and Tocotrienols) vitamin E
- (Quinones) vitamin K
How are Multivitamins & Dietary Supplements related?
Although multivitamins can address multiple nutritional deficiencies, they don’t seem to help most people live longer. They may, however, benefit certain at-risk populations.
Technically, a multivitamin is a dietary supplement that contains more than one vitamin. But, in common parlance, multivitamins are dietary supplements that contain many vitamins and essential minerals. As a form of insurance against any potential deficiencies.
It’s important to realize, Vitamins have diverse biochemical functions. Some forms of vitamin A function as regulators of cell and tissue growth and differentiation.
For instance, the B complex vitamins function as enzyme cofactors (coenzymes) or the precursors for them. Equally important, Vitamin D has a hormone-like function as a regulator of mineral metabolism for bones and other organs. While Vitamins C and E function as antioxidants.
Both deficient and excess intake of a vitamin can potentially cause clinically significant illness. Although excess intake of water-soluble vitamins is less likely to do so.
What are the Benefits of Multivitamins?
First of all, a multivitamin is a preparation intended to serve as a dietary supplement. Inclusively with vitamins, dietary minerals, and other nutritional elements. Where such preparations are available in the form of tablets, capsules, pastilles, powders, liquids, or injectable formulations.
Other than injectable formulations, which are only available and administered under medical supervision. Additionally, multivitamins are recognized by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (the United Nations‘ authority on food standards) as a category of food.
However, the best multivitamins have independent certifications for label accuracy and purity. Plus a well-rounded formula that hits the majority of FDA-recommended ingredients.
Food-derived or synthetic? The choice is yours — science says they’re both effective. But if your diet is fairly balanced, you might not need one at all.
How & Who should Take Multivitamins?
In general, the people most likely to benefit from a multivitamin are those who are unable to consume a wide variety of foods — often for financial reasons. Unfortunately, if unsurprisingly, low-income individuals are also the least likely to spend money on a multivitamin.
Equally, a few specific populations (listed below) are commonly deficient in certain nutrients.
You might, if three conditions are fulfilled:
- You are at risk for several nutritional deficiencies and cannot adapt to your diet.
- The multivitamin provides dosages sufficient to negate the deficiency risks.
- Purchasing the multivitamin is a better option than purchasing individual micronutrients.
Restrictive diets, such as vegan diets, gluten-free diets, and some weight-loss diets make it harder to meet all your nutritional requirements.
Still, those diets don’t necessarily require multivitamin supplementation. Whereas, gaps in nutrient intake could be filled by better dietary planning or less restrictive versions of the diet.
Meeting all your micronutrient needs when on a restrictive diet requires good dietary planning. A multivitamin isn’t strictly necessary but could make things easier.
2. Pregnant women
Current evidence suggests that, in high-income countries, multivitamins reduce the risk of the fetus being small for its gestational age. As well as the rate of defects in the fetus’s neural tube, urinary tract, cardiovascular system, and limbs.
The quality of the evidence isn’t very high, however, so those findings are still tentative. Moreover, since multivitamins contain many micronutrients, in different forms and quantities. Depending on the individual product, it is quite impossible to ascribe specific effects on specific micronutrients.
2. Folic Acid Deficitors
Unless those have been studied individually in pregnant women. This is how we know that folic acid (artificial folate) is probably responsible for multivitamins’ reducing the rate of neural-tube defects and the risk of fetuses being small for their gestational age.
Because folate plays an important part in fetal development, pregnant women may benefit from folic acid usually present in multivitamins. And of course, you can also buy folic acid as an individual supplement. Or simply eat some of the numerous foods fortified with folic acid (many cereal-grain products).
Multivitamins Muscular Strength being taken during pregnancy may reduce the risk for a number of birth defects. But, the degree to which they do (and which micronutrients, aside from folic acid, are responsible) is uncertain.
3. Older people
Older people are more likely to find themselves deficient in some micronutrients. Notably, calcium and vitamins B12 and D.
Yet, on the whole, the current evidence suggests that, in adults over 65, multivitamins don’t help reach common health goals such as reductions in blood pressure or in cognitive decline.
Can multivitamins address the nutritional deficiencies linked to aging? Probably, but the tangible benefits aren’t clear.
4. Bariatric Surgery Patients
By reducing the size of the stomach, and thus nutrient absorption, bariatric surgery can produce broad nutritional deficiencies.
In people having undergone this surgery, a multivitamin will have reduced efficacy but should still help maintain good nutritional status.
In people having undergone bariatric surgery, a multivitamin should help maintain good nutritional status.
5. Disease prone Individuals
For instance, Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease carry a risk for nutritional deficiencies. This risk is likely due to the nutrients being poorly absorbed, in which case a multivitamin will be less effective. Of course, then if the deficiencies were caused by low nutritional intake, as is the case with anorexia nervosa.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with an increased risk of low magnesium levels and other deficiencies. Moreover, many type 2 diabetics take metformin, a pharmaceutical that can cause vitamin B 12 deficiency.
Other medications that may worsen nutritional status include (but are not limited to) the antibiotic gentamicin. Whereby, various diuretics, and drugs that inhibit gastric acid secretion. A number of diseases and medical issues can cause nutritional deficiencies. Meaning multivitamins may be a good choice as a catch-all in such situations.
6. General Population
We’ve seen that multivitamins may benefit certain at-risk populations; but can’t they also benefit everyone else, in some way? But, Won’t taking a multivitamin generally, make you less prone to some health issues? Many people take a multivitamin in the hope it’ll grant them a longer life.
The evidence doesn’t seem to support this. Multivitamins might reduce the risk of cancer in people with poor or suboptimal nutritional status. But on the whole, trials evaluating multivitamins haven’t shown a decrease in the risk of cancer. Whether cardiovascular diseases or other life-threatening diseases.
Which is the Best Prescription for Multivitamins?
If you grew up popping Flintstones vitamins like most of us did, you might think that of course, it’s a good idea to take a multivitamin every day. That’s just what healthy people do, right? Kind of.
“You really cannot supplement your way out of an unhealthy diet,” says Robin Foroutan. A registered dietitian nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
But Foroutan says she sometimes advises her clients to take one, especially if their diets lack important nutrients. And if your meals are more Guy Fieri than Jamie Oliver, try MegaFood Women’s One Daily or Mega Food Multi for Men.
MegaFood gets high marks from third-party certifiers, offers remarkable transparency in an industry not known for it. And limits its inactive filler ingredients to three — by far the lowest we’ve seen. To buy above-certified products, please link up with | Certified Multivitamins.
1. Multivitamins for Men
Men’s and women’s bodies have different needs. Men require more of some nutrients and less of others, compared to women. A daily multivitamin can help bridge that gap. Vitamins are essential to your overall health.
They perform many critical roles in your body, from producing energy to ensuring proper function of bodily systems. And not getting enough of certain nutrients can negatively impact your health. And even result in chronic diseases.
For sure, men aged 19–70 need to make sure to get enough of the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A: Necessary for skin, eye and immune health.
- Vitamin C: Essential for your immune system and collagen production.
- B vitamins: Involved in energy metabolism and red blood cell production.
- Calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K and zinc: Vital for bone health.
- Vitamin E and selenium: Help protect your cells from damage.
Because men don’t lose blood monthly as menstruating women do, they’re at a lower risk of iron deficiency anemia. Therefore, iron requirements for men are lower.
Nutrients are essential for your health, but many people don’t get enough of the recommended essential vitamins and minerals through diet alone. You can read and learn more about the Category of Multivitamins Affiliated to Men.
2. Multivitamins for Women
To ensure that you’re getting the proper fuel to support an active, healthy lifestyle you might want to consider adding a multivitamin. Know that multivitamins shouldn’t take the place of whole foods and a healthy diet.
Fresh produce, lean protein, and fortified grains are chock full of natural enzymes and nutrients that you won’t find in man-made vitamins. But, multivitamin & food supplements can fill in any nutritional gaps you don’t get in your diet.
For instance, adult women between the ages of 19 and 50 need 18 milligrams (mg) of iron each day. While men only need about 8 mg, according to dietary guidelines from the National Institute of Medicine.
If your diet doesn’t contain iron-rich foods like red meat, fortified grains, or beans, a multivitamin may be a good way to get the recommended daily intake.
As I conclude, in healthy people, most scientific evidence indicates that multivitamin supplements do not prevent cancer, heart disease, or other ailments. And also regular supplementation is not necessary.
However, specific groups of people may benefit from multivitamin supplements. For example, people with poor nutrition or those at high risk of macular degeneration. But, there is no standardized scientific definition for a multivitamin.
Finally, I hope the above-revised guide on Multivitamins was helpful to you and even your close friends and family members. Don’t forget to share with other readers online as well.
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Here are more useful and related topic links;
- Which are Essential Vitamins?
- Dietary Supplements you Should consider
- Should you take a Multivitamin?
- The 15 Best Multivitamin for Men
- The 6 Best Multivitamin for Women