Do Multivitamins Improve Health?
Multivitamins are supplements that contain different vitamins and minerals, among other ingredients. Multivitamins can be manufactured in many different forms, including as a suspension, syrup, chewable gummies, or tablets. It can contain as many as 13 vitamins and 16 different minerals that are vital for optimal health, growth, reproduction, and regulation of body processes.
The multivitamin is a billion-dollar industry, which should not be a surprise as multivitamins are the most used supplements in the world. Its use has increased rapidly over recent years as people attempt to improve their health and reduce the risk of getting chronic illnesses, and through the use of new delivery methods including plant-based multivitamins.
Do Multivitamins Improve Health?
According to Healthline—studies correlating the consumption of multivitamins and two notable conditions (cancer and heart disease) have produced mixed results. Some studies link multivitamin use to a reduced risk of developing these diseases, while others find no significant impact.
However, when it comes to brain function, multivitamins may have a positive impact on areas such as memory and mood. Antioxidant vitamins may also help in the progression of cataracts, a common disorder that can cause blindness.
Multivitamins are a great option for individuals that have neither have the time nor money to meet their daily nutritional needs. The better option is a balanced diet with whole foods for great health in the long run.
What Are The 11 Benefits of Multivitamins?
Vitamins and minerals are classified as essential nutrients, which means that it performs numerous essential functions in the body. Here is a close look at what this vital nutrient does for the body:
- It ensures healthy teeth: Fluoride protects your teeth from cavities and stops any existing ones from getting worse
- Prevents birth defects: folate (Vitamin B9) once taken early in pregnancy helps to prevent spinal cord defects in newborns
- Energy release: several B vitamins are components of coenzymes required in energy release from food
- Cell and protein production; Folate, vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 metabolize amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins and aid in cell metabolism
- Collagen production: Vitamin C is involved in making collagen, an important substance that ensures healthy skin and teeth and knits wounds and blood vessels
- Bone production: Vitamins A, D, and K are valuable in the formation of healthy, strong bones.
- Night vision: Vitamin A is crucial in preventing night blindness
- Protection against radicals: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that interacts with unstable molecules (radicals) thus protecting the body from their harmful effects
- Blood Clotting: Vitamin K is one of the essential clotting factors
- Immune system: Zinc is a valuable mineral for boosting the immune system. Zinc is also involved in senses such as taste and smell
- Oxygen transport: Iron is crucial for effective oxygen transfer throughout the body and muscles as it is a major component of hemoglobin and myoglobin.
Is It Good to Take A Multivitamin Every Day?
A daily multivitamin might improve the quality of your health if your diet is not up to par. These supplements can help fill the nutritional gaps in one’s diet. Examples of vitamins that can be taken daily for optimal health include:
Even a diet with green leafy vegetables may not provide for you what an 8-ounce glass of milk will. If you have eliminated dairy from your diet, a 300-500mg calcium supplement will help. Too much of these can cause kidney stones, so you need to track your daily intake carefully.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D or the sunshine vitamin is tough to obtain from foods because it is produced in the body after exposure to sunlight. Most people are deficient in this unique vitamin and will likely benefit from a supplement.
People that may benefit from taking a multivitamin daily include:
- Patients recovering from major trauma or surgery, those with loss of appetite, and people on medication. If you are in any of these categories, you should speak to a nutritionist or doctor for professional advice.
- Vegans and vegetarians: the right multivitamin regimen will offer Calcium, zinc, iron, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamin B12, which a plant-based diet is low in.
- Pregnant and lactating women: this group should consult a medical professional for guidance on taking vitamins such as folic acid to ensure they take the recommended dosage. A specially formulated prenatal vitamin is the ideal required element in this case.
Supplements You Should Avoid Taking:
Weight loss supplements: Nutritionists strongly advise against taking this drug. There is no quick fix to weight loss. What is contained in this supplement might cause serious harm to your body, especially if you have hypertension or any other cardiovascular problem. Since they are unregulated, the compounds in them are suspicious.
Kava: The Kava plant has been used to treat insomnia and anxiety but is known to cause severe liver damage even in small quantities.
Are Multivitamins and Iron Good for You?
Multivitamins of iron is an excellent solution for people with iron deficiencies caused by poor diet, digestive problems, and other causes. It provides the element iron for people whose diets do not provide enough of the daily recommended amount.
To ensure you make the most from an iron supplement, take it as per your doctor’s instructions. Beware taking too much can cause life-threatening side effects. You must also seek advice from a professional if you have a pre-existing condition or are taking any other medication, as these may affect the uptake of iron supplement.
Avoid taking more than one multivitamin while taking iron supplements as they might interact and cause serious side effects. If your stomach is affected, take it with food. However, you cannot take your iron supplement with fish, milk, and other dairy products, meat, liver, calcium supplements, antacids, or any other food or drink containing calcium. Wait at least two hours after consuming any of those before taking an iron supplement.
Do Multivitamins Boost the Immune System?
The immune system is your first line of defense against germs, illnesses, and toxic substances in the environment. Increasing your intake of Vitamins B6, C, and E has been known to boost your immune system.
These vitamins are abundant in foods like spinach, almonds, eggs, and bell peppers. If you cannot obtain those valuable minerals from your diet, then take a supplement to account for the gaps. However, you should be careful with immune system-boosting supplements as it can cause side effects if taken in excess.
Your body cannot store vitamins for long after consumption, and quickly expels the excess in urine.