With the contrasting view on multivitamins ranging from being "a nutrition insurance plan" to "flushing money down the drain," what should you do?
We would all eat various healthy food every day in an ideal world consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Doing so would provide us with the necessary nutrients our bodies need, ranging from Vitamin A to Zinc. But life happens, and sometimes our best intentions of a healthy lifestyle fall by the wayside for an easy meal. That could be why so many people turn to multivitamins to fulfill the nutritional gaps within their diet. But what exactly are multivitamins? And, more importantly, do multivitamins make you healthier?
What is a Multivitamin?
Let's face the fact most of us do not consume the recommended daily nine servings of fruit and vegetables established by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. A multivitamin can help provide the vitamins and minerals essential to our health and fill our diet's nutrient gap. So, what are multivitamins?
Multivitamins are a once-a-day supplement containing at least two-thirds of the required vitamins and minerals for a given stage, often in the form of a tablet, capsule, liquid, gummy, or gel cap. It's important to note that while a multivitamin should not replace a balanced diet, it can help to provide your body with some health benefits.
Benefits of Multivitamins
Multivitamins are composed of several daily vital vitamins and minerals essential to your body’s core functions. This powerhouse supplement has endless benefits, including immune function, brain health, cardiovascular health, bone and muscle function, and eye health.
Without a sufficient daily dose of vitamins and minerals, your immune system cannot function properly. A once-a-day multivitamin can help your immunity, specifically by improving vitamin C and zinc levels. Both are essential vital nutrients that play a role in immune cell development and function for innate and adaptive immune responses. In addition, a quality multivitamin would include nutrients such as vitamin A and D3, iron, and other trace minerals that are vital to immune function and support.
Your cognitive function relies on a wide variety of nutrients to function optimally. All eight B vitamins included in multivitamins help support energy production, DNA synthesis and repair, and neurochemical production. Including nutrients such as vitamin D, which promotes neuronal tissue, and resveratrol, antioxidant supporting parts of the brain associated with memory.
Your heart relies on nutrients such as magnesium, multiple B vitamins, iron, and vitamin D to function properly. Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure, keeping your arteries from hardening and heart rhythm regular. The B vitamin group consists of 8 nutrients. All essential for forming new red blood cells, fighting infections, and even helping to lower homocysteine levels which can harden arteries. In addition, iron aid aids in producing hemoglobin carrying oxygen into the blood. Iron is also essential in creating connective tissue, including blood vessels.
Bone and Muscle Function
Calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium play a crucial role in supporting bone and muscle health. Unfortunately, these are also nutrients most of us don't get enough of in our daily diet, so daily multivitamins packed full of these nutrients are crucial. Both calcium and vitamin D are the cornerstone for healthy bones. Calcium is the foundation of bone tissue, and vitamin D helps the body absorb and process calcium. In addition, magnesium is vital to forming and maintaining those bones and proper muscle contraction.
A shortage in nutrients significantly impacts eye health, many believing to be associated with oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between antioxidants and harmful free radicals that damage parts of cells such as proteins, DNA, and cell membranes. Vitamins E and C are potent antioxidants that can help protect your cells from these free radicals. Vitamin C also is required to make collagen, a protein that provides structure to your eye's cornea and sclera. In addition, several B vitamins, particularly B6, B9, and B12, can lower homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is a protein that may be related with inflammation and increase the risk of age-related macular decay. So, taking a quality multivitamin pack with these vital nutrients ultimately helps to promote healthy eyes and vision.
Who Might Benefit from Multivitamins?
For most of us, our diets have become more indulgent than nutritious. According to the
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Americans consume about 30% of their caloric need from rich, nutrient-poor foods. As a result, these foods push us away from more nutritional options that contain essential nutrients our bodies need. Most Americans do not consume enough vitamins A, C, D, E, K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and dietary fiber.
Although many could benefit from a daily multivitamin, a few have been shown to have a higher benefit. Those who could benefit the most from taking a multivitamin include:
- Women of childbearing age, pregnant or lactating
- Obese individuals who have an increased requirement for some nutrients
- Infants, Children, and Adolescents who are growing and developing
- Older adults who may be experiencing a reduction in nutrient absorption and appetite
- Individuals with Nutrient Adsorption Issues include individuals who are heavy alcohol users and those on certain medications
How Do Multivitamins Work?
Once you ingest a multivitamin by the mouth, the supplement dissolves and works its course through your body. It is essential to take your multivitamin alongside food and water. Water-soluble vitamins such as B and vitamin C are absorbed directly into your bloodstream as your body breaks food down. The fat-soluble vitamins get into your blood through the intestinal walls. Minerals are absorbed by the body in various ways, absorbing some into the bloodstream. In contrast, others require a carrier for transportation and absorption.
The Bottom Line
Multivitamins are a great way to ensure your get all of the nutrients your diet lacks. By taking a multivitamin, you improve your overall nutrient intake to benefit your health and well-being. Try our Whole Food Multivitamin Plus No Iron or Whole Food Multivitamin Plus With Iron. At Supplement Studio, your health is our priority! That is why all of our supplements have high-quality natural, whole-food ingredients with no GMO, preservative, or artificial ingredients. Give your body the nutrient boost it needs with Supplements Studio.
This information or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging does not substitute the advice from your physician or other healthcare professional. Do not use this article's information to diagnose or treat health problems or diseases or prescribe medication or other treatments. Always speak with your physician or another healthcare professional before taking any medication, nutritional, herbal, homeopathic supplement to treat health problems. If you have or suspect a medical problem, contact your health care provider immediately. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking professional advice due to something you have read in this article.