UNITED STATES—Many people believe that multivitamins are key to improving health, reduces your risks of chronic diseases, and can compensate for a poor diet or bad eating habits. However, you might start to wonder whether or not these supposed advantages are true.
What are Multivitamins?
Multivitamins are supplements that are packed with various vitamins and minerals. Sometimes, it is even mixed with other ingredients. Moreover, a multivitamin’s nutrient composition tends to vary by product or brand. This is because there is no universal standard that helps determine what a multivitamin should contain.
Multivitamins are also known as multimineral, multiples, multis, or just vitamins. You can see them in different forms, such as capsules, tablets, powders, liquids, and chewable gummies. Besides that, they can be bought in pharmacies, supermarkets, large discount stores, and also online.
There are 13 vitamins and a minimum of 16 minerals that are essential to your health. Most of them function as signaling structural elements or molecules or aid enzyme reactions. Furthermore, your body also needs these nutrients for growth, reproduction, regulation of bodily processes, and maintenance.
Multivitamins might offer a lot of these vitamins and minerals your body needs. However, it may come in different forms and amounts. They might also contain other ingredients such as amino acids, herbs, and fatty acids.
Do You Need to Take Multivitamins?
For some, taking a multivitamin can be beneficial. They can be good for you if you belong to the following cases:
- If you are at risk of or have specific diseases
Risk factors or certain diseases might make you more susceptible to mineral or vitamin deficiencies. Hence, the need for multivitamins. These include people who suffer from anemia and osteoporosis.
- If you are currently taking certain medications
Some medications can exhaust essential nutrients, and the effects can . An example of this is heart medications. Those who take these kinds of medications can take advantage of multivitamins to make up for lost vitamins and minerals.
- If you can’t get enough nutrients in your diet
If you are a picky eater and most of what you are eating is low in nutrients, taking multivitamins might be a good idea. Having a poor diet means you won’t get the required amount of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. However, it is still best to eat right since a multivitamin is only a supplement.
- If you belong to a high-risk group
Some people are prone to having nutrient deficiencies. An example of them is the elderly, menstruating women, and pregnant women. Moreover, those who love to workout might need a multivitamin because they need more vitamins and minerals to boost their bodies.
- If you have stress
Stress can affect your nutrient absorption and digestion, that’s why taking a multivitamin is a must if you have stress.
Ingredients Your Multivitamins Should Contain
Below is the list of ingredients you should look for in multivitamins:
Vitamin D aids your body in calcium absorption. This is essential to bone health. Not having enough vitamin D can increase your chances of getting sick, developing bone and back pain, or can cause bone or hair loss.
The sun is the perfect source of vitamin D. However, not all of us can’t get enough of the required vitamins from sun exposure. Moreover, it is not easy to get vitamin D through your food intake.
Magnesium is a vital nutrient. This means we should do our best to get it from food or supplements. It plays an important role in our energy production and bone health.
Besides, this vitamin also has the following advantages:
- Regulate nerve and muscle function;
- Fix sleep problems;
- Relaxes our nervous system and lessens stress after 90 days;
- Balance our blood sugar levels;
- Make bone, protein, and DNA.
About 40 percent of people in our country don’t get enough calcium from their diet. This means that a lot of people are not receiving the mineral they need in their bodies to get strong teeth and bones.
Those who are low in Zinc are most likely older people or people who experience a lot of stress. Zinc helps support our immune system. It is also responsible for making our body use the fat, carbohydrates, and protein we eat to convert to energy.
Iron is recommended in your multivitamin. However, not everyone needs the same quantity of iron in their diet. Iron is great in getting better brain function, developing healthy red blood cells, and increasing our body’s energy.
Folate is also known as folic acid. It is great for preventing birth defects and aiding in fetus development. Moreover, folate is also essential for fighting depression, combating inflammation, and growing out your nails.
Vitamin B12 is a must in your multivitamins. They are responsible for keeping your blood cells and nerves healthy. Furthermore, vitamin B12 also helps in making DNA, which is the genetic component in cells.
Yes, multivitamins do work. However, if you are getting enough nutrients through your diet, taking one won’t make sense. Furthermore, it would be best to keep in mind that multivitamins are just meant to supplement and not replace the nutrients you get from eating healthy foods.