Multivitamins: Helpful or Hoax?

If you are like most people, you pop vitamins in the morning with breakfast. On the surface, swallowing a multivitamin every day makes sense. We all want to stay healthy and we're concerned that our meals do not provide enough nutrition. Unfortunately, the more you learn about multivitamins, the less likely you are to swear by them. The truth is, you could be wasting both your time and your money. It depends on a few things...

Multivitamin or Placebo?

Studies show that some vitamins may be no better than a placebo when it comes to preventing diseases. This is not to say that all multivitamins are placebos or a complete scam. Certain types of multivitamins provide some health benefits, such as folic acid for expecting mothers. Data shows that a daily "one pill does all" multivitamin doesn't prevent heart issues, guard against memory loss, or boost longevity. In fact, study results published in Annals of Internal Medicine show that multivitamins aren't any better than empty capsules. Some studies even suggest that high doses of vitamins can actually harm the body.

False Sense of Security

Taking inferior nutritional supplements could give you a false sense of security, which could actually lead to vitamin deficiency issues. You might think you are giving your body what it needs with the supplements you take. However, if you are taking supplements that have little or no nutritional value (unbeknownst to you) it makes you think you’re healthier. As a result, you are less likely to make healthy eating choices because you feel like you’ve gotten your daily nutritients in a few pills. You might grab a piece of carrot cake instead of a few carrots, thinking to yourself, “I already got my 100% of Vitamin A today from my morning multivitamin.” Make sure the supplements you use are high quality; it pays to do the research on different manufacturers.

Reduced Potency Over Time

Many people aren't aware of this, but multivitamins lose their potency as time progresses. If you buy multivitamins in bulk when taking advantage of sales, they will likely sit in your  cabinet for months or years. As each day passes, multivitamins become less effective. When multivitamins reach a certain age it makes more sense to trash them than to pass them through your system with no nutritional benefit.

Consider Your Nutritional Intake

There are a few studies that conflict with these findings. Keep in mind that if you are taking a vitamin on your doctor’s advice for a nutritional deficiency or medical condition, you shouldn’t just stop. However, if you are otherwise healthy and have a good diet, you may not need to supplement.

Do you eat diversely colored foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients? If so, you might not obtain much or any benefit from a daily multivitamin. Though nutritionists agree it is best to obtain vitamins from food sources, a multivitamin can provide missing nutrients in the event that your dietary intake is lacking. Make a concerted effort to consume healthy food and you will get your vitamins and nutrients the way that nature intended!

If you need to take supplements, or you just feel better doing so, do some research to find the more trusted manufacturers of nutritional supplements.

Do you take supplements? If so, which ones do you like or dislike, and why? Please post your comments and experience below.

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11/27/2016 8:00:00 AM
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Idiots. You see who sponsored this article. It was someone who was linked to big pharma and OF COURSE, they are going to trash vitamins or ANY homeopathic medicine because they CAN'T MAKE ANY MONEY ON IT! If you believe this idiot who wrote this article, I have some swampland I can see you for CHEAP in New Jersey!
Posted by Vinny
Excellent Points. That is why a diet with Plant Based Foods is so important, but unfortunately lots of people do not have the time, money or just do not like enough vegetables to keep you healthy. The solution to the vitamin/nutrition problem is to Take Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition that gives you all the nutrition as if you eat 3 serving of dark green salads/vegetables a day. Simply Natural Vios gives you options to obtain your nutrition your body needs everyday. 50 minerals and trace minerals, 9 essential amino acids, Vitamin A, all the B vitamins including B12, Vitamin C, D-2 and D-3,Folic Acid, Vitamin E K1, K2 and K3. We have a product called Phyte, which is an alkalizing plant-based organic whole food powder with proprietary blends of Wheat Grass, Barley Grass, Alfalfa Grass and organic Greens Spirulina, Chlorella, Spinach Leaf, Nettle Leaf and Dandelion Leaf, PHYTE also contains a proprietary fiber blend including inulin a prebiotic to support gastrointestinal health and probiotic, Brown Rice Bran, and Apple Pectin to aid bowel regularity and colon health. PHYTE is a rich source of Phytonutrients, Antioxidants, Protein, Fiber, Vitamins and minerals all ingredients are whole food sources. All of this in an easy convenient package for your on the go lifestyle and affordable. for more info
Posted by Simply Natural Vios
i take a store brand multivitamin. is that ok compared to name brands?
Posted by amy
Excellent points, Johanna. The article is good, but fails to address food quality, even if your diet is healthy. Our food is grown in chemically toxic soil & air. Worse, most Americans are eating fast food / processed foods. Evidence the growing numbers of obesity and diabetes.

Chronic stress is like Ms. Pacman eating folate dots! Up your Vit C intake; stop by your local clinic for a B-12 injection when your body is dragging.

It's a fact that, as we age, our bodies become less capable of absorbing nutrients through our digestive tract. We may not be getting enough of what we need, even when we're doing everything right.

And what about the WAY we eat? Many people eat on the go, standing or moving about while "multitasking", eating in the car, etc. Food needs to be chewed s l o w l y. Completely. The saliva helps break down the nutrients, delivering more benefits. Smaller pieces of food is easier on our stomachs, relieving many unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms many people experience after eating. Properly chewed food prevents digestional overwork, keeping more blood in our extremities, eliminating that post-meal crash & nap.

Our food should fuel and energize us.

Thanks for the SCM Test tip, Johanna. I'm due for yearly labs and will definitely inquire.
Posted by Sophie Marie
Eating a balanced diet, exercising and taking a multivitamin is simply not enough. Our food is so often depleted of nutritional value and our stressful lifestyles deplete us further. Because each person's body is unique and complex, an individualized approach is the only way to guarantee optimal nutritional levels. The best way to find out whether you are nutrient deficient at the cellular level is through specialized affordable testing, like SpectraCell's Micronutrient Test. It measures the function of 35 nutritients including vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and amino acids within our white blood cells. This gives you an idea of what your nutritional status has been for the last 4-6 months, unlike the simple red blood levels that get measured in basic lab work. So many of our symptoms, heath complaints, and chronic conditions are directly linked to nutrient depletion. We owe it to ourselves to use this tool for understanding and correcting our nutritional imbalances. Supplementation is often needed, and re-testing every 6 months let's you know if it's working.
Posted by Johanna Finney

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