Over three-quarters of American citizens have embraced the concept of taking dietary supplements, as demonstrated by the latest polls from the Council for Responsible Nutrition. The majority of Americans consume multivitamins, as 58% have reported taking them. According to survey respondents, the primary motivation for taking dietary supplements is to promote better health and well-being.
What Exactly Are Multivitamins?
A “Multivitamin” is a name given to a type of dietary supplement that contains several different vitamins and minerals. Supplements like multivitamins can be found in an array of styles– such as capsules, tablets, gummies, liquid, and powder. There is no set criteria for what should be in this type of dietary supplement, so the quantity and type of nutrients in each product can be different. Multivitamins may contain only vitamins and minerals, or they could include other components like herbs, amino acids, and fatty acids. Certain kinds of medication, such as gummies and chewable tablets, usually come with a sweet taste as a result of flavorants like sugar being added.
The necessity of different vitamins depends on gender, age, and a person’s nutritional intake. Hence, there are multivitamins specifically designed for children, adults, and seniors in order to meet these requirements. These supplements, as well as others, can be picked up from pharmacies, supermarkets, and the internet. Some who advocate for taking multivitamins suggest that it should be done daily, while others advise that it should be taken once a week.
It would be a wise decision to talk to a medical professional such as your doctor or a nutritionist before beginning to take any sort of supplement, especially a multivitamin. They can determine what your individual requirements are, and advise you on the most suitable dietary supplements for you.
5 Reasons to Take A Vitamin Each Day
Although the findings on the health benefits of vitamins are somewhat mixed, research suggests that regular consumption may be associated with the following:
1. They can help fill nutritional gaps in your diet.
Experts generally agree that if you consume a diet consisting of many different fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat proteins, and healthy fats, your body can obtain all the essential nutrients it needs to be successful.
It is a fact that not many individuals are able to reach the suggested amounts of fruits and vegetables; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states only 10% of Americans are doing so. Furthermore, many individuals are not reaching the recommendations for intake of whole grains. And the USDA and the U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2015-2020 suggest that Americans are not getting enough vitamins D, calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, iron, choline, magnesium, vitamins A, C and E. This is of great concern as a lack of several of these nutrients can lead to damaging health problems.
Eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet may not mean that you’re receiving adequate amounts of all nutrients your body needs.
Even though your diet may be highly nutritious, it can sometimes be difficult for food to provide all the necessary nutrients for your body. An illustration of this is vitamin D, which is infrequently available in food (specifically, milk, egg yolk, salmon and some mushrooms raised while receiving UV exposure). Some people have difficulty digesting the lactose in milk, and during certain months of the year we may not have access to enough sun for our bodies to generate vitamin D naturally, so the use of supplements is necessary.
Consuming a daily multivitamin that has the ingredients your food does not provide can help protect you from deficiencies that can cause harm to your well-being.
2. They may help ward off disease.
The evidence regarding the effects of multivitamin intake on reducing the chances of heart attack and mortality is unclear; however, some studies suggest that this may be a potential benefit. It is possible that the effect of taking a multivitamin on mortality from heart disease may vary between genders – a recent inquiry found that the usage of a multivitamin supplement by women only, over a period of more than three years, was correlated with decreased risk of fatality.
Studies have shown conflicting results on whether taking a multivitamin can be correlated to a decreased chance of developing cancer. Research demonstrated that taking multivitamins regularly over a long period could decrease a woman’s chance of getting colon cancer. A separate research discovered that taking multivitamins continually can result in a decrease in colon cancer risk for both males and females. Another study uncovered evidence that taking a multivitamin every day might slightly diminish the risk of cancer in males.
More investigation is needed prior to figuring out the connection between taking multivitamins and avoiding heart disease and cancer, since some surveys haven’t shown any relation, nonetheless the data here really is encouraging.
3. They can boost your mood.
If you’re feeling down and low, it is likely that a daily multivitamin may help: Studies have shown a connection between lacking nutrients and a miserable state. Therefore, it makes sense that inadequate nutrition from food could lead to lowered emotional well-being, so consuming a multivitamin that increases nutrition may positively affect your mood.
And the benefits extend beyond mood: Supplements have also been tied to a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression.
4. They may help preserve your eye health.
The research suggests that taking antioxidant vitamins and minerals may prevent, or at least impede the development of, age-related macular degeneration which is a major cause of vision impairment.
Studies have indicated that consuming a multivitamin supplement on a regular basis may reduce the incidence of cataracts.
5. They help support a healthy pregnancy.
When pregnant, there are specific nutrients that are essential. Folate is a very important, water soluble nutrient that must be taken before and during pregnancy in order to prevent the occurrence of spinal and brain deformities in the baby.
Folate, a B vitamin, contributes significantly to growth and progress. Folate is essential at the start of a pregnancy for the formation of the baby’s neural tube.
The neural tube eventually develops into the baby’s spinal cord, vertebrae, brain, and cranium. After only a few weeks of conception, the embryo begins to form a neural tube and eventually it seals shut. If it does not shut completely, the consequences can be severe birth issues such as anencephaly and spina bifida. We advise all individuals of childbearing age to take a vitamin that contains folic acid to be sure they are sufficiently provided for, as these birth deformities can arise inside the initial four weeks of pregnancy, which are before the large majority of women even find out they’re expecting, and around half of all pregnancies are unexpected. Medical professionals suggest that females should ingest 700 mcg of folic acid every day. Certain cases might gain advantages by consuming up to 4,000 mcg per day, particularly if there is a record of neural tube abnormalities.
Pregnant women need to think about more than just folate when it comes to supplementation. Choline should be taken into consideration due to its importance in the formation of the spinal cord and brain. Iron is another. Iron can stop deficiencies in anemia, which may be a greater danger for pregnant ladies who have less iron because of the development of the fetus and afterbirth.
Another critical nutrient? Vitamin D. Vitamin D facilitates the processing and utilization of essential elements in promoting healthy bones (calcium and phosphorus). It is an essential factor in ensuring the proper bone formation of unborn infants.
Studies show that taking multivitamins during an early stage of pregnancy could be a useful way to make sure pregnant women get the right amount of vitamin D.
Can Multivitamins Benefit the General Population?
Is it possible that multivitamins can be beneficial for all people, regardless of risk factors? Would consuming a multivitamin make you more resistant to some health problems? Won’t they in the end give you the opportunity to enjoy life a bit more, for a longer period of time?
Many individuals consume a multi-vitamin supplement in the expectation that it will give them a longer lifespan.
The evidence doesn’t seem to support this. Taking multivitamins has been linked to a lower risk of cancer in individuals with poor nutritional levels. However, several tests carried out to assess the effect of multivitamins have not revealed any decrease in the chance of contracting cancer, cardiovascular disease, or other serious illnesses.
Studies regarding the most prominent components found in multivitamins, such as antioxidants, arrived at the same result; albeit one of the surveys observed that males who smoked and took vitamin E, as well as those with a meager consumption of beta-carotene, who supplemented with beta-carotene, experienced a drop in their risk of prostate cancer.
It appears that research indicates that multivitamins will not have an effect on how long you live, either positively or negatively.
Although current evidence implies that multivitamins will not increase or diminish your lifespan, this uncertain judgment does not include taking high doses of supplements.
Certain combinations of antioxidants taken in large amounts may raise the likelihood of dying from any source. It is not completely apparent which combinations and doses of antioxidants are hazardous, so it is preferable to take precautions and not exceed your recommendations of adequate dietary allowances (RDAs) if you decide to take antioxidant supplements.
High doses of B vitamins, too, might affect lifespan. A research found that an elevated intake of nicotinamide (also known as niacinamide) could slow down the development of skin cancers, excluding melanoma. However, another research later indicated that high levels of Vitamin B6 and B12 could raise the odds of lung cancer in male smokers (however, the same effect was not found for female smokers or non-smokers). To find out more about the latter research, be sure to read our exclusive article which contains an interview with the primary author.
Multivitamins most likely won’t extend the lifespan of a regular person, and as long as the amounts consumed don’t surpass the Recommended Dietary Allowances for the necessary vitamins and minerals, it should not have a negative effect on the life either.
Could taking a multivitamin not only aid in extending your life span, but also result in living a more vibrant and healthy life? Do multivitamins give you an energy boost and improve your mood?
An appropriate nutrition is necessary to keep the brain, similar to other body organs, functioning correctly. Illnesses associated with a lack of nutrients (e.g. anemia, scurvy, and pellagra) can result in feelings of exhaustion as well as affect one’s temperament, usually leading to depression. Are the effects of a mild deficiency noticeable in one’s mood?
A 2013 study analyzing numerous medical studies found that adults without any medical conditions may experience slight improvements in mental health, including lower levels of anxiety, hostility, stress, and fatigue, as well as improved focus when taking multivitamin supplements. Improvements in depression, however, didn’t reach statistical significance.
Overall, this sounds like good news, but there are three caveats:
A large part of the research used in this meta-analysis was not the type of research that is commonly seen with multivitamins. It was revealed that the use of hefty amounts of B vitamins plus a small selection of minerals structured better results than weaker amounts of B vitamins would have.
A number of the investigations were financed by organizations in the sector, and there was an inadequate amount of research overall to carry out a suitable sub-group examination contrasting the enterprises-funded studies with the other studies.
It is hard to conceal a multivitamin study due to the fact that the consumption of multivitamins usually changes the color of urine, and the placebo effect can be powerful in affecting someone’s emotion.
Since the meta-analysis came out, other investigations have looked at how multivitamins influence emotions. The findings for these investigations were inconsistent; however, they generally corroborated the idea that adding trace nutrients could improve psychological well-being.
It appears that supplementation with multivitamins might have a beneficial effect on the non-severe mental health issues of individuals who have an inadequate nutrition profile, though more research is necessary to determine if this claim is accurate. A comprehensive evaluation of the evidence should be performed in order to confirm this assumption.
The results of a study, which combined the results of multiple trials, showed a moderate decrease in the danger of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (such as neovascular AMD or geographic atrophy) in individuals taking a multivitamin when compared to those who were given a placebo.
For those at a low risk for developing Advanced Macular Degeneration (AMD), taking a multivitamin could prevent 4-6 cases of the disease over 6 years per every 1,000 people.
Approximately 100 people who take a multivitamin as part of their daily routine will experience about 8 fewer transitions to advanced age-related macular degeneration over the span of 6 years compared to those at greater risk of progressing to late-stage AMD.
Most of the reliable evidence gathered came from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) which was conducted very well. The remaining studies, however, were much smaller and did not have much influence.
The participants in the AREDS study were followed up with on average over 6.3 years, and out of the total 3,640 subjects, only 2.4% of them dropped out. A mix of 500 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 International Units of vitamin E, 15 milligrams of beta-carotene, 80 milligrams of zinc (in the form of zinc oxide) and 2 milligrams of copper (in the form of cupric oxide) was employed. Most multivitamins have the same micronutrients that the Age-Related Eye Disease Study used, but in lesser quantities, therefore, the findings of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study may not be applicable to the use of multivitamins. Using high doses of a combination of antioxidants may have certain hazards.
It is reasonable to suggest that antioxidants and the nutrients that contribute to the body’s natural antioxidant defense mechanisms may be able to stop oxidative stress in the maculae, and thus help protect against AMD. However, since the results of the AREDS study haven’t been replicated yet, we should be cautious. Further well-managed clinical examinations should be done utilizing doses of antioxidants that are similar to the amount found in multivitamins.
The same applies to cataracts. It appears that taking multivitamins could be beneficial, however, further studies must be done to definitively prove this.
It is suggested that multivitamins that have a plentiful amount of antioxidants may decrease the likelihood of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, however further studies of high calibre are needed to validate this hypothesis. Investigations ought to be conducted to examine if lower doses of antioxidants can still be effective, as taking high amounts of them could be damaging.