According to the medical journal “Annals of Internal Medicine”, there is no evidence that multivitamins have any effect on cognitive decline, heart disease, cancer, or overall mortality. Wait what??
However, adequate intake of vitamins/minerals from food and/or supplements IS necessary to prevent deficiency, promote optimal health, improve nutrient partitioning and promote fat loss and muscle gain.
Ditch The Multivitamin or Not??
Ideally, just supplement the specific nutrients you are deficient in. Avoid supratherapeutic doses of vitamins – doses greatly in excess of recommendations. And know what you are working with: low-fat diets for instance can inhibit adequate absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Perhaps your diet just needs a little tweaking; all of your vitamin and mineral requirements CAN and arguable SHOULD BE met from actual food intake by eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you struggle with medical ailments, check with your healthcare provider to see if specific vitamins or nutrients may need to be supplemented.
Taste The Rainbow!
…can we say that?
Vitamins are “any of a group of organic compounds that are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the body.”
We have overwhelming access to a variety of fruits and vegetables all year round, and there truly is no reason outside of a medical complication or deficiency that one should require a daily multivitamin.
If you use a vitamin/mineral supplement, look for one providing nutrients derived from whole foods. Be sure this includes natural forms of vitamin E rather than the synthetic versions. Vitamin A should come from precursors like carotenoids and not preformed retinoids for instance. Labdoor.com is an independent company that creates a quality score for label accuracy, product purity, nutritional value, ingredient safety, and projected efficacy!
**Check with your healthcare provider as special populations often need special consideration with supplemental vitamins. Those on blood thinners need to take precaution before adding in supplemental vitamin K. Those on a plant based diet might benefit from supplementing with iodine, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Those suffering from malabsorption syndromes will need to adjust their micronutrient intake accordingly. Always check with your healthcare provider before supplementing your diet.**
Vitamin D: The not-really-a-vitamin Vitamin
“Vitamin D” is actually the one vitamin your body is capable of synthesizing on it’s own! All you need is sunlight. Because of this you may meet your requirements for this vitamin with no effort at all in the Summer, but come Winter you may be totally deficient! (Especially for those of us in the North experiencing extended periods of below freezing temperatures and reduced daylight hours).
Getting adequate vitamin D can improve mood AND provide long-term protection against cognitive decline and bone deterioration. Many studies show that deficiency in vitamin D is also associated with increased susceptibility to infection and immune dysfunction!