DO MULTIVITAMINS WORK?

DO MULTIVITAMINS WORK-min

Multivitamins are among the most commonly used supplements. However, they might not be very effective at some potential benefits, such as reduced risks of heart disease or cancer.

Are you among the individuals who spend lots of money on multivitamins and other mineral supplements? No doubt you expect certain benefits. For instance, you might want to have better health. However, how effective are these multivitamins at delivering what you want? Do they work? Well, as you will later find out, you might as well spend the money you use in purchasing them to get yourself some fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and foods with tons of nutrients. Would you please keep reading to learn more about multivitamins, their potential benefits, and who should consume them?

What Are Multivitamins?

These are supplements containing different minerals and vitamins. You can get them in various forms, from powder, capsules, tablets, and liquids. In most cases, you take them once or twice daily. Reading the label and following the instructions on the dosage is essential too.

Multivitamins contain lots of vitamins and minerals in varying amounts. Also, some of them might have certain ingredients that might interact with the medication you are under. This, therefore, shows the importance of consulting your doctor before embarking on consuming multivitamins. Well, if you want to get a hold of them, you can purchase them in pharmacies, supermarkets, or even online.

Potential Benefits of Multivitamins

Are there any particular reasons why people consume multivitamins? It is probably because of the following potential health benefits;

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Some people believe that taking multivitamins may help improve their heart health by lowering their chances of developing heart disease. However, this isn’t ultimately backed up by research. Moreover, while some studies show that the supplements are related to improved heart health, others do not show something similar.

Therefore, there are mixed reactions to the specific effects of the consumption of multivitamins on your heart health.

Reduced Risk of Cancer

Just like mixed reactions on the link between multivitamins and improved heart health, the same is true about their connection with cancer. Some studies suggest that the intake of multivitamins may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, especially in men rather than women. Others conclude that there is no effect of multivitamin intake on cancer.

Therefore, some studies connect multivitamin use to reduced cancer risk, while others see no connection at all.

Improved Vision

According to researchers, taking multivitamins may help you lower the risks of developing cataracts, hence, having a healthier vision. Furthermore, one study reported that taking these supplements may slow the progression of macular degeneration, which is a significant cause of blindness globally.

Remember, as much as there are potential benefits of taking multivitamins; you should be keen on the dosage to avoid harm from high amounts.

Who Should Take Multivitamins?

The good news is, if you take a healthy diet, you don’t have to be worried about vitamin deficiency that will require you to consume multivitamins. If you go straight ahead and take them, there might be no benefit at all, or it might be insignificant. On the contrary, some people are advised to take capsules and tablets. Who are these?

Individuals who should take a multivitamin supplementation are at a greater risk of being deficient in vitamins or other nutrients. Who are such people? They include;

The Older People

Since the elderly might find it difficult to chew or swallow food, have weird tastes due to their medications, or experience loneliness and isolation, their feeding and diet might suffer greatly. When their food intake is that poor, they are at risk of vitamin deficiency. Moreover, their absorption of vitamin B12 from food isn’t good; hence, they should get the vitamins from supplements instead.

Pregnant Women

This group of people requires vitamin B to reduce the risks of the baby developing conditions such as spina bifida. Importantly, this folate is more effective when taken before a woman conceives. Therefore, since most pregnancies are unplanned, young women at a child-bearing age should consume multivitamins to get more folate for their babies.

People With Conditions that Interfere With Digestion

The moment you have a condition that interferes with your digestion, chances are, you won’t get enough vitamins and nutrients absorbed into your system. Such diseases include cystic fibrosis. Furthermore, suppose you have undergone surgery that involves removing a part of your digestive organ or have an illness that makes you vomit or have diarrhea excessively. In that case, you won’t absorb enough nutrients. Thus, you can take them through the multivitamins.

What Should You Do?

With so much confusion around, you might be left wondering what option to go for. Well, regardless of your choice, the bottom line is, you want a healthier life. Therefore, why not follow the following tips instead of focusing more on the pills;

  • Talk to your doctor or health provider to determine if it is appropriate for you to take a multivitamin. If you are deficient in the vitamin, this might be a recommendation.
  • Ensure your diet consists of healthy foods, where you can get all the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals you need without going for any supplements. So, what kinds of foods can this be? You could take more whole grains such as brown rice, brown bread, barley, or whole wheat. You could also go for low-fat dairy, healthy fats, lots of fruits and vegetables, and proteins.
  • Talk to an expert in nutrition, such as a dietician, for more health care and nutritional advice.
  • Void high doses of specific vitamins which may be harmful to you. Such include Vitamins A and E.

Conclusion

According to research, there are no apparent benefits you get from taking multivitamins. The results from studies conducted are mixed, but a review of most of them concludes that an intake of multivitamins might not deliver the potential benefits after all. Therefore, a healthier diet full of whole grains, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and foods in nutrients is advised. Also, you should consult your doctor to find out if it is okay for you to take the pills. Moreover, there are groups of individuals who might receive the recommendation of consuming the pills. Suchinclude older people, pregnant women, or those with conditions that interfere with their digestion. All the best as you strive to get better health.

Marie Salbuvik

Dietician MS, Lund University, Sweden Nutrition plays an important role in human life. Eating habits are one of the factors that affect our health. There is often a misconception among people that nutritionists force a very restrictive diet, but that is not true. In fact, I don't ban any products, but I point out dietary mistakes and help change them by giving tips and new recipes that I've tried myself. I advise my patients not to resist change and to be purposeful. Only with willpower and determination can a good result be achieved in any area of life, including changing eating habits. When I don't work, I love to go climbing. On a Friday evening, you are most likely to find me on my couch, cuddling with my dog and watching some Netflix.

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