Are multivitamins good for you?

Are multivitamins good for you?

There is no doubt that a balanced and varied diet is the best source of essential vitamins and minerals. However, what happens if we do not get all the necessary micronutrients from food?

Micronutrient is the umbrella term used to represent essential vitamins and minerals required from the diet to sustain virtually all normal cellular and molecular functions.[1] Micronutrients are required for all bodily processes, and without them we cannot properly function.

Most nutrients act in all tissues, and all tissues need all nutrients; therefore, inadequate intakes may adversely affect every body system, but with more pronounced effects in some than others.[2]

Ideally, we would like to obtain these nutrients from our diets but one of the concerns is that our soil is depleted of nutrients.  Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped the amount of nutrients that come from the soil. 

It is important to also consider that not all vitamins are created equal, and everyone needs are different. Nutrient requirements may vary depending on age, gender, activity level, health status etc.[1] In addition to selecting a product that contains what it claims, vitamins and minerals derived from organic sources should be your first choice, and research the company before buying their products.

Multivitamin/mineral supplement is a good health insurance but it cannot replace food so make sure that you are pairing up your supplements with a good diet rich in whole foods, fiber and good fat sources.

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[1] Norling, S. (2014). Not All Vitamins are Created Equal. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from http://drsharonnorling.com/not-all-vitamins-are-created-equal-2/

1] Bailey, R. L., & West, K. P. (2015, June 2). The Epidemiology of Global Micronutrient Deficiencies. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/371618

[2] Ward, E. (2014). Addressing nutritional gaps with multivitamin and mineral supplements. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4109789/

[3] Davis, D. R. (2009, February 01). Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What Is the Evidence? Retrieved June 18, 2017, from http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/44/1/15.full

Photo: Washington's Green Grocer

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