Hands in the air if you’ve ever taken a multivitamin!
I’m going to bet you got them from a big box store or maybe online.
Multivitamins are certainly an easy way to get a combination of vitamins and minerals in 2 capsules as opposed to taking a multitude of different supplements and have to manage all those bottles. (GUILTY as charged–that’s how I roll!)
For some, the very idea of all those supplements just makes it a heck no right out the gate!
For others, a well-researched, well-rounded multivitamin makes all the difference and is doable!
So why do we take a multivitamin?
Yes it’s true that all the nutrients we need for a healthy body are readily available in fruits and vegetables, meats, and fish, but we just don’t eat enough of them nor quite frankly, are we able to eat as much as we possibly need.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a recent study showed that more than 3/4 of adults do not eat enough fruit and almost 9 out of 10 people don’t eat enough vegetables. (Click here for a delicious Chilled Vegetable and Steak Salad recipe) This is where a good multivitamin comes in handy–to help you cover those nutritional bases!
In addition to providing a basic level of nutrients, a multivitamin can offset the negative effects of medications that may make absorption of nutrients more difficult or actually deplete your existing nutrients.
Vitamins like C, D, and E are also strong antioxidants and can strengthen your immune system while also helping reduce allergy symptoms. Vitamins A, B3 (niacin), C, E, and selenium also support eye health while B3, Biotin, and C support healthy hair and healthy skin is helped by A, C, E, and CoQ10.
One important benefit of a daily multivitamin is also the body’s need for certain nutrients that are water-soluble and need to be replenished daily because they wash through your system quickly, especially vitamins B and C.
Multivitamins can offer a wide range of basic components and can be customized for specific needs. Certain nutrients are critical, or at least helpful for general nutrition, reproduction, maintenance, growth, or a variety of bodily functions and processes.
Since the variety of nutrients is quite extensive, the sources are too, and a multivitamin can contain amino acids, fatty acids, herbs, and other ingredients in addition to vitamins and minerals.
Many observational studies have indicated that such supplements may reduce, for example, the risk of heart disease or stroke. Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women and the vitamins that play a role in cardiovascular health include vitamins B1, B2, B3 (Niacin), B6, CoQ10, K1, and magnesium.
In a recent research study, they examined 5 randomized, controlled trials in 47,289 people. It found a 31% lower risk of cancer in men who took multivitamins but no effect in women (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16880453/). Two observational studies, one including women and the other including men, tied long-term multivitamin use to a reduced risk of colon cancer (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9758570/ & 9332757/).
Plenty of other studies have been done to determine if a multivitamin may improve eye health, brain function, memory, and mood. And while vitamins and antioxidant minerals are not magic pills, they may still help slow the progression of diseases.