It seems that every other week a new study (or a newly written internet article about a very old study) makes the rounds suggesting that multivitamins and other supplements offer no health benefits and are not worth the money. The truth is that most of these studies are flawed and their interpretation by layperson click-bait writers should always be taken with a grain of salt.
I take a multivitamin everyday.
I want you to live long and feel your absolute best each and every day of your life, so you should take one too.
Multivitamins are meant to be a supplement to a healthy lifestyle. You cannot exist on fast food, diet soda, and muffins and expect a multivitamin to undo all of that damage. You cannot never exercise and expect a multivitamin to magically solve all your problems. Most studies do not take into account the average person’s lifestyle (self-reporting is terribly inaccurate) and then the multivitamin gets a bad rap. Instead of “Multivitamins Show No Health Benefits,” the headline should read, “Typical American Lifestyle Overpowers Benefits Of Multivitamins.”
The typical American diet is high in grains, dairy, fatty meats, and processed foods – foods that have been clearly linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases. If this is the way you choose to eat, is it pointless to even take a multivitamin? Of course not – still take one. All of these foods also happen to be fairly low in nutrient density. Low nutrient intake accelerates the aging process and increases the risk of the diseases listed above. It also increases your risk of injuries due to weakened muscles and tendons and is correlated with bone and joint degeneration. Increasing your vitamin and mineral intake will have a positive impact on your health.
Why are vitamins and minerals so important?
They are essential for the optimal health and functioning of every cell in the human body. You can get by without having the recommended amount – but think about what happens to the quality of our roads when the maintenance and repair budget is woefully underfunded: potholes and cracks.
The same holds true for your body: early wear, tear and disease. Vitamins and minerals also support higher metabolism by helping turn the food you eat into energy (instead of fat) and act as antioxidants to remove viruses, bacteria, and other toxins from your body. Finally, vitamins and minerals are essential for proper functioning of your immune system. If you want to feel your absolute best, take a multivitamin.
Our modern food supply is another reason we are all lacking in vitamins and minerals. Domesticated plant foods contain much lower nutrient density than their wild counterparts and meats (even healthy lean meats) from factory farms have fewer nutrients than the wild game consumed by our ancestors.
Furthermore, the quality of our food supply has been affected by soil depletion and nutrient loss during transportation and storage. Everybody would benefit from boosting their vitamin and mineral intake.
What Should I Look For In A Multivitamin?
Another area that studies on multivitamins fall short is that they fail to account for the quality of the vitamins the people say they took. Mass-market one-a-day multivitamins do not contain bioavailable forms of vitamins and minerals – which means that your body cannot recognize or absorb them efficiently. Also, the supplement industry is not tightly regulated, which means that what is listed on the bottle is not always in your supplement.
Choose a pharmaceutical-grade multivitamin with a GMP or USP certification. This insures that the vitamin actually contains the exact ingredients and amounts listed on the label. It also means that the purity and absorption meets the highest regulatory standards. This type of product is sold only in specialty health food store or by licensed health care providers.
Finally, look for chelated minerals listed on the label. Chelation is a process that binds minerals to amino acids, which is a more natural form and is better absorbed and used by the body. To that end, skip the one-a-day vitamins. Chelated minerals take up space and cannot be packed into one daily vitamin. The dose for the vitamin I take is three per day. There’s just not enough room in one capsule to pack all of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs for optimal health.
The multivitamin that I sell on my website is the one that I take myself (NutriDyn Essential Multi). It meets all the criteria of a high quality multivitamin and it also contains plant and herb extracts that have been shown to be important for optimal functioning of our bodies. Humans evolved by eating a complex diet of fruits and vegetables for hundreds of thousands of years. Processed foods fortified with “12 vitamins and minerals” simply cannot adequately nourish our bodies. The NutriDyn Essential Multi is priced at $35.50 for a one month supply – a very reasonable price for a high quality multivitamin.
Remember, a multivitamin is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle. For optimal health it must be paired with a healthy diet and plenty of sleep and exercise.