How multivitamin supplements enhance health?
A balanced diet is rich in all nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Vitamins are the body’s building blocks; they improve health and immunity. They are vital for every age group. Every day your body requires vitamins and minerals to operate properly. They are essential for a balanced diet. One of the main causes of the rise in lifestyle disorders is the deficiency of these key nutrients owing to the increased consumption of junk food, which are tasty but lacking in essential elements and nutrients. Taking multivitamins can help you get the vitamins and minerals you lack from food because of either consuming less nutritious food or your body not absorbing sufficient nutrients. An example of this is one lemon can provide you with only 40% of your daily dietary intake of vitamin C while a supplement can provide you with 100% of daily recommended allowance which is 80 mg for male and 65 mg for female.
Vitamins are organic substances that are often categorised as either fat-soluble or water-soluble. Vitamins like A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble and are stored in the body. While B-complex vitamins and vitamin C are water-soluble that dissolve in water to be absorbed by the body and cannot be stored, so they need to be replenished daily. Any water-soluble vitamins that the body does not use are primarily excreted in the urine.
Why consume multivitamins?
A deficiency of vitamins leads to many diseases; vitamin A deficiency causes night blindness, and vitamin B deficiency causes Beri-Beri, vitamin C and D deficiency causes scurvy and rickets, respectively. Specific vitamin supplementation may also be necessary in some circumstances, such as a deficiency brought on by prolonged poor diet or malabsorption brought on by a malfunctioning digestive system or certain medications that may reduce nutrient absorption.
Nutrient requirements are different through the life cycle. During pregnancy, the need for micronutrients increases significantly. Maternal nutrition is essential for healthy fetal growth and development. Consuming prenatal vitamins by women who are planning to conceive is beneficial for baby’s healthy development. Folic acid and iron are essential prenatal vitamins along with Vitamin B12 and D to support proper brain growth of the fetus during the first month of pregnancy when women usually do not even realise that they have conceived. . Thus women planning to conceive should consult their gynaecologist or physician and take multivitamin supplements under their guidance.
Children and adolescents usually don’t eat enough healthy foods as they are picky eaters due to which they might face growth and developmental problems, poor academic performance, and frequent infections. Sometimes they develop unhealthy eating habits. In such cases multivitamins supplements can work to provide required nutrients. Parents should consult their healthcare provider prior to starting any supplements for children and adolescents.
The elderly are more likely to consume inadequate amounts of food for various reasons, including difficulties swallowing and chewing, unpleasant taste changes brought on by several drugs, and loneliness and isolation, which can reduce appetite. Along with vitamin C & D they have issues with food-derived vitamin B12 absorption.
Certain medications and surgeries can prevent the absorption of vitamins like vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, folate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. People taking such medications or undergoing any surgeries should consult their doctor to take multivitamins that cover the depleted vitamin reserves.
Chronic alcoholism and other diseases which can cause malabsorption of nutrients can lead to vitamin deficiency.
Children and sports players need extra energy to give their best; they need multivitamins and can choose them according to the recommendation of their expert.
Use a multivitamin when:
- You are following a restricted diet for a long period.
- You have been prescribed a liquid diet after a specific surgical procedure, or you are fulfilling a goal of weight loss
- You are on a limited diet or have a poor appetite.
- You are pregnant (Consult your doctor before starting multivitamins)
- You are suffering from a disease that does not allow your body to absorb nutrients
- You are very busy and do not get time to follow a proper diet.
What kind of multivitamins to take?
Multivitamins are packed as a complete blend of nutrients for general health or a specific nutritional combination for specific deficiencies or clinical conditions (B-complex, calcium with vitamin D, etc.). They are available in various forms like capsules, liquids, powders, tablets, strips and gummies.
Choose a product whose label features the “Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)” or “percentage Daily value” on it. Carefully read all the ingredients as well as their sources mentioned on the labels along with dosage. Don’t just randomly take multivitamins; sometimes they contain heavy metals. Before purchasing a product consult your doctor or read thoroughly about the product. Clinical test can indicate a Vitamin D or b12 deficiency therefore, one can go for the test before starting multivitamins.
It is crucial to keep in mind that while multivitamins might improve a person’s health, having well-balanced diet along with it is always advisable. A multivitamin primarily bridges nutritional gaps between diet and the body’s requirement of a nutrient. . It is recommended to know what you consume, consult a healthcare provider, and read the product label thoroughly to ensure you will benefit from the supplement that you consume.