Taking multivitamins is considered to be part of one’s daily routine in many countries. The health industry world over actually makes billions of dollars each year on multivitamins alone. As more and more people recognize importance of disease prevention, there is also an increase in the number of people looking to protect their health better through supplementation with vitamins and minerals.
The health benefits of multivitamin tablets haven’t actually been established yet and there are studies suggesting that it can even be harmful in some cases. There are not enough studies on the risks of multivitamins on the body but there are some cases showing the benefit of certain vitamins on the health like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E. B-complex vitamins like vitamin B12 also have individual health benefits. Given the contrasting studies on taking vitamins and minerals supplementation, it can help to weigh the pros and cons first before making it part of your daily routine.
The Value of Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are essential to the body for proper growth and development. These substances assist in different body functions including production of hormones, chemicals, and cells as well as bone formation and metabolism. Different vitamins and minerals are needed on a cellular level and also serve as antioxidants.
There are different types of vitamins and these are classified into two groups, namely water soluble and fat soluble vitamins. Some vitamins are actually made in the body like vitamin K, vitamin D, vitamin B5, and vitamin H or biotin. For other vitamins, these are available from different food sources and in multivitamin supplements.
Vitamins and Minerals in Food
For majority of healthy individuals below 50 years of age, getting the necessary nutrients through diet is possible. Eating a balanced diet with a variety of colorful and nutritious foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy will give an individual sufficient amounts of essential vitamins and minerals without the need for additional supplementation.
The problem with depending on dietary sources for vitamins and minerals is that majority of the population make poor food choices and the recommended daily allowance for different nutrients are commonly not met. If you wish to do without supplements like multivitamins without compromising your health, it would be best to consume more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fortified foods, and low fat dairy products. Incorporating healthier foods into the diet will help ensure that one’s nutritional needs are met.
The Benefits and Dangers of Multivitamin Tablets
The value of multivitamins cannot be ignored especially when it comes to pregnant women, children, and the elderly. Multivitamin tablets help prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies in population groups that are at most risk and ensure that the body gets the essential nutrients needed to function. Despite the obvious benefits of multivitamins, there are also negative effects that may arise with its use.
There are several studies suggesting that multivitamins can do more harm to the body than good and can increase the risk for some diseases rather than prevent it. Taking too much vitamins and minerals is also a bad thing and is likely when taking multivitamin supplements. People already get some of the nutrients they need from the food they eat even if it does not reach the recommended daily allowance. Taking a multivitamin supplement with 100% of the nutrient’s RDA can add to the amount already in the body from the food. Some vitamins and minerals are dangerous in excessive amounts and can lead to toxicity, especially fat soluble vitamins which aren’t used up by the body on a daily basis and are stored in the liver and fatty tissues.