Why do I need to take a multivitamin?

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Fast Facts:

Read these if you just want the basic recommendation.

1) The average diet lacks unprocessed foods that are packed-full of vitamins and minerals (examples of these foods are: fresh fruits/vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fresh fish, whole grains, beans, and legumes).

2) Because of this lack of vitamin/mineral intake through food, multivitamins are great ways to “bridge” dietary gaps. You can look at them as insurance for less-than-perfect diets.

3) Vitamins and minerals play several critical roles in the human body. They are involved in energy production, fat breakdown, immunity, and recovery/repair.

4) Common deficiencies are: Calcium (bone health), Magnesium (cardiac function), Vitamin A (vision), Vitamin C (cell repair/immune function), and Vitamin E (cardiac function).

5) Taking a daily multivitamin not only helps to make up for these deficiencies, but helps create a positive daily health habit that can act as a gateway to other positive nutritional changes.

Scientific Support & Evidence:

Read this if you want to know what we base our recommendations on.

1) It is unlikely that multivitamins are necessary for people with balanced, adequate diets containing a lot fruit, veggies, and minimally-processed protein. That being said, few people meet this criterion.

2) When foods become highly processed (through cooking or manufacturing), the biological availability of the nutrients in the food will degrade. This makes these vitamins and minerals less available for the body to use critical physiological functions.

3) Processing and manufacturing aside, since it is nearly impossible to eat a perfectly balanced diet. Because of this it is unlikely most people will be able to get the necessary diversity in their diet to adequately consume all of the essential vitamins and minerals they need.

4) Individuals with GI disorders (Crohn’s, IBS, IBD, etc.), vegetarians, the elderly, and women of childbearing age all appear to be at a greater risk of being deficient in one or more key vitamins and minerals.

5) Good, long-term clinical research on multivitamins is still lacking. This is not because clinical trials haven’t been performed (because they have), but more so because the outcome measure of “health,” “disease prevention,” and “longevity” are so difficult to measure.

Links to Other Informational Resources:

Click below if you’d like more in-depth information.

1) Peer-Reviewed Research from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements and Prevention of Chronic Disease: Executive Summary

2) Peer-Reviewed Research from The Nutrition Journal: Addressing nutritional gaps with multivitamin and mineral supplements

3) Top-Rated Multivitamins: Labdoor Top Multivitamins

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