Why Take Multivitamins?

Vista Magazine is a great source for many alternative medicine info and I always pick up the latest magazine when I am near a health food store. I read through the latest copy and found a great article that talks about the importance of multivitamins.

As you know from some of my past posts I am a firm believer in multivitamins although I do not think that they are in any way a replacement for good healthy whole food.

Ensuring that your family’s nutritional needs are met can be a pot and pan-noisy event. Add to that the challenge of guiding your family through the piles of nutritional information available and you may feel overwhelmed.

Quiet the noise and feel sure that your family’s requirements are satisfied by discovering what there is to know about multivitamins.

vitaminsWe all know that multivitamins are a combination of nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are essential for general health and well-being.

The body is a symphony of chemical reactions, each requiring particular nutrients to occur properly.

By ensuring that all of these nutrients are present, the body can function optimally, resulting in feelings of energy, vitality and health.

Are All Multivitamins The Same?

No. There are more than a dozen multivitamins sold in Canadian stores. Investigate the differences to decide which one is best for you.

There are two main groups: synthetic and whole food multivitamins. Synthetic multivitamins are formed by creating all of the essential vitamins and minerals in a laboratory and combining them into a capsule or tablet.

Whole food multivitamins also contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals, but because they are made from concentrates of whole fruits and vegetables, they also contain additional nutrients.

Many of these additional nutrients are necessary for the body to be able to absorb the essential vitamins and minerals.

For example, vitamin C is more efficiently absorbed in the presence of bioflavonoids, which are naturally present in oranges and other whole foods. By using whole fruit and vegetable concentrates, whole food multivitamins offer a more complete nutritional source, and are more bioavailable (better absorbed by the body).

Some multivitamins contain more than just vitamins and minerals. Today, multivitamins may contain green foods, mushrooms, essential fatty acids and amino acids.

All of these nutrients play a part in ensuring that the symphony of reactions in the body is functioning optimally.

Who Needs A Multivitamin?

Nutrients are essential to every reaction in our body. However, there are some age groups that have greater nutritional needs than others.

Multivitamin needs for Kids and teenagers
Growing bodies are working hard to create new cells while still maintaining energy and health in existing cells. As a result, they are in great need of essential vitamins and minerals.

Children, teenagers, athletes and pregnant women’s bodies face these growing nutritional challenges. A multivitamin can offer all of the vitamins and minerals needed to promote healthy growth.

Another area of the body that experiences rapid growth is the immune system. During the invasion of an infectious microbe, the ability of white blood cells to rapidly multiply is drastically affected by nutritional status.

Multivitamins have been shown to enhance many aspects of the immune response (Nutrition, Oct. 2001).

Multivitamin needs for Adults
Adults also need multivitamins. In your 20s, ensuring your diet contains lots of vitamins and minerals can correct any nutritional deficiencies you have developed in your teens and reduce your risk of developing long term deficiencies such as osteoporosis.

In your 30s, running after the kids and trying to manage a career can cause you to reach for convenience foods which lack essential nutrients. A multivitamin can help address the potential nutrient deficiencies. In your 40s, fine lines start to appear and a desire to focus on anti-aging emerges.

The antioxidant power available in a multivitamin can help prevent the aging damage caused by free radicals in the body.

In your 40s, fine lines start to appear and a desire to focus on anti-aging emerges. The antioxidant power available in a multivitamin can help prevent the aging damage caused by free radicals in the body.

Multivitamin needs for the elderly
As you age, the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients decreases. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies. The risk of malnutrition increases the risk of infection.

Studies have found that multivitamins can reduce the mean annual number of days spent with infection in the elderly (BMJ, July 2005). Daily multivitamin use in the elderly has been recommended by scientific reviews (Clin. Infect. Dis., Dec. 2001).

Studies have found that multivitamins can reduce the mean annual number of days spent with infection in the elderly (BMJ, July 2005). Daily multivitamin use in the elderly has been recommended by scientific reviews (Clin. Infect. Dis., Dec. 2001).

Now that you know who needs multivitamins I should tell you what I am taking daily and why.

I take a fairly good multivitamin (but not one of those expensive ones), a calcium for my teeth and bones (I don’t drink much milk), a B50 to supplement the B vitamins that are always short in a multivitamin, and an Omega 3-6-9 vitamin for the healthy fish oils.

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