Vitamins are an essential part of the diet. They provide us with more energy, help to increase one’s lifespan, as well as help to improve the overall health. Vitamin C is instrumental in fighting flu and colds, while vitamin D is essential in the synthesis of calcium in the body. Vitamin D also helps in the functioning of hormones. All the nutrients we get in our bodies play an important role, but unfortunately, we are not getting enough of them.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that taking multivitamins is the magical solution to our problem. They have side effects too and some people even wonder whether they work at all. Nutritionists have raised concerns as to whether they are fully absorbed in the body and whether they do more bad than good.
We are going to explore whether the multivitamins work and if they do, how do you go about finding the right one for you?
What Do Multivitamins Do?
Unfortunately, most people don’t consume all the nutrients that their body needs. This is because people tend to eat a lot of foods that have empty calories. This includes foods such as soft drinks, French fries, and candy. Empty calories take the space of the nutrients that should have been consumed. Even people who strive to eat healthy on a regular basis might not succeed in getting all the nutrients that their body needs.
Your body needs 40 different kinds of nutrients every day. If you manage to consume all of them, then you will feel much better and energetic all the time and you will be less likely to get sick.
In a dietary guideline that was published back in 2017, it was highlighted that most Americans, both adults and children, are not taking in enough potassium, calcium and vitamin D. All these nutrients can be obtained from taking a multivitamin.
Are Multivitamins Effective?
The truth is that a manmade product cannot be as effective as a natural one. Nutritionists are not sure whether multivitamins are properly absorbed into the body. You see, when you obtain your vitamins from food, it means that you are consuming more than one vitamin or nutrients at the same time. These nutrients help in the absorption of each other in the body. But when you consume a multivitamin on its own, it lacks the other nutrients that help it absorb better into the body.
Some experts think that multivitamins are indeed helpful, as it is highly likely that they are absorbed into the body. However, it’s hard to test the overall effects that these supplements can have on your body because it takes a long time for their accumulative effect to work.
Are Multivitamins Safe?
Mostly, yes. They are safe. Most supplements don’t have a lot of dangerous ingredients in them that would make them risky to take. The most likely consequence you might suffer is having an overdose of a particular nutrient in your body. Since only a few people actually manage to consume all the vitamins they need, having a bit extra in the body wouldn’t be that bad.
The key thing to check when choosing a supplement is how many minerals and vitamins it has. This is usually indicated as MG and you will also see a percentage of DV (Daily Value). 100% daily value indicates that you are getting all the nutrients that you are supposed to get in a day.
- Check whether it’s water soluble or not
- Check the exact ingredients that have been included in the supplement and how much of each has been used
- Buy from well-known brands that are credible
- Decide which vitamins you will benefit most from
- Know that you will be taking it for a long time to come and not just for a month or two
How to Take the Supplement
Check the manufacturer’s directions on how to take the supplement. Some need to be taken with meals while others are best taken before you eat anything. Fat-soluble vitamins need to be taken with some fat for better absorption. Some supplements have to be spread out throughout the day and taken at different times.
In conclusion, supplements shouldn’t take over your diet, but they should be taken in addition to a healthy diet.