Sunday, October 31, 2010

Is a Multivitamin good for you?

Not to be confused with megavitamins, multivitamins typically contain a large variety of vitamins & minerals within a normal range and/or recommended daily allowance (RDA).
The question: Is a Multivitamin good for you?
Centrum - Complete from A to ZincThe back & forth about the health of taking this supplement in a daily fashion, whether it is good for you or if it does more harm than good, has been going on for quite while. In the past, it was generally accepted as a wise choice to take a vitamin tablet daily, and the only negative things you probably heard about back then, was that you were wasting money or someone may tell you, "damn, you have expensive urine!" Now, there is studies that conclude that taking too much synthetic beta-carotene (precursor of Vitamin A) and synthetic Vitamin A from supplements (not food sources) can actually increase health risks (lung cancer) for people who smoke, for example. There are other vitamins that can have negative effects if took in high doses, which are often found in megavitamins. Of course, there is always a chance of getting too much iron in your body if you abuse multivitamins that contain Iron.

If you eat a well-balanced, healthy diet, most people really don't need to take vitamin & mineral pills. Then again, it seems that most people don't eat very healthy. I will say, the extra Vitamin D that is often found in these daily supplements, is one of the biggest reasons why I take them periodically.

Wikipedia quote: "Severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies require medical treatment and can be very difficult to treat with common over-the-counter multivitamins. In such situations, special vitamin or mineral forms with much higher potencies are available, either as individual components or as specialized formulations, sometimes requiring a prescription.
Multivitamins in large quantities may pose a risk of an acute overdose, due to the toxicity of some components, principally iron. However, in contrast to iron tablets, which can be lethal to children, toxicity from overdoses of multivitamins are very rare.
" Read more about this subject, here:

As people age, from young to old, the body's requirements change. This is another reason why there are so many different variations of multiminerals & multivitamins on the market, well, outside of the marketing and promotional aspects for the obvious monetary reasons at hand.

In my opinion, if you do take a basic multivitamin often, it is better to just take half of it early in the day and the the other half, later on that day - to increase absorption rates and to simply spread out the nutrient flow.

I still say that the best way to get proper nutrition, is from food itself - in a natural way; plus, by eating nutrient-rich food, you'll get lots of the antioxidants and phytochemicals, etc., that may help prevent disease, cancer, and so on......

I'm not a big fan of the "megavitamins" on the market. I do not think it is wise to take an excessive amount of any particular synthetic vitamin; it just isn't natural and the same applies for taking large amounts of one or two minerals in particular. Overdoing certain vitamins & minerals while lacking in others can cause an imbalance, which can never be good.

So, is a Multivitamin good for you, or do you think it is a big waste of money?

I assume it depends on your situation and health status, but I'll just stick to taking 2 or 3 a week, and be done with it. That way, I'm not wasting too much money, but I'm also not overdoing it - just merely supplementing my diet. However, I do take a variety of herbs & supplements, but I'll save my reasons for those, later on down this blog's path to bloggerville heaven. Cheers!

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1 comment:

  1. I'm about to enter a mini-blog post into the comment field, since I don't feel the need to write a separate post:

    "Why is there tin & nickel in certain multivitamins?"

    Nickel is a mineral that can be toxic in large amounts, but it's found in small amounts in a lot of our foods including nuts, legumes, soybeans, grains, chocolate, etc. The body needs nickel, but in very small amounts. Nickel is used as a trace element in various multivitamins.

    Is it good for you?

    Nickel is used for increasing iron absorption, preventing anemia, and treating osteoporosis.

    What about tin? How is tin good for you?

    I didn't find anything good about tin, however. Perhaps there is a reason they put tin in multivitamins, but it doesn't seem to make very much sense at the moment. One website I just read had this to say about tin:

    "◾Tin can combine with certain other chemicals to form “inorganic tin compounds”. These are found in toothpaste, perfumes, food dyes, and more — products that are safe for use in and on the human body.
    ◾Tin can combine with carbon to form “organotin compounds”. These are used to make plastics, and other things that are not safe for human consumption.
    ◾Metallic tin — tin that is not combined with other compounds — is not well absorbed by the body. Tin is not water soluble.
    ◾When ingested in large quantities, inorganic tin compounds can cause stomach problems, kidney problems, liver problems, and anemia.
    ◾Breathing, swallowing, or skin contact with some organotins can interfere with brain function and/or nervous system function."

    Does that sound good for you?

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