For decades, studies have concluded that multivitamins do little to help prevent chronic disease. However, according to the data National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you’re still wondering if you need multiplayer, here’s what the experts want you to know.
What are multivitamins?
The term “multivitamins” is a bit of a misnomer, especially since these supplements often contain more than just vitamins. “Manufacturers may include a combination of vitamins and minerals, but they may also add other ingredients such as herbs, antioxidants and amino acids,” says Sonia Angelone, RDN, a nutritionist in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Depending on the brand, formulas can vary significantly and are often targeted to a specific group based on age, gender, or health conditions.”
Although multiplexes have existed since the 1940s, according to past research there is still no standard definition of the nutrients they should contain. This is surprising considering they are the most popular dietary supplement in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What nutrients are typically found in multivitamins?
In an ideal world, multivitamins provide the body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay strong and healthy, in the right amounts. In reality, this is usually not the case, and an increasing number of multiplexes exceed the daily allowance (DV; recommended amount of nutrients for most people to consume daily) for many vitamins and minerals. Why?
“There is a lot of competition in the supplement market, and adding a large dose of nutrients seems like a ‘best deal’ for the consumer,” he says. Lisa Young, PhD, RDNNew York City nutritionist and author Finally full, finally thin. “However, this can be problematic, as more nutrients in supplement form are not necessarily better.”
For example, take fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Because we store these nutrients in our adipose tissue, excessive doses can build up in the body to dangerous levels. Mount Sinai. An excess of certain minerals, such as iron, can also be toxic and can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients. US NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH.
Although formulations vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, a typical multi, for example, One day from Bayercontains the following nutrients:
In addition, some women’s formulas contain iron. Just be aware that if you are chewing gum, the list can be significantly shorter. This is because some nutrients, especially iron, have an off-taste that will ruin the candy flavor that makes gummies so popular. reports ConsumerLabindependent food testing company.
What are the advertised benefits of multivitamins?
If you don’t always eat right, multivitamins can be a helpful way to fill in nutrient gaps. CDC. According to information collected between 2003 and 2006. CDC. For the most part, these deficiencies are limited to four nutrients: vitamin B6, vitamin D, iron, and, to a lesser extent, vitamin C. Young. After all, food doesn’t just supply vitamins and minerals; it also supplies proteins, carbohydrates, fats and fiber.
While much of the 70-year study of multivitamins has concluded that multivitamin supplementation is unlikely to protect against chronic disease, US National Institutes of Health notes that most of these studies are not of high quality. Most often, this group of studies relied on people reporting their diets over relatively short periods of time. It’s nowhere near as reliable or effective as studies in which researchers give someone a daily complex and then watch them for decades to see if they develop heart disease or cancer.
So, without more research, here’s what we currently know about the effects of multivitamins on a variety of conditions.
Crayfish The largest and longest running randomized trial of multivitamins known as Doctor’s Health Studystudied the use of multivitamins among 14,000 American male physicians aged 50 and over. The results showed a modest reduction in overall cancer incidence in men who took multivitamins compared to those who did not, but the group also had a lower mean BMI and smoking rate than the general population. “Some studies have confirmed these claims, while others have not shown the same result, so we still don’t know for sure,” says Alexander Michels, PhDresearch coordinator and public affairs officer for the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.
heart disease As far as heart health is concerned, Doctor’s Health Study was even less optimistic. After following 13,316 male doctors for an average of 11 years, the researchers concluded that multiple doses did not protect against heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular disease.
brain health “Like with cancer, the evidence here is mixed,” says Dr. Michels. “One [of the largest] recent clinical trials of multivitamins called SPACE researchreported a reduction in cognitive decline, but the Physicians Health Study did not report the same effect.”
Bone health While the results are mixed, Michels is still a fan of multivitamins for strong bones. “Bone health is more than just vitamin D and calcium,” he explains. “Healthy bones require many different minerals and vitamins, most of which come with a multivitamin supplement.”
Potential Risks of Taking Multivitamins
Taking vitamins may seem pretty harmless, but you might be surprised to learn that these supplements can be dangerous for some people. As long as they are regulated FDA, they are not subject to the same standards as prescription drugs. In addition to potential toxicity, when you take multivitamins in excess or combine them with other supplements, research work found that some vitamins and minerals can have dangerous interactions with several medications, including:
So if you are considering taking vitamin supplements, be sure to talk to your doctor first. It can also help you get the timing right. “To avoid potential interactions, it’s best to take your multivitamin a few hours before or after your medications,” Yang says.
Who should take multivitamins?
While food is better than supplements, multivitamins may be helpful for some people. According to US National Institutes of Healththese supplements may be a good option if you:
- Are you a vegan or a strict vegetarian
- Have celiac disease National Celiac Association recommends asking your doctor about multivitamins if you have celiac disease or are on a gluten-free diet, as you will have to avoid many fortified foods that contain essential nutrients.
- over 50 years old As you age, your body’s ability to absorb, produce, or use certain nutrients, such as vitamins AT 12 changes.
- pregnant (or plan to become pregnant) that changes your nutritional needs
- Follow a low-calorie or strict weight loss diet.
- Have a chronic disease what interferes with your ability to absorb nutrients
People with known vitamin deficiencies or those with poor appetites will want to take a multivitamin when prescribed by a doctor, Young said.
When to Take a Multivitamin
“The best time is when you remember and do it regularly,” Yang says. “For most people, this would be in the morning with a meal containing some healthy fat, such as eggs, avocados, or nut butter, to help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins better.”
What to look for in a multivitamin
When it comes to choosing a multi, many nutritionists have a “less is more” philosophy. “Because we also eat food and hopefully get our nutrients from a well-planned diet, I recommend looking for supplements that contain no more than 100% of the daily value of each nutrient,” Yang says. “In fact, I often advise clients who want to take a multivitamin to take it three times a week rather than daily.”
Of course, there are exceptions. So, if you have a health problem or are taking medications that impair your ability to absorb certain nutrients, talk to a registered dietitian or doctor.
Are multivitamins right for you?
The answer really depends on your eating habits and your health. “You can certainly get most of the nutrients you need from the foods you eat, but people just don’t get it,” says Michels. “National surveys in the United States prove it time and time again: Many of us don’t get enough vitamins A, C, D, and E, or magnesium, calcium, and potassium.” After all, if you’re on a stellar diet, you probably don’t need it. But if you don’t always eat right, are pregnant, over 50, or live with a chronic illness, a multivitamin might be a good idea, so talk to your doctor.