Not too long ago, the opinion among nutritional experts was that individuals who ate a balanced diet were not at risk of developing vitamin deficiency and did not need to take a daily multivitamin. After all, supplements are intended to make up for what you don’t get from food. Today though, opinions have changed and there is growing consensus in the medical community that anyone can benefit from taking a daily multivitamin.
So, what’s changed? Scientific evidence that suggests multivitamins can to do more than simply replace the nutrients that you don’t get from food. They can provide the body with an extra dose of protection against many health conditions and illnesses.
In addition, the American diet has changed drastically. We live in a nation of highly processed fast food and a large majority of Americans don’t eat a well balanced diet. Therefore, taking a daily multivitamin is an inexpensive and easy way to help make sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need.
Most Common Causes of Vitamin Deficiency
Age is one of the biggest causes of vitamin deficiency. People 50 or older need to take daily multivitamins for several reasons. First, older people consume less food, but excrete more nutrients in their urine and stool. Secondly, older individuals absorb fewer nutrients from food. Furthermore, older adults have reduced ability to synthesize vitamin D in their skin. In a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 30 – 40% of older people with hip fracture were vitamin D deficient.
Pregnancy. A pregnant woman needs more of several nutrients, but folic acid, iron, and calcium are 3 of the most vital nutrients she needs throughout her pregnancy. Folic acid helps protects against birth defects, iron for protection against anemia, and extra calcium to support bone development for her baby.
Menopause reduces a woman’s ability to store calcium and the drastic reduction in estrogen production after menopause accelerates bone loss in postmenopausal women. So a daily intake of multivitamins that provide extra calcium makes sense for these women.
Vegetarian diets tend to be are low in vitamin B12, iron, and zinc. While fortified foods may provide these nutrients, the amount they provide may not be enough to prevent deficiency. Therefore, supplementation is beneficial.
Smoking produces harmful toxins in the body and vitamins and other essential nutrients are needed to neutralize them. For example, it is estimated that cigarette smoke reduces blood vitamin C levels by up to 50%. For this reason, the Academy of Sciences recommends that smokers require extra 35 milligrams (or a total of 125 mg) of vitamin C over the amount needed by nonsmokers.
Keep in mind that a multivitamin is no substitute for eating a healthy, well balanced diet. In other words, taking a multivitamin is not a license to skip your fruits, veggies and grains. It should be included as part of a healthy diet, not a substitute for it.
Our Healthy Choice Naturals Full Spectrum Multivitamin delivers a high potency spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals including A, C,D,E and B1,B6 calcium, magnesium and chromium along with 48 other important herbs and nutrients to support strong bones and a healthy body.
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