February 01 2021
Now, the reason for this deficiency is simply due to mass food production techniques, also food preparation techniques that are wiping out the nutrient profile in your food, poor dietary habits, and lastly, the way that we store food today.
And this is when multivitamins come into the picture.
Varying from colorful pills to chewy gummies that are available in the shape of your favorite cartoon character, there are a number of multivitamin supplements to choose from and the population spends billions of dollars every year trying to improve their health with them. But if you look on the back of the bottle, lots of these supplements have more than 100% and sometimes up to 500% or 2000% of the recommended daily value.
for different vitamins inside. So, why are they so jam-packed with vitamins? And the main question is, does taking all these supplements really helpful for you?
So, if you are healthy and eating a balanced diet, you are probably getting all the vitamins you require. So at best, they probably aren't doing very much. At worst, they could be doing you harm.
Simply speaking, vitamins are essential compounds that our bodies require to grow and function. And since we can't make them, or at least enough of them, ourselves, we need to obtain them from food. There exist two types of vitamins. Fat-soluble including vitamins A, D, E and K, which can dissolve in lipids, and water-soluble, vitamins B and Vitamin C which can dissolve in water.
And different vitamins are obtained from different foods. For instance, Vitamin K can be obtained from dark green vegetables, while Vitamin C is present in all kinds of citrus fruits namely, oranges, amla and lemon. Your can body get vitamin D by simply spending some time in the sun. And if you're deficient in any of these vitamins, your cells and enzymes won't be able to function properly, making you more prone to diseases and illnesses.
So the reason to take multi-vitamin supplements is usually to prevent any vitamin deficiencies. Sounds reasonable. But taking supplements when you don't actually need them can cause problems.
Generally, Multi-vitamins have more than 100% of your Recommended Dietary Allowance, also known as RDA. RDA values are usually set by national organizations that study food and nutrition. They're basically the estimated nutrient requirements for healthy people. The same scientific committees also estimates a tolerable Upper intake Level, or UL, which is the max amount of these nutrients you can take, without risking some negative health effects.
Usually, the levels for water-soluble vitamins are a lot more than for fat-soluble vitamins. Either way, when one takes a multivitamin that has more than 100% of the RDA for different vitamins, one's body might not be able to digest and absorb it all. This way one's body tends to get rid of any excess water-soluble vitamins by urination. Meanwhile, it stores the extra fat-soluble vitamins in their fatty tissues.
The biggest issue though is megadose of vitamins. For example, if you are consistently taking the UL dose over weeks or months, especially with fat-soluble vitamins, such that these vitamins will keep accumulating in your body, and eventually can lead to toxicity or other health problems. To substantiate, Vitamin D normally helps your body in absorbing calcium but an excess of Vitamin D could cause a build-up of calcium in your blood known as hypercalcemia or even damage your heart.
To conclude, even though your body needs vitamins to survive, intake of multivitamins doesn't replace the nutrients that one can get from a healthy-balanced diet, and can even be harmful if one overdoes it. Additionally, if you have some sort of health condition, or are pregnant, you should definitely consult your doctor and know about the supplements they recommend.