October 05 2021
The most common supplement in the world is none other than a multivitamin. In the past few decades, its popularity has been continuously rising. People believe that multivitamins can help improve health by compensating for poor eating habits. Well, you might wonder if these supplements truly benefit or not. In this article, we will examine the scientific evidence behind multivitamins.
What are multivitamins?
Multivitamins are the supplements that majorly constitute vitamins and minerals. Since there is no standard as to what constitutes a multivitamin, every brand has its nutrient composition. Multivitamins are available in various forms including tablets, capsules, powder, liquids, and chewable gummies.
If you are considering, to begin with, multivitamins you may shop them in pharmacies, supermarkets and online as we.
Summarizing it we can show that the multivitamins ate the supplement containing vitamins and minerals. These supplements are available in various forms.
What do multivitamins contain?
So for your health, you require thirteen vitamins and a minimum of 16 minerals. These vitamins and minerals aid various reactions in your body and function as signalling molecules are structural elements.
Now, these multivitamins offer many of these vitamins and minerals. Also, they contain other ingredients as well like herbs, amino acids and fatty acids. The nutrients in multivitamins are derived from real foods or are created synthetically in labs.
Multivitamins and heart disease
We know that many people die of heart disease making it the leading cause of death worldwide. Many people believe that multivitamins can help to prevent heart disease. However, there is mixed evidence for the same. Some studies show that multivitamins are associated with reduced risk of a heart attack while other studies have shown no effect. A recent study has shown that women can be benefitted from the consumption of multivitamins for at least 3 years. This lowers the risk of dying from heart disease by 35%.
Multivitamins for brain health
Many studies have found that multivitamins can improve memory in older adults. Also, it believed that they improve mood. Research says that multivitamins help in reducing the symptoms of depression along with the establishment of a better mood.
However, other studies have not reported mood elevation changes by multivitamins.
Multivitamins for eye health
Age-related macular degeneration leads to blindness. The study showed that intake of antioxidant minerals and vitamins can help slow down its regression. Nevertheless, there is no evidence as such that the compounds prevent disease in the first place. Also, studies say that multivitamins can help to reduce the risk of cataract. Cataract is a common eye disease.
Hence we can summarize it by saying that multivitamins not only improve mood and memory but also may help to slow the progression of diseases that cause blindness.
Can multivitamins be harmful?
In some cases, multivitamins can be harmful. And hence it becomes important to take care of dosage while taking multivitamins. That being said it is true that high doses of some vitamins and minerals may not land in problem. But high amounts of other vitamins and minerals can be harmful.
The dosage of vitamins depends on their solubility. So vitamins can be classified as either water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins.
The water-soluble vitamins if in excess are excreted from the body. Whereas the fat-soluble vitamins accumulate in our body over a long period and as such there is no easy way to get rid of them.
Fat-soluble vitamins include: A, D, E and K. Vitamin E and vitamin K are non-toxic relatively. But excess of vitamin A and D can lead to its toxic effects .
The pregnant women have to take special care of their vitamin A intake. Excess of vitamin A can lead to birth defects. Talking about Vitamin D then its toxicity is quite rare and is unlikely to develop from multivitamin use. Coming to vitamin A toxicity, then its quite common. If you take multivitamins and take nutrient-dense food then you can easily exceed the recommended dosage of many nutrients.
So this was about vitamin toxicity. Coming to mineral toxicity, it is said that minerals can be harmful when taken in excess. For example, excess iron can be dangerous for your health.
Who should take multivitamins?
Well, multivitamins are not right for everyone and can even harm some people. However, certain populations may benefit from the intake of multivitamins. Let's find out who should take multivitamins.
As we age, our body absorbs less of vitamin B12. Also, older people require more calcium and vitamin D.
Vegans and vegetarians
Vitamin B12 is often found in animal foods only and hence people who don't eat animal-based products are at a higher risk to develop vitamin B12 deficiency. Also, such people might be lacking in calcium, vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, iron and zinc.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women
For pregnant and breastfeeding women, some nutrients are good while others are harmful. As said earlier, excess vitamin A can cause birth defects.
Other people who may benefit from multivitamins include those who have undergone weight loss surgery, are on a low-calorie diet, don't get enough nutrients from food alone or have a poor appetite.