Deficiencies of multivitamin supplements
Multivitamin supplements are being marketed worldwide as an essential part of the diet. However, the data regarding the efficacy of these supplements are lesser. And the truth is many supplements do not contain the most essential vitamins. Some of the essential vitamins and their effectiveness will be discussed here.
Who needs multivitamin supplements?
It is not just for older adults, though they have been found to be more vulnerable to deficiencies of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. However, multivitamin supplementation may be required in certain other individuals for a variety of purposes. Unless you profess to consume a very balanced and healthy diet, your health can be improved with the use of multivitamin supplements.
Although multivitamin mineral (MVM) supplements may not be able to prevent several major long term diseases, they do help improve one's blood concentrations that are necessary for the body to function efficiently.
How to choose the best multivitamin supplement?
In many studies, the incidence of gastric cancer and related deaths were reduced when a multivitamin supplement containing a combination of Beta-carotene, vitamin E and selenium was administered in the high risk population. Another trial in France concluded that the risk of cancer in men was reduced when multivitamin supplement containing vitamin C, vitamin E, Beta-carotene, selenium, and zinc was administered. Zinc or other antioxidants had further benefits for preventing age-related degenerative changes.
Multivitamin supplements containing very high doses of vitamins should be avoided. This is for the reason that high intakes of certain nutrients such as vitamin A and manganese have known to cause potentially serious adverse effects. Others substances such as iron or vitamin C may have more minor adverse effects and are readily reversible. A proper knowledge of the contents of the multivitamin supplements is necessary to avoid the intake of the same nutrient from other supplements or the rest of the diet.
With the number of players marketing multivitamin supplements increasing everyday, the quality of these products are questionable at times. The nutrient profile of many these products vary widely, and the composition of products was found to be in unbalanced quantities. The great majority of multivitamin preparations available do not contain all the 13 established vitamins.
Multivitamin products that are better formulated with adequate quantity of each vitamin should be chosen based on a consultation with the health care providers. Individuals who consume multivitamin supplements should ensure that they are taking a multivitamin supplement that contains all (or nearly all) the 13 true vitamins.
The intake of iron and folic supplements has been advised for women of fertile age under certain circumstances. Multivitamin supplements are considered sensible and harmless for people in certain risk groups. This includes people who eat very little or follow an unbalanced diet (such as children, old people, and patients).