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Can Multivitamins Save Your Life?

- 9 min read
written by Shield Connect

Vitamins are essential nutrients that our bodies use to support cell function and several other processes that help our growth and development. Without them, we would most likely be plagued by different diseases and disorders. Our bodies cannot produce vitamins on their own except Vitamin D and certainly not in the required amounts, so we … Continue reading “Can Multivitamins Save Your Life?”

Vitamins are essential nutrients that our bodies use to support cell function and several other processes that help our growth and development. Without them, we would most likely be plagued by different diseases and disorders. Our bodies cannot produce vitamins on their own except Vitamin D and certainly not in the required amounts, so we have to get them from fresh fruits and vegetables. If your diet is inadequate, you can see how this could be a problem. Even if you eat well, not all the vitamins would be absorbed. This is where multivitamins can help.

Multivitamins contain multiple fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins as well as some minerals that our bodies need. The fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins that the body absorbs more easily and are stored in fatty tissues and the liver for future use. They include Vitamins A, D, E, and K. The water-soluble vitamins are absorbed less readily and are not stored in the body. The excess vitamins leave the body through urine. They include Vitamin C and the B Vitamins.

Longevity Vitamins
Dr. Bruce Ames, a senior scientist at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), and the director of their Nutrition and Metabolism Center, explains that there are key nutrients that the body’s cells and enzymes need for long-term maintenance. These nutrients are referred to as longevity vitamins because they play important roles in the body such as DNA repair and protection against cellular damage, which could help stave off some chronic conditions and also extend our lifespan.

Dr. Ames said that the vitamins that our bodies use to fuel critical processes for our immediate survival are at the expense of our long-term development and wellness. In other words, when we don’t get enough vitamins from our diet, you could say that our bodies ration them and prioritize only the cells and enzymes that we need to keep us going. If this continues, other parts of our bodies will get very little or no essential vitamins, leaving us more prone to diseases that affect those areas and also cause premature aging.

The researcher has noted that the E.U. would save about 4 billion euros from osteoporosis treatment by utilizing Vitamin D and Calcium supplements alone. His previous studies on vitamins also found that people with extremely low levels of vitamin K had a higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular issues and other health problems.

After a decade of research, Dr. Ames developed a list of 41 vitamins, minerals, and essential compounds that, when taken in the right doses, can promote healthy aging. These nutrients include Vitamin A, B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12), Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Alpha-carotene, Astaxanthin, Beta-carotene, Beta-cryptoxanthin, Calcium, Choline, Chloride, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Ergothioneine, Iodine, Iron, Lutein, Lycopene, Manganese, Magnesium, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Potassium, Pyrroloquinoline, Quinone, Selenium, Sodium, Sulfur, Taurine, Zeaxanthin, and Zinc.

Multivitamins Should Not Replace Healthy Food
Multivitamins that contain a good amount of the longevity vitamins and minerals could help you live a healthier life. However, multivitamins alone are not the answer to our health concerns and they should never be taken in place of healthy food. Nutrition should still be taken very seriously.

Since they come in different forms such as capsules, tablets, and liquid, and they are not particularly bitter or as nauseating as other medicines, people are likely to take high doses of multivitamins. If you’ve been doing this or are planning to, don’t. Multivitamins, when taken in large doses, can do more harm than good to your body. Remember that they contain some fat-soluble vitamins which are stored in your fatty tissues. If they continue accumulating there, it could result in toxic levels in the body and cause problems such as nerve damage, liver damage, kidney damage, gastrointestinal upset, and even hair loss.

It is therefore advised that you consult with your doctor on the recommended dietary intake of these supplements. If you can, you should also get a personalized multivitamins plan as it would be more effective than a one-size-fits-all approach.

Benefits of Multivitamins
Multivitamins can do so much for your mental and physical health. Here are some of the benefits that multivitamins have to offer:

1. Strengthens the Immune System
Multivitamins contain vitamins and minerals that bolster our body’s defense system. Vitamins A, C, D, and E especially, are known to boost immunity. They help protect against cell damage and also drive the production of white blood cells that fight pathogens. The multivitamins also interact with each other to ensure maximum absorption. For example, the body needs Vitamin D to absorb Calcium.

2. Boosts Energy Levels
The vitamins work together to convert carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, into ATP which releases the energy we need to perform our daily activities. Without these vitamins, you’ll find yourself feeling more tired than usual and thus, less active. Reduced physical activity could lead to health problems such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and depression if you’re not careful.

3. Reduces Stress Levels and Anxiety
Multivitamins can help to reduce stress and anxiety. The vitamins (especially B Vitamins) and minerals support the production of stress hormones such as cortisol which makes you energetic by increasing the level of glucose in the bloodstream. The stress hormones also trigger the fight-or-flight response when you’re in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation.

4. Promotes Healthy Brain Function
Multivitamins help improve short-term memory function and also our ability to concentrate. They are vital for brain function and they may help lower the risk or at least delay the onset of dementia in older people. Multivitamins help in the production of neurotransmitters so they also contribute to cognitive development.

5. Improves Mood
The B Vitamins are associated with positive feelings and good emotional well-being. If you’re feeling down in the dumps, multivitamins can reduce mood dysfunction, regulate emotion, and improve mental performance while reducing fatigue. Chromium can increase the production of serotonin (the happy hormone).

6. Supports Vision
Vitamin A plays a key role in supporting eye health. Vitamins B3, C, and E, as well as some minerals found in multivitamins, can also help lower the risk of macular degeneration or reduce the progression of the disease.

7. Maintains Good Bone Density
Multivitamins have good calcium and Vitamin D levels which help maintain healthy bone density and prevent osteoporosis. They are especially important for babies and toddlers who are still growing and developing their bones and teeth.

8. Accelerates Wound Healing
Vitamin K is important for blood clotting. Magnesium, Zinc, and Vitamin C also help speed up the healing process and strengthen the connective tissues in the skin and joints to reduce bruising. It also improves muscle function which may help prevent certain injuries.

9. Maintains Healthy Skin and Hair
Free radicals are your skin’s worst enemy. They cause oxidative damage to your cells which leads to premature aging. Multivitamins that contain Vitamins A, C, E, Iron, Zinc, and CoQ10 (Ubiquinone) help with cell repair and protection against these free radicals. They also support the production of collagen which keeps your skin and hair healthy.

10. Prevents Birth Defects
Pregnant women need a lot of Iron and Folic acid to keep them and the fetus in good health during pregnancy. Folic acid helps prevent birth defects and reduce the risk of premature babies. Zinc also helps with fertility and works with other essential vitamins to help mothers deliver healthier babies.

The Bottom Line
Multivitamins are great for the body. They help with bone development, wound healing, stress relief, and so much more. Multivitamins, coupled with a healthy lifestyle, also help with disease prevention.

Research has found that multivitamins help bridge our nutritional gaps since our diet sometimes does not carry required amounts of the essential vitamins. That said, it is important to note that multivitamins vary in composition and quality. Always ensure you take a good look at the ingredient list and also seek professional advice before buying and taking them.

If your diet mainly consists of carbs, either because that’s what you can afford to eat or you’re too busy to plan and eat a balanced meal, you probably need multivitamins more than most. However, this does not mean that you should misuse them. The recommended dosage might seem little but it is more than enough to increase your wellness.

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