Nanci Miklowski, ND
Why Most Need a Multivitamin
Among the millions of U.S. adults who use nutritional supplements, multivitamin and mineral formulas are the most popular. It's a smart choice for almost everyone, even active, healthy people who eat a variety of fresh, organic foods. That's because every biochemical process in the body relies upon vitamins and/or minerals to facilitate processes that help maintain physical health and achieve optimal performance.
When there is even a mild deficiency, or a problem with absorption of nutrients, those processes cannot take place and can cause us to become ill or lead to chronic disease. A multivitamin formula helps support the body as it confronts things such as:
Depleted mineral content in the food supply due to soil erosion and chemicals used in conventional farming and food production.
Hectic lifestyles that create too much opportunity for consuming overly processed, preservative-laden convenience foods that are low in nutrients.
Failure to consume at least five servings of fruits and veggies a day.
Inability to manage stress, which increases the body's need for nutrients.
Exposure to environmental toxins at home, work/school, and in transit, not to mention those lurking in the water supply and runoff into the soil.
Overuse of antibiotics, affecting immunity and leading to dysfunction in the gut.
Chronic illness, serious acute illness, or surgery, and use of medications that can interfere with the body's ability to absorb nutrients.
Your Multivitamin Insurance Plan
While multivitamins provide "dietary insurance" for our modern lives, we need to be educated on the various types and what works best for our individual needs. There are a wide variety of formulas and methods of delivery (e.g., tablet, capsule, time-release, liquid). Some formulas contain herbs, which can interact with other medications. The purity and quality of a supplement is critical to its effectiveness.
Everyone has different nutritional needs based on age, activity level, and health status. The type of multivitamin that is best for you will be different from anyone else's, even a family member of the same age. The best way to determine what type of multivitamin or mineral supplement you need is to consult with a holistic physician.
"CRN 2018 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements." Accessed 10 Apr 2019: https://www.crnusa.org/CRNConsumerSurvey
NIH.gov "Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements Guide." Accessed 10 Apr 2019: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/MVMS-HealthProfessional/
Linus Pauling Institute "Micronutrient Inadequacies." Accessed 10 April 2019: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/micronutrient-inadequacies
Natural Healing: Prevent Illness and Improve Your Life. The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (2017). (print)
Pizzorno, Joseph E. Textbook of Natural Medicine (4thEd).(2013) St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.