Blog // 03.11.2011

The Mulitvitamin Supplement: Needed or Not?

Article by Akua A-T

There are many questions regarding multivitamins and supplementation. I thought it would be a good idea to answer some of those questions as we are all on a quest to live health lives. When healthy inside, it is reflected outside as beauty. When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you look good!

Multivitamins are nutritional preparations designed to be taken in small quantities to supplement the normal human diet. They are available most commonly as tablets, capsules, and liquids and typically taken once a day, though some are recommended for twice daily dosing. The following vitamins and minerals will be in the most commonly sold preparations. And remember, amounts may vary between products so always read the labels.

Vitamin/Mineral Uses in the Body
Viamin A Eyesight, growth, appetite, taste
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Nervous system, digestion, muscles, heart, alcohol-damaged nerve tissues
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Growth, skin, hair, nails, sensitive lips and tongue, eyesight, breakdown of protein, fat, and carbohydrates
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Helps make various sex- and stress-related hormones. Effective in improving circulation and reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) Promotes a healthy digestive tract. Lowers blood levels of cholesterol. Promotes healthy growth and antibody production
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Preventing skin conditions and nerve problems, helps the body absorb protein and carbohydrate
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Production of red blood cells. Essential in the first three months of pregnancy to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida, cleft palate, and cleft lip
Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobolamin) Making red blood cells and the formation of the nerves
Vitamin C Immune defense system, protection from viruses and bacteria, healing wounds, reduce cholesterol, cell lifespan, scurvy prevention, natural laxative
Vitamin D3 Strong bones and teeth
Vitamin E Fighting toxins, powerful antioxidant
Vitamin H (Biotin) Healthy skin, hair, nails, eyes, and liver. Supports the nervous system. Critical nutrient in pregnancy to support normal embryonic development.
Vitamin K (Phylloquine) Helps in blood clotting, bone health
Potassium Protein synthesis, stimulates normal movement of the intestinal tract
Zinc Immune system, the breakdown of protein, fat, and carbohydrates for energy.
Calcium Strong bones/teeth, nervous system functioning, muscle contraction and blood clotting
Magnesium Converting energy from carbohydrates, cell repair, building strong bones, teeth, and muscles, regulation of body temperature.
Chromium Regulation of blood sugar
Manganese Healthy bone structure, bone metabolism
Beta-Carotene Good vision, eye health, strong immune system, healthy skin/mucus membranes
Iron Red blood cells, muscle function, white blood cells, immune system support

There are many vitamin supplement formulations commercially available. It is important when choosing to incorporate a multivitamin supplement into a healthy lifestyle that you discuss your options with your doctor, pharmacist, or both.

The last common question often asked and probably the most important is who should be taking a multivitamin supplement?

I recommend in practice that everyone should take a multivitamin as with our hectic lifestyles,  it is very difficult to get all of the nutrients we need daily from our food. In general, multivitamin supplements are for anyone who:

  • doesn’t eat well for whatever reason
  • consumes less than 1600 calories/day
  • is a vegan or vegetarian
  • is pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • experiences heavy menstrual periods
  • postmenopausal women
  • has a medical condition that affects how the body absorbs/uses/excretes vitamins and/or minerals. Medical conditions could include chronic diarrhea, irritable bowel diease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, Chrohn’s disease, Celiac Disease, food allergies, food intolerance, liver disease, gallbladder disease, etc.

It is always good to remember that a healthy diet is not just about the quantity of food that we eat but also about the quality of the food which we eat. When possible, it is best to get the daily nutrients from food. But when it is not possible, it is advisable to supplement with a multivitamin.

2 Responses to “The Mulitvitamin Supplement: Needed or Not?”

  1. Aba says:

    Thanks for the article- all these supplements seem to be really good and necessary but they are so many. Which ones would you advise are very essential? And also what would you advise for increasing ones metabolism?

  2. I always found the best way to obtain every one of your B vitamins is to simply take a mutliple b supplement each morning. they have 100% of the recommended daily amount. Also some of the finest sources of natural vitamins are always found in fruit and veg, you really can’t go wrong with fruit and veg..

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