Is it necessary to take a multivitamin daily?
What diseases would a multivitamin help prevent?
Who are the specific groups at a higher nutrient-deficiency risk?
Why is it that so many North Americans take multivitamins? Is it necessary to take a multivitamin daily? The answer is simple – If you don’t get enough vitamins and minerals from your food/diet, then a daily multivitamin is necessary to supplement what you don’t get from your regular foods. There are certain diseases that you can get if you don’t get enough vitamins from your foods – and some of these might surprise you considering the world has been so focused on low immune systems with COVID being the centerpiece of the world health stage.
Scurvy is something that sounds like it belongs in the 1700’s but it’s a very serious disease. People get scurvy if you’re deficient in Vitamin C and include symptoms such as swollen bleeding gums, weakness, fatigue, and bruising.
Another disease is beriberi (yes, you may not have heard of this one either) which is a deficiency of Thiamin (most commonly known as Vitamin B1) – which includes symptoms such as a lack of appetite, pain in the limbs, shortness of breath and swollen feet or legs. And extreme cases of beriberi can cause heart failure. Another disease is pellagra which comes from a deficiency of Vitamin B-3 and symptoms include rashes on your lips, face, feet and hands and diarrhea and severe cases is dementia.
Lastly, rickets is something that you’ll want to avoid as well. It comes from a lack of Vitamin D which is VERY common amongst people during winter or not exposed to enough UV. Rickets is the softening and weakening of bones in children. So, when you look at the type of diseases that one can obtain just because they are not getting enough vitamins and minerals in their diet, it makes you take a serious pause in evaluating what you put into your body, as well as what you’re not putting into your body.
Taking a daily vitamin is important if you want to live a healthy life. It also helps build a strong immune system to fight off any type of viral sickness. If you’re not eating fruits, vegetables, getting enough protein in your diet and incorporating healthy fats then you’re in the extreme nutrient-deficiency zone. And that’s a zone none of us want to be in, unfortunately many North Americans are in this zone because they do not eat enough healthy foods, period.
There are specific groups that are at a higher nutrient risk deficiency
Pregnant Women: A B-Vitamin is especially important for women that are pregnant. Getting enough adequate folate can help lower the risk of having a baby with spina bifida or anencephaly. THE CDC recommends that are pregnant women consume six hundred micrograms of folic acid per day. Other particularly important nutrients that pregnant women should consume are iron, calcium, vitamin D and DHA.
Elderly: The elderly at risk for poor food intake. One of the reasons is the difficulty at times to chew and swallow food. They also have trouble absorbing Vitamin B-12 from food.
People that have digestive issues because of certain health conditions such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and cystic fibrosis.
Severe Surgeries that have removed certain digestive organs can have the risk of poor absorption of critical nutrients. Those surgeries can be gastric bypass surgery for weight-loss or Whipple procedure.
Severe Alcoholism can prevent certain nutrients from being absorbed properly such as Vitamin B and Vitamin C.
Certain Diuretics prescribed to lower blood pressure can also deplete the body stores of magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Reasons Why You Would Need A Multivitamin
- You do not eat balanced diet because of your lifestyle choices
- You have an extremely poor diet, and you do not eat enough food in the day
- Your nutrient needs have increased because you are pregnant
- You have a condition that reduces your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and that condition could be celiac disease, ulcerative colitis
- You have been on a restricted liquid for longer than 14 days and that diet is less than a 1000 calories per day
The importance of consuming a daily multivitamin is really predicated on how balanced your diet is. And if your diet is needing a vitamin boost, we’d love to recommend our Ethical Multivitamin to you. Because even when you’re doing your best to eat a healthy and balanced diet, it’s hard to know if you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to perform at its best. Our Multivitamin is a balanced daily supplement you can trust – letting you get back to your busy lifestyle with confidence.
Written by Obi Obadike
Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S.
Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.