Do I need a multi-vitamin? Which dosages and ingredients are most important? How do I choose the right one?
These are some of the most common questions our Healthtree Wellness Advisors receive. If you’ve ever asked these questions, it’s probably because you want to do whatever you reasonably can to protect your health. There are endless options and a lot of different viewpoints out there, but there’s no doubt that a high number of Canadians have nutritional deficiencies, whether they’re aware of it or not.
This post will help you find out what goes into a high quality multi-vitamin and learn how to choose the best formulation to meet your nutritional needs.
The hot debate about multis
Today’s multis are not limited to the chalky, drugstore variety that you may remember from your childhood. The next generation of multivitamins are nutrient-rich vitamin and mineral supplements made with raw plant ingredients that have been grown organically, handpicked at their peak and gently processed to provide the optimal level of nutrients.
Organic active vegetables like cilantro, kale, alfalfa, celery seed, cress, wasabi rhizome
Fruit polyphenols including acai, grape, bilberry and pomegranate
Herbals - curcumin, green tea, milk thistle, echinacea
Organic sea vegetables such as spirulina, chlorella and kelp.
While some experts think people should give up their daily multivitamins, others disagree. "There are potential benefits and there are no known risks at this time," says Dr. Howard Sesso, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. "It is worth considering a multivitamin as part of a healthy lifestyle.”
Multivitamins are generally recognized as a safe, low risk and affordable way to support long term health. Despite their excellent track record, some people claim that a person’s nutritional needs can be met by healthy food choices alone. Of course, if your diet is nutritionally lacking, you’ll want to focus your attention there first. However, even the most careful diet may not address all of our nutritional needs due to a number of factors (many of which are out of our control) such as:
- Soil depletion
- Imported produce
- Highly processed foods
- Restricted diet due to allergies and sensitivities
- Busy and stressful lifestyle
Benefits of different multivitamin formulations
Nutrient deficiencies can cause a number of symptoms. Most commonly, people complain of fatigue and low energy, which can be the result of B12, Iron, Vitamin C and Magnesium deficiencies.
A high quality adult multivitamin can provide essential vitamins and minerals necessary to feel your best in your particular age category or lifestyle.
Natural Factors MultiFactors Men’s Vitamin and Mineral Formula for example, contains critical heart-healthy nutrients for men under age 50 such as B3, B6, folic acid, calcium, and magnesium to support healthy homocysteine, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, and to reduce oxidative stress. Saw Palmetto and Lycopene give added benefits for prostate health.
Vitaday Prenatal Multis are designed to meet the unique needs of women from pre-conception to pregnancy to nursing and beyond. The phytonutrients are included not to simply avoid deficiencies, but to support Mom & Baby's optimum health, including thyroid support, strong bones and teeth and antioxidants to fight off free radicals.
When it comes to eating a healthy, varied diet to prevent nutrient deficiencies, there is no debate. Unfortunately, a healthy diet is often one of the first things to go when we’re busy, stressed or overworked. That’s why a daily multi-vitamin is so important!
People who take a daily multivitamin report higher energy levels, better moods, more resilience to illness, and an overall feeling of health and vitality. Nutritional deficiency is avoidable. If you haven’t included a multi-vitamin into your daily routine, why not start now?
Canada’s Food Guide. Food-guide.canada.ca. https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/. 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020.