Many Americans are always on the hunt, searching for the new dietary trend, the new workout, and the new multivitamins to live a longer, healthier life. It’s part of the reason why Americans spend $25 billion per year on vitamins and supplements. But do multivitamins actually work? In this article, we will discuss what a multivitamin is, whether or not they work, how often you should take one, and the downsides of taking multivitamins.
Is it Good to Take a Multivitamin Every Day?
Off the bat, it’s important to note that multivitamins were designed to help those who either have poor diets or have nutritional gaps in their diet. Because of that, needing a daily multivitamin is often a sign that you aren’t getting the proper amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you need through your diet. So in a sense, no, it’s not good that you’re taking a multivitamin every day.
However, the unfortunate reality is that most Americans fail to get the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients they need through their diet. In this case, it’s a good idea to take a multivitamin every day to ensure you’re getting the vitamins and nutrients you need to live a long, healthy life. It’s a topic of hot debate in the research community as to whether or not multivitamins do anything but most researchers agree they can be helpful if your diet is less than stellar.
Do Multivitamins Have Side Effects?
Before taking a multivitamin, you should consult with your doctor to ensure you don’t have an allergy or a medication you’re taking won’t cause an allergic reaction. If you are experiencing signs of an allergic reaction, get emergency medical help as soon as possible. Signs of an allergic reaction include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. If taken as directed with no allergies, you should not experience any serious side effects. Some commonly reported minor multivitamin side effects include:
- Upset stomach
- Unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth
Drugs such as tretinoin, antacids, antibiotics, diuretics (dai-ur-eh-tuhks), or NSAIDs (en-seds) can all cause negative reactions when taken with a multivitamin. Again, it’s highly recommended that you speak with your doctor before taking a multivitamin, especially if you are on medication. Most prescription drugs react normally with multivitamins, but it’s better to play it safe rather than sorry.
Are Multivitamins Good or Bad for You?
When weighing the benefits and risks of multivitamins, many experts believe that they may not have much of an impact on our overall well being or longevity. One of the main reasons why experts believe this is the case is because many Americans see multivitamins as a dietary replacement. Meaning they don’t have to worry about eating a healthy, balanced meal because they’re taking a multivitamin.
As we mentioned at the top of the article, multivitamins only serve a purpose if you are seeing a nutritional gap in your diet. A nutritional gap can be caused by many different factors, but one thing is for certain; taking multivitamins won’t make you healthier if you are eating fast food and processed foods every meal. Using a multivitamin as a crutch instead of a supplement will yield little to no results.
Which Brand is Best for Multivitamins?
When it comes to choosing a multivitamin, it’s important that you do your due diligence. Some brands are pumped full of fillers, additives, and unhealthy ingredients that can do more harm than good when it comes to your health. It’s important to choose a reputable brand that has undergone third-party testing and is sourced from quality ingredients. Doing so can ensure that you’re getting a supplement that’s pure and potent and can be used by your body efficiently. Here are some reputable, popular brands that can help you meet your nutritional needs:
- Klean Athlete Klean Probiotic - This is one of the best probiotics on the market and was designed by athletes for athletes
- Nature Made Vitamin D3 - One of the most trusted vitamin D supplements on the market
- Kirkland Signature vitamin B12
- Life Extension Glucosamine/Chondroitin (kuhn-droy-tn)
- Amazon Elements Biotin
- SmartyPants prenatal formula
Again, do your due diligence before making a purchase. There are thousands upon thousands of products out there, each one claiming to be the latest and the greatest. Read reviews, read the research, and avoid impulse buying.
Is it Better to Take a Multivitamin or Individual Vitamins?
Whether or not you should be looking for individual vitamins or multivitamins will depend on several different factors. The most important one being, what exactly is it that you’re looking for? If you are only in need of vitamin D, it makes sense to only search out vitamin D supplements. However, if you are in need of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E, it makes sense to purchase a multivitamin. Here are some of the other reasons why you may want to purchase a multivitamin over an individual vitamin:
- Unbalanced nutrient intake can be harmful
- Multivitamins tend to cost less and are more convenient
- Individual supplements put you at a greater risk of overdose
- Multivitamins provide comprehensive insurance
- Individual supplements should only be taken to aid with a specific medical condition
Just like with choosing the right brand, we recommend extensive research before making a decision. This will ensure you’re getting the product that is right for you.
What is the Best Multivitamin for Kids?
Just like with adults, ideally, children will get all the minerals, nutrients, and vitamins they need through their diet. However, some children simply don’t eat enough, have a chronic medical condition, or eat an unhealthy and unbalanced diet; in these cases, supplements make sense. However, many experts recommend against giving children multivitamins. This is because the fat-soluble vitamins - vitamins A, D, E, and K - can be toxic if kids get too many of them. Instead, here are the recommended individual vitamins for children:
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
These vitamins and minerals help promote healthy bone and tooth growth. A vitamin deficiency can lead to stunted growth.
Supplements Can Help
We know the power of multivitamins, but another supplement you should look into is spermidine. Spermidine is naturally found in many of the foods that we eat, but like most nutrients, we rarely eat enough to reap all of the benefits.
Spermidine is a polyamine that is associated with cellular health. We need cells to be renewed throughout our life to stay healthy. As we age, our blood polyamine (pä-lē-ə-ˌmēn) levels decrease along with cellular growth and renewal.
Our body has its own recycling system known as autophagy that helps to get rid of the old, damaged cell parts for new, healthy ones. Spermidine assists in this process and in replenishing the body’s blood polyamine levels leading to a resurgence in the cellular renewal that may aid health and longevity.