Multivitamins, available in the form of tablets, capsules, liquids, bulk powder, and injections, work as dietary supplements to provide various nutrients to the body. More often than not, they are used to avoid and cure nutritional deficiencies.
Plus, they are considered beneficial for people with poor diet and those who are prone to macular degeneration.
Multivitamins usually contain vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, folic acid, biotin, beta carotene, iron, copper, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, chromium, and so on.
These supplements may be specifically formulated for children, adults, older adults, men, women, pregnant women, those addicted to smoking, alcoholism, and other similar groups. Besides, you can find vegan and vegetarian-friendly multivitamins, too.
Benefits of Multivitamins
Multivitamins promote overall well-being and help prevent fractures in older individuals. As these pills provide essential vitamins and minerals to the body, they prevent deficiencies which, in turn cause further health troubles and chronic diseases. Furthermore, they facilitate quick recovery from illnesses.
The ones containing CoQ10 are useful when dealing with heart conditions as it is vital for heart health and production of energy. CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that protects against damage by free radical and prevents LDL oxidation.
In addition, doctors often suggest prenatal multivitamins to pregnant women to provide essential nutrients and lower the chances of congenital anomalies in their babies. Multivitamins, however, may not help improve your cognitive function, except for immediate recall memory.
Side Effects of Multivitamins
Though rare still, taking large amounts of multivitamins may result in an overdose due to toxicity of certain compounds, especially iron. Plus, smokers taking beta carotene are more at risk of having lung cancer.
Moreover, they may cause symptoms of overdose, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, changes in menstruation, severe headache, loss of hair, muscle pain, blood in urine, etc. Basic multivitamins, however, do not usually give rise to these problems.
Here’s a video giving tips on how to choose multivitamins.
Do You Really Need Multivitamin Pills?
Healthy individuals who are taking a nutritious diet do not usually need to pop daily multivitamin pills. In fact, it is best not to rely on these pills under normal circumstances and take balanced diet as far as possible.
These dietary supplements cannot be considered as a replacement for healthy eating habits if you take organic foods.
Nevertheless, they are not likely to cause any harm as long as you do not exceed the recommended daily dietary intake of the various vitamins and minerals.
In addition, multivitamins are suggested for those following vegetarian, vegan, or low-calorie diets to ensure proper nutrition because they tend to have low levels of B vitamins.
Individuals following weight loss programs with restricted diets and vigorous exercising, too, may benefit by taking a dietary supplement to get sufficient nutrients so that they can perform better.
Besides, studies have indicated that these pills contribute in weight loss by allowing fat oxidation. Moreover, people suffering from nutrient absorption disorders like pancreatitis, colitis, AIDS, etc. also require daily multivitamins.
Multivitamins are mostly taken, one or two times in a day, preferably with a meal. It is recommended not to take these pills along with milk, dairy products, or other calcium supplements as the calcium may not allow effective absorption of the nutrients.
When choosing a multivitamin, consider the one that has bio available nutrients so that they can be absorbed by your body.
Needless to say, consult your doctor to help you find a suitable dietary supplement for your health that does not interfere with other medications that you may be taking.