Today, there is good
evidence that taking a daily multivitamin is a good idea for most
adults. Intake of several vitamins above the minimum daily requirement
may prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and other chronic
So what is the real
value of multivitamins?
Vitamin A stimulates the
production and activity of white blood cells, is essential for
remodeling bone, and helps regulate cell growth and division. Vitamin B6
and Folic Acid lowers risk of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C has been
shown to decrease the incidence of cancers, and boost the immune
system. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that can protect
against harmful free radicals. Vitamin C is also a key component to skin
and promotes collagen production. Of course, there is also some evidence
that vitamin C taken at the start of a cold might ease symptoms. Vitamin
D helps ensure that the body absorbs and retains calcium and phosphorus,
both critical for building bone. Laboratory studies also show that
vitamin D keeps cancer cells from growing and dividing. Insufficient
intake of vitamin D is associated with an increased risk of fractures,
while vitamin D supplementation may also prevent them. Vitamin E
prevents blood cells from sticking to each other and to the blood
vessels they travel through. This will help promote clear and flexible
blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Vitamin E is also known to slow
down the aging process and help with certain nerve conditions.
Bottom line, a standard
multivitamin supplement does not come close to making up for an
unhealthy diet. It provides a dozen or so of the vitamins known to
maintain optimal health. We still strongly recommend all patients
should eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A regular
exercise regimen is also critical to managing your health.
Yes, these lifestyle
changes in conjunction with a daily multivitamin can help to maintain a
healthy and nourishing lifestyle.