Should you take a multivitamin? The answer is not as clear as you think

By: Health Local Staff Nov 18, 2013
  Article
Should you take a multivitamin? The answer is not as clear as you think

Over-consumption of anything, including vitamins, is not good for the body

Each year we read in the magazines and papers that people die from taking multivitamins. While there are casualties, recent media hype around multivitamins may be drawing the wrong conclusions.

What type of vitamins were these people taking?
How large were the doses?
Were they on any other medication?

These are all important questions to have answered before making conclusions from broadcasts on television informing the public that vitamins kill.

One of the recent publicized casualties involved a patient who had taken large doses of antioxidants. While normal dosages are good for you, heavy doses are not. Another case involved a patient who was extremely overweight, actually deemed obese by doctors. This patient suffered from extreme malnutrition. Other factors were at play, which led to the patient’s death.

Vitamins Save Money and Lives
There is overwhelming amounts of data supporting multivitamins and how they save lives and money. Over-consumption of anything, including vitamins, is not good for the body. However, taking regular vitamins that contain Vitamin C and E can improve your health, ward off colds during the winter season, and even lower the
risk of macular degeneration.

Fish oil is another vitamin that has been carefully studied. Fish oil has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attacks, all while lowering a person’s cholesterol levels.

A person who takes vitamins on a regular basis is more likely to keep healthy throughout the year. Even during cold and flu season, when many people miss work due to illness, a person who takes vitamins may not. Why? The immune system is boosted and antioxidants, in their proper dosages, are being pumped through the body. Combine vitamin intake with a healthy diet, rich in lean protein and fresh vegetables, and that common cold that hits the office may pass right over you.

Nature is the Best Vitamin
It is difficult to argue that natural and healthy foods are nature’s best vitamin. However, as good as broccoli is for a person, if that were all they ate, they would not be taking in all the nutrients the body requires. In order to keep balanced and healthy, it is important to offer the body variety. Mix up vegetables, eat whole grains and provide the body with all of the nutrients available. If your diet is restricted, you may require a multivitamin to compensate the loss of nutrients.

To live a healthy life, there’s no secret ingredient or magic pill. Healthy foods, regular exercise and ample sleep, are all needed to stay healthy. Eliminate stress from your life, and you have created a recipe for keeping fit and healthy.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.