Millions of people are on daily vitamins. How about you?
What are vitamins?
Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential to our body’s function. These compounds are not synthesized in the body and therefore, must be obtained through our diet.
The consumption of vitamins is very common not only in United States but also around the world. The sales of vitamins, minerals and supplements totaled nearly $32 billion in 2012 according to the Nutritional Business Journal and this market is continuing to grow.
Do multivitamins prevent heart disease or diabetes?
A large number of people really do believe that multivitamins are helpful and beneficial in preventing chronic disease. This belief is one of the good examples of how an effective marketing effort can change the facts.
According to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine (Feb. 2014), many physicians and nurses recommend that their patients take multivitamins.
There has been no convincing data or study that has shown any benefits of taking daily multivitamins in preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes or hypertension. After reviewing a number of high quality studies, U.S Preventive Services Task Force concluded that there is not enough evidence for or against recommending multivitamins.
Following vitamins may harm you
Two studies suggest that taking beta carotene supplements could increase the risk of lung cancer especially in heavy smokers.
Several studies have also shown that moderate doses of vitamin A can result in diminished mineral bone density (osteopenia, osteoporosis) and high doses could damage the liver tissue and cause cancer.
There is no question that too much of almost anything is bad and taking mega doses of vitamins is no different. You should refrain from taking high dosages of vitamins without talking to your physician first.
Don’t belong to the group of people who believe that taking more vitamins will provide more benefits.
Who really should take vitamins?
Three groups of people might benefit from vitamin supplementation. The first group consists of individuals who have vitamin deficiency.
For example, if an individual has vitamin D deficiency then this person should only take a vitamin D supplement with the purpose of correcting this deficiency.
Now, I would recommend that you read my article about vitamin D if you have not already done so. Click to look inside.
Pregnancy and vitamins
The second group that would benefit from taking vitamin supplements is pregnant women. There is no question that pregnant women need enough vitamins for their growing babies.
Folic acid supplementation, in particular, has been shown to prevent serious birth related complications called neural tube defects.
The majority of prenatal vitamins contain of 600 micrograms of folic acid and 27 milligrams of iron (which is a mineral that is needed for building red blood cells).
The third group includes those with reduced food intake and who are in danger of becoming malnourished. They may also benefit from taking multivitamins.
If you have a balanced diet with a good amount of vegetables and fruit then you may not benefit from daily multivitamins.
If you aren’t eating enough vegetables and fruits you may want to start changing it today. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can benefit your health in a significant way.
Fiber is one of the very beneficial content of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fiber can reduce both your blood pressure and cholesterol.
If you want to be healthier and reduce the amount of necessary medications then you may want to consider getting closer to the nature and away from processed foods including multivitamins.