Multivitamins: Remedy or Rip-off?
Many people take a multivitamin because they want to ensure their body is receiving the vitamins and minerals needed to keep them healthy and strong. That could be maintaining solid bones, an alert mind, or searching for an energy boost to get through the daily grind.
With multivitamins, however, it appears there is no magic pill guaranteed to produce results expected by consumers. In fact, the jury is still out on whether multivitamins even work at all due to that industry not being strictly regulated and having no medical reports confirming efficacy. For example, a study conducted by the University of Washington reports the use of multivitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and folate did not reduce the risk of lung cancer.
In addition, it is believed multivitamins might do more harm than good, despite they are often marketed to offer multiple benefits. The public, therefore, should become educated about multivitamins to ensure they are not potentially setting themselves up for the occurrence of adverse effects later down the road. When taking multivitamins just for the sake of it, those vitamins and minerals might exceed what the body needs and could potentially be damaging.
In a recent study, for example, it was reported that incidences of lung cancer among smokers actually increased if they used beta carotene. Another example of why the public should know what is in their multivitamin relates to a study involving women who suffered health issues and were taking multivitamins containing iron. The average person is unaware that iron should be used by those who are anemic as well as vegans, who have diets deficient in iron. Men and post-menopausal women should not take supplemental iron. Research suggests too much iron can lead to cancer and heart disease.
An additional warning with regard to not using a multivitamin containing certain vitamins resulting in excessive amounts involves medical research linking vitamin E supplements to an increased risk of lung cancer. Mega-doses of folate, which is plentiful in most foods, could possibly promote colon cancer, so the additional folate found in multivitamins could push men, in particular, into the danger zone.
It is best for the body to absorb vitamins and minerals naturally through foods instead of using a multivitamin. A well-balanced diet might mean eliminating the dependency on multivitamins. In addition, those who are suffering from certain conditions might need to focus on managing it rather than popping a multivitamin.
If an energy boost is needed, for example, try vitamin B12. Stronger bones can be achieved with calcium. Anybody wanting a stronger immune system should consider taking zinc, and hypertension patients who need to get regulate blood pressure should consider magnesium. It is important to consult your physician before starting any type of supplemental vitamin and mineral regimen.