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6 Reasons Why You Should Be Taking Vitamin Supplements

Written by: Anna Misztela, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Anna Misztela

Have you ever walked past the vitamin section in the grocery or drug store and paused to consider whether or not a multivitamin might be a good idea for you, your health and your beauty? This article will try to convince you that indeed it would be a good idea and provide strong evidence for why this is the case. And even if you are already taking a multivitamin (and this would be slightly more than half of you, as in 2017-2018, 57.6% of adults in the USA used dietary supplements), you may not have considered all the benefits, so it is still worthwhile to keep reading.

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You need to fill in nutritional gaps. Those of us that do take a multivitamin likely do so out of recognition that our diet is not as healthy as it could or should be, and the multivitamin is taken to fill in those nutritional gaps. Kind of like a nutritional insurance policy. The fact of the matter is, if you religiously eat a balanced and healthy diet which includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and sources of proteins and healthy fats, you will probably observe no benefit with taking a multivitamin, nor actually need one. But if we are honest with ourselves, this type of person with impeccable nutrition and eating habits is the exception rather than the norm. And even if you do think you belong to this group, you may be surprised as greater than 94% of the adult population in the USA fails to ingest the average requirement for vitamin D from food sources alone, while 89% lack the average requirement for vitamin E.

You are over 50 years of age. The deficiencies just described will worsen as we age for a whole host of reasons including more difficulty in chewing and swallowing food, changes in metabolism as we age, or mental health issues and depression brought on by loneliness and isolation that negatively affect appetite. Furthermore, as we age, our ability to absorb vitamins from food can also decrease. An example of this is vitamin B12, which has led to the National Academy of Medicine to recommend to those over 50 years of age to consume foods fortified with vitamin B12 or to take supplements from which the vitamin is more easily absorbed by the body.

You are a woman of childbearing age and need to ensure adequate folate levels. Another at-risk segment of the population are pregnant women who are likely to have a deficiency in the B-vitamin folate, which is critically important in reducing the risk of spina bifida or anencephaly in newborns, the latter a condition where the baby develops severe brain and skull defects which typically leads to a miscarriage, or if born, dies within a few days or even hours. To prevent this, adequate folate intake is most important during the first few weeks of conception. But given that half of all US pregnancies are unplanned, it is quite likely that a woman is unaware that she is pregnant at the time when adequate folate will have its highest beneficial impact for development of a healthy newborn. This led to the recommendation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that all women between the ages of 15-45 (ie. childbearing age) receive a daily dose of folic acid of 600 micrograms.

You are trying to lose weight and dieting. While maintaining a healthy weight is always a good thing, if the diet you choose to abide by restricts your food intake, there is an excellent chance that you will not be receiving all the nutrients you need from food. This is where a multivitamin can help “top you back up” without worries of additional caloric intake (unless you take a gummy multivitamin which frequently contain sugar, which we do not recommend for this and other reasons). Of course, it may not be a self-imposed diet for the purposes of weight loss, but rather based on beliefs such as is the case for vegans and vegetarians, where the mineral iron, commonly found in red meats, may be lacking. Or perhaps the diet has been prescribed, such as liquid diets that might be necessary after surgical procedures. In cases such as this, a multivitamin makes a lot of sense.

You wish to boost your immune system. Certain vitamins are well known for their support of the immune system, most notably vitamin C. But if your diet does not contain a great deal of fruit, chances are you may not be getting enough. It’s immune-boosting attributes are a result of its antioxidative properties, used to protect our cells from the damage caused by oxidative stress that results from cellular attack by unstable oxygen free radicals. Vitamin E also has powerful antioxidant properties and functions particularly well in concert with vitamin C. Yet, as mentioned above, 89% of us do not achieve adequate vitamin E levels from our diet.

You would like to maintain strong bones now and later in life as well. We’ve all heard about how important calcium is for the maintenance of strong bones. But in the absence of vitamin D, our bodies struggle to absorb calcium, and we are additionally at increased risk of developing osteoporosis later in life and we become more susceptible to falls resulting in broken bones. And yet, 94% of us do not maintain sufficient levels of vitamin D from our diet. Even more reasons pointing to the benefits of a multivitamin.

Although multivitamins are handy, they are still limited in what they can achieve compared to maintaining a healthy diet, which should always be the first goal for everyone. You cannot overcome a particularly bad diet with supplements.

Finally, if you are taking multivitamins for any of the reasons described above, just make sure you do not over-supplement by taking a multivitamin and several other specific supplements. Though generally safe, some toxic effects could accrue if you are taking too much. We recommend that you pay close attention to labels and dosages, and if you believe you truly need all the different supplements, you should discuss your concerns with your doctor before proceeding.

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Anna Misztela Brainz Magazine

Anna Misztela, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Anna Misztela’s interest in nutrition analysis and beauty began after she won the Mrs Polonia 2017 and Mrs Polonia World 2018 beauty contests. She then completed a Nutrition Science certification and became a Board-Licensed Esthetician. Her goal was to unlock the mystery of naturally beautiful hair, skin and nails. She was astonished by her discoveries of how sulfur and different types of vitamins work in our body. Since Roman times sulfur baths and sulfur waters have had known health and beauty benefits. Anna has included these compounds in her unique product, which helped many women to transform their hair, improve skin conditions, and get stronger nails. That’s how Beauty&Cutie was born.





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