Multivitamins: Yes or No? - Nutrition World

Filling nutritional gaps, increasing chances of good health

Satisfying “hidden hunger”

Doctors are beginning to use the term “hidden hunger” to describe nutritional deficiencies in those who may consume enough, or even too many, calories every day, but who still lack the micronutrients essential to good health; in other words, a diet that is energy-dense, but nutrient-poor. “Even when a diet is well planned, it is not always possible for most people to choose foods containing the recommended amounts of all essential micronutrients; and chronic, relatively minor nutrient shortfalls can cause health problems,” according to the authors of this new multivitamin review.

Researchers also said the typical American diet falls far short of what experts recommend for the fruit, vegetables, and whole grains that are important sources of essential vitamins and minerals, and that multivitamins may be particularly beneficial for those who, for a variety of reasons, have poor nutrition, including missing food groups, advanced age, and chronic illness.

After completing this comprehensive survey of multivitamin studies over the last several decades, the authors conclude that, “Current data suggest minimal, if any, risk associated with multivitamin-mineral preparations containing 10 or more vitamins and minerals at recommended daily intake levels in healthy people, and a possibility of modest benefits that include a reduced risk of cancer and cataract of the eye, for a relatively low financial cost.”

The study also found that people who took multivitamin-mineral supplements had higher circulating levels of essential micronutrients compared to those who did not take the supplements. This may be because multivitamin users eat a better diet and have a healthier lifestyle overall compared to those who don’t take multivitamins.

Even though people should not expect multivitamins to be their primary source for preventing disease, multivitamins can and do play an essential role in filling the small, but critical, nutritional gaps in the typical American diet, and taking multivitamins can help ensure a healthy life.

Read here for the essential nutrition supplements we believe everyone should use.

Reference: Nutrition Journal; 2014, Vol. 13, No. 72, Published Online

Do you consume multivitamins? Share your experience with us in the comments.

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