Authored by Kimberly Back in Nutrition
Published on 06-17-2009
Think back to the days of taking your Flintstones chewable vitamins. Your parents told you to take them because they would make you strong, and keep you healthy. The same can be said for the multivitamins of today. While taking a multivitamin may not be as fun as biting off Dino’s head, multivitamins can have serious health benefits.
Overall well-being: Taking a multivitamin is a way to improve you overall physical and mental well-being. When you take a multivitamin you not only receive the individual benefits of all the vitamins and minerals, but also the benefits of the vitamins and minerals working together at the same time. Research has shown that multivitamins can improve your overall health by improving brain function and even digestion.
Energy boost: By taking a multivitamin you won’t get an energy boost in the traditional sense, because multivitamins do not create energy. However, multivitamins aid in other processes that do give you energy. Multivitamins provide the body with energy because many of the vitamins contained in them are required for the chemical reactions that produce energy. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins release energy as enzymes break them down, and vitamins assist the enzymes in this process.
Disease prevention: Multivitamins can be an excellent ally in disease prevention. They can work to build up your immune system to fight off disease. Taking a multivitamin can also prevent vitamin deficiency. Many diseases are caused by mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Heart disease and heart attacks can be attributed to a deficiency in copper, selenium, and calcium. Blood disorders can be attributed to a deficiency of iron, and some cancers have been linked to a vitamin E deficiency.
Pregnancy benefits: The benefits for taking a multivitamin before, during, and after pregnancy are well documented. Some research has shown that taking a multivitamin before trying to conceive will help get one’s body healthy and prepared for caring a baby. During pregnancy prenatal vitamins are essential to keep the mother and the baby healthy. Studies have shown that multivitamins containing folic acid help to prevent birth defects like spina bifida. After pregnancy, mothers should take a multivitamin to maintain their energy levels and proper nutrition, especially if they are breastfeeding.
Help for the elderly: As one enters the sixty-five and above age bracket it is important to consider taking a multivitamin. Studies have shown that a vitamin D deficiency has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, multivitamins have been shown to be beneficial toward reducing lung infections for the elderly, as well as reducing hip conditions that can result in fractures.
While it should be made clear that vitamins are most beneficial when they are found in their natural forms in food, taking a multivitamin can be beneficial to your heath by ensuring that you receive the recommended daily vitamin intake. When taken properly, multivitamins can aid in disease prevention, provide an energy boost, and improve overall health and well-being. Multivitamins can also be tailored to treat specific conditions, or for specific groups like pregnant women and the elderly. Before beginning any vitamin regimen please consult your physician or other health care professional.