Do multivitamins work? These are the recommended vitamins and minerals to stay healthy (men and women)
Around the globe, millions of people consume a series of vitamin supplements, and multivitamins to maintain or improve their overall health, and wellbeing.
This daily routine is very common worldwide, especially for adults, and older adults that want to preserve their heart and mind health by using dietary health supplements.
Even though there are several studies regarding the benefits and daily requirements that a group of vitamins and minerals possess for our organism, according to several pieces of research, there is very little about what a multivitamin can do to enhance our overall health.
About this specific subject, the scientific community is divided by results, and opinions on what can be the best way to maintain our overall health. This is the reason why we are going to treat this subject in the following sections.
What are multivitamins?
Multivitamins are a combination of several vitamins, minerals, and other nutritive ingredients (1) that were made to help our organism to cope with vitamin deficiencies.
The main components of these multivitamins may be varied between brands, as well as their concentration since there are no standards from the FDA or any other organism regarding the multivitamins. This makes them available in all shapes, sizes, materials, and presentations, with a variable dosage depending on the manufacturer as well as being able to purchase them almost anywhere.
As mentioned earlier, multivitamins were created to help people to pair up their vitamins, mineral, and other vital nutrients easily to restore or maintain their health. In essence, multivitamins should contain part of the 15 minerals, and 13 vitamins our organism needs to maintain all the proper functions (2).
Between these functions, you may count on supporting the immune system, keeping our brain, gut, and heart healthy by regulating several body processes to prevent any health side effects like degenerative disorders, chronic illnesses, and even cancer.
Additionally to vitamins, and minerals, some said multivitamins claim to have amino acids, fatty acids, and herbs. Because of the FDA regulation, some of these ingredients and their concentration levels may vary as well as affect your current medication. This is why it is so important to be very informed about the product you are about to take, so you can prevent any health complications due to its intake.
Do Multivitamins Work?
This question – the most important one – is where you are going to find very mixed opinions about it: all based on studies, and results may vary.
According to our research for this newsletter, some physicians believe they are a big part of a healthy lifestyle, while others believe that multivitamins might help preserve our overall health, especially when accompanied by a balanced diet and a conscious lifestyle.
What Vitamins Should I Take Daily For A Woman
Two larger studies were made until now about the effects of multivitamins on our health: The Physicians’ Health Study II, and The Iowa Women’s Health Study. The first involved over 14 thousand people over 11 years while the second followed over 38 thousand women for more than 15 years. The ages of each study's subject were between 50, and over (3).
- In The Physicians' Health Study II was proved that in the long-term, multivitamins can reduce the risk of suffering from cancer for men with a long family history of cancer and those who have no prior antecedent (4).
- Another cancer-related study found that the risk of suffering cancer decreases a 31% in men (5)
- Several studies support the evidence that pregnant women consuming supplemental folic acid, prevent neural tube defects in their fetuses.
Equally, here are some other interesting research results:
- Some studies revealed that taking multivitamins for three years or more can decrease the risk of suffering or dying from a heart-related disease – but only among women – (6)
- Some other studies suggest a relationship between multivitamin intake and a lower risk of suffering from colon cancer (7)
- Taking anti-oxidant supplements, and multivitamins with minerals may prevent and even slow down the progression of macular degeneration – a condition that affects vision – (8)
- Moreover, taking multivitamins may improve your mood by reducing or avoiding symptoms of anxiety, and depression (9)
Even though there are plenty of studies with different results, the conclusion of scientists, physicians, and dietitians is the same: multivitamins are in no way a substitute for a balanced diet that includes proteins, whole grains, fruits, low-fat dairy, and vegetables. This is a mistake most people taking multivitamins tend to make.
The main goal behind vitamin supplementation is to help your already daily balanced diet to maintain your wellbeing, so make sure to eat healthily, move often, keep yourself hydrated and add the multivitamins to encourage better health.
As the pregnant women group needs the ingestion of iron in folic acid form or multivitamins for their fetuses’ better development, some other groups might benefit from the multivitamins. Here are some:
- Postmenopausal women may take calcium supplements to prevent the apparition of osteoporosis (10)
- Vegans and vegetarians might benefit from multivitamins since they can suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency as well as zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids (11)
- Older adults might benefit from the intake of Vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D (12)
- People who spend a lot of time indoors may suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency. Talk to your doctor to see if it is your case and start taking the supplements.
In any case, the best advice we can give you is to talk to your doctor before adding any supplement to your daily diet. By doing so, you will find out which supplements are the best for you – if that’s the case – so you can properly add them to your daily routine while avoiding any side effects of medicine interaction or excessive medication.
What Vitamins Should I Take Daily For A Man?
In most cases, we don't know exactly what we need. So the first thing you should do is consult your doctor to find out your real needs.
It is an essential fatty acid, which our body does not produce, so we must incorporate it through food or supplementation. Numerous studies have shown that it prevents cardiovascular diseases, lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol, and prevents inflammation.
You can get it from nuts, vegetable oils, avocado, oats, flax, and chia seeds, and, above all, from the consumption of oily fish fat (tuna, bonito, anchovy, mackerel, horse mackerel, salmon, and sardines).
It is recommended to consume between 500 and 1000 mg daily of EPA and DHA, polyunsaturated acids found in oily fish.
It is the mineral we need for strong teeth and bones, proper blood clotting, muscle contraction and relaxation, hormone secretion (including testosterone), and to keep the heart and nerves healthy, as well as to prevent osteoporosis.
It can be obtained from milk, dairy products, mineral water, broccoli, kale, and fish.
The ideal is to consume 100 mg daily.
It is an essential mineral in man, since it participates in muscle contraction, in the proper functioning of the nervous system, it contributes to the absorption of calcium, making the bones remain strong, and it helps reduce fatigue.
You find magnesium in cocoa, wheat germ, almonds, brewer's yeast, parsley, walnuts, dried beans, roasted peanuts, and sunflower seeds.
An adult male should take between 400 and 420 mg daily.
Another essential trace element for the male body is as it helps to produce hormones such as testosterone and prolactin.
Some studies even show that it would improve sexual performance, control, and firmness of the penis.
Foods rich in zinc are dark chocolate, pork, beef and lamb, crab, oysters, brown rice, eggs, pumpkin and sesame seeds, walnuts, and peanuts.
The recommended daily amount is 11 mg for adult men.
Vitamin A and Lutein
Health in older men suffers in many ways, such as vision. Both vitamin A and Lutein help reduce glaucoma and counteract macular degeneration. They are also essential to maintain an immune and reproductive system at full capacity.
Eggs, milk, meat (beef and chicken), zucchini, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, kiwi, and grapes are rich in these vitamins.
The recommended is between 70 and 90 grams of vitamin A daily, and up to 60 mg of lutein.
Studies say that it could have a reducing effect on homocysteine, a possible cause of cardiovascular damage. It is a powerful antioxidant, so it protects against oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. Its deficit can cause cognitive problems, irreversible dementia, and depression.
In addition, it helps regulate metabolism and gives you energy. It is present in meat, milk, eggs, cheese, whole grains, legumes, and brewer's yeast.
It is recommended to consume 2.4 milligrams daily.
Up to 40% of the population has vitamin D deficiency and the serious thing is that its lack can pose a risk of osteoporosis and fractures since it facilitates the absorption of calcium. Autoimmune diseases and infections could also occur.
In addition, you must consume foods such as blue fish, shellfish, liver, egg yolk, and whole or skimmed dairy products enriched with calcium, mushrooms, mushrooms, and almonds.
It is recommended to take a daily supplement of 800 international units.
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- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23162860 multivitamins#:~:text=The%20researchers%20concluded%20that%20multivitamins,harmful%2C%20especially%20at%20high%20doses.