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Do I Need to Take a Multivitamin?

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health cover, explores the benefits of multivitamins.

Multivitamins and minerals are the most consumed dietary supplements worldwide. Many believe that multivitamins can do the following:

  • Improve health
  • Compensate for bad dietary habits
  • Lower the chance of chronic disease

But is this belief fact or fiction?

What are Multivitamins?

Multivitamins are dietary supplements containing many vitamins and minerals. That is often besides other components.

 

There is no universal definition of a multivitamin. But the nutrient makeup of these supplements differs by brand and product.

 

Multivitamins come in many forms, including tablets, capsules, chewable gummies, powders, and liquids.

 

Thirteen vitamins and about fifteen minerals are necessary for good health. Many multivitamins contain variable concentrations of these vitamins and minerals. Additionally, they might contain herbs, amino acids, and fatty acids.

 

The Food and Drug Administration does not see dietary supplements as prescription pharmaceuticals. So, some multivitamins may contain higher or lower levels of certain nutrients.

 

Multivitamins Supplements and Cardiovascular Disease

 

Heart disease is one of the worldwide causes of death. Some feel that taking multivitamins can help avoid heart disease. But data does not appear to support this claim.

 

Multivitamin Supplements and Cancer

 

Inconsistent evidence exists on multivitamin use and cancer risk. Some studies find no correlation between multivitamin consumption and cancer risk. But others do see a correlation.

Do Multivitamins Offer any Other Health Benefits?

Some studies have discovered that multivitamins may aid in memory and mood enhancement. Moreover, antioxidant vitamins and minerals may help reduce blindness.

Are There Health Risks Associated With Taking Multivitamins?
Some people may tolerate large quantities of some vitamins and minerals. But excessive amounts can be dangerous.

Solubility can affect the dosage of a multivitamin as follows:

Water-soluble:
Your body eliminates excess quantities of these vitamins through urine.

Fat-soluble:
Since your body cannot release them, vitamins may build in your liver.

Good to Know

  • Pregnant women must be especially mindful of their vitamin A consumption. Excessive intake may cause congenital abnormalities.
  • Certain minerals, such as iron, in excessive amounts, can cause:
  • Stomach distress
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Inhibited absorption of zinc

 

Men should be especially aware of their iron intake. They tend to store more of it than women and those with hemochromatosis.

Should You Take Multivitamins?

In reality, evidence that multivitamins are healthy is inconclusive. In certain instances, they may even be harmful.

 

“Multivitamins contain many nutrients, most of which you may not need. Fresh, whole foods are better overall,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

 

“But if you need a specific nutrient, it may be preferable to supplement with that nutrient. For your benefit, it is best to consult your healthcare provider,” concludes Hewlett.

 

Learn More: The Importance of Good Nutrition in Early Childhood

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is the leading provider of affordable medical insurance in South Africa. Members enjoy access to a network of healthcare providers. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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