Many people would say that you can get your nutrients from food. However, the food preparation process can degrade essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals because they are sensitive to heat and temperature. In this case, multivitamin supplements are a way to ensure that you are getting enough vitamins and nutrients to meet your daily needs. However, there are some things you should keep in mind when taking multivitamins.
For one thing, certain vitamins may not interact well with one another. You should know the types of supplements that counteract each other to avoid health issues. It is also crucial for you to consult with a physician first before taking any multivitamin because everyone has specific health concerns:
The following are just some things to keep in mind when taking multivitamins:
1. Calcium and Iron do not mix well
Calcium and Iron are two vitamins that don’t mix well. Calcium inhibits the absorption of iron, and this isn’t ideal when you are taking Iron to treat health issues such as anemia and heavy menstrual flows. You should choose a multivitamin that only has one of the ingredients then take another supplement that has only either calcium or Iron.
2. Choose active forms of nutrients
Active forms of nutrients are much better than inactive forms. For one thing, they are better absorbed. For another, is they bypass some of the body’s synthesis processes that would help a nutrient do its purpose. You should look at the labels to see if some vitamins are already in their active form. For example, the active form of Vitamin B6 is pyridoxine. Vitamin B6 is essential for hormonal balance and many other functions in the body. Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is another nutrient that takes an active form called riboflavin-5-phosphate.
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3. Consume natural folate
Folate needs to be transformed into an active state for it to be utilized by the body. Unfortunately, some people have a genetic defect that fails to convert folate into its active form. Always choose natural folate to make sure that you can absorb the folate into your system. Folic acid is synthetic and some people may not transform it into its active form which is 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). Natural folate is often found in vegetables like spinach, lentils, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, and legumes. It is also available in fruits like citrus and avocado. You want your folate to already be in its active form when you purchase the supplement, it is often listed as folate, 5-MTHF, or folacin.
4. All forms of Vitamin E are important for health
Vitamin E is often included in a multivitamin supplement and is highly important to the body. Vitamin E is required for the many functions of the organs in the body and is also an antioxidant. Make sure that you are getting Vitamin E complex in your multivitamin. There are many types of Vitamin E as it comes in alpha, beta delta, and gamma forms. A Vitamin E complex will contain all these forms. Most of the time, the multivitamins sold over the counter only contain alpha-tocopherol. Getting a Vitamin E complex is essential because it is proven in many studies that it benefits general health.
5. Choose clean natural products
Some of the multivitamins you may purchase may have additives and fillers. It is best to avoid these kinds of multivitamins and opt for clean, natural products. Usually, additives are used to make the vitamins look or attractive or to extend their shelf life. Additives are also used to make the multivitamin cheaper. You should only use vitamins that are coming from clean and natural sources like whole foods.
6. It is possible to overdose on multivitamins
Everything should be taken in moderation including multivitamins. Overdosing on vitamins can certainly damage certain organs. For example, too much vitamin C and zinc can cause hair to fall out, nausea, and nerve damage. However, it takes a lot of vitamins to be ingested for it to be truly dangerous. If you are constantly consuming supplements, you may be harming your health. People usually overdose on vitamins, especially if it is in gummy form because gummy vitamins are tasty and can appear to be as harmless as candy.
7. Gummy Multivitamins are not complete
Since gummy vitamins are delicious, you may opt to have gummies as your supplement of choice. However, the nutrients in gummies are not complete as they lack iron as an essential nutrient. Iron is the key nutrient you need for maintaining healthy blood cells and if it is omitted from your multivitamin, you may be missing it daily. Iron can also be found in food, but if you are choosing the wrong kinds of foods and are depending on supplements to make up for lost nutrients, a gummy multivitamin may not be the best choice.
8. Labels in multivitamins are not reliable
You shouldn’t rely on labels of vitamins to tell you accurate information. When multivitamins are tested in a lab, it has been found to have significant differences in the nutrient content for 46 percent of the vitamins tested. Labels are unreliable, and you can’t always trust that what you see on it is what’s actually present in the product. Multivitamins are merely an adjunct to good nutrition, so you should rely on eating the right kinds of foods first and foremost to help you get the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
9. Ingesting a lot of vitamins isn’t always better
Eating more vitamins than what’s recommend won’t give you better benefits. The reason is your body isn’t absorbing these extra dosages. There is a limit to how much your body can absorb and utilize vitamins. One example is vitamin C. If you ingest more than 200 mg. of vitamin C, your body will not be absorbing more. Even if you overload on vitamins, it won’t benefit your health.
10. Some multivitamins have a lot of sugar
Although multivitamins should taste palatable, they shouldn’t be a piece of candy. See if your multivitamins have a lot of sugar in it that keeps it from being a healthy multivitamin. A few grams of sugar is fine but it can be cause problems if you have health conditions such as diabetes.
Getting enough vitamins is great for overall health. A multivitamin can help you get the daily nutrition you need if you are not getting enough of it in your food. Strive for a healthy balance between diet and supplements for the best results.