5 Good Reasons to Take a Daily Multivitamin
1. Harvard review recommends a daily multivitamin
In a scientific review, the Harvard School of Medicine recommended, “Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomised trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements”.1
2. Don't just prevent deficiency - support optimal health instead!
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) are set at levels known to prevent nutrient deficiencies, yet the debate on whether these levels are high enough to promote optimal health continues. Take vitamin D as a prime example; many experts now believe that human daily requirements of ‘the sunshine vitamin’ may be up to 10 times more than what is currently recommended.2-4 Taking a daily multivitamin may help to support optimal health rather than just prevent deficiency.
3. Improve your biological age
Scientific interest in biological age has risen dramatically in the last few years, and 2009 Nobel Prize winner, Professor Elizabeth Blackburn has published a whole book on the subject called ‘The Telomere Effect’. Telomeres are sections of DNA that naturally shorten with age, and this process can be accelerated by unhealthy dietary and lifestyle factors. The longer your telomeres, the lower your biological age so it makes sense to look after and protect them where you can. If you’re interested in finding out more, we’ve written a whole article here on the subject. Just for now though, take note of this fascinating epidemiological study published in 2009 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition where researchers found multivitamin use to be associated with longer telomere length in women.5
4. The typical Western diet is low in micronutrients
The latest instalment of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (data collected from 2008 – 2017) has shown that micronutrients are in serious need of attention, with a downward intake trend identified for most vitamins and minerals. Mean intakes of fruits and vegetables for all age groups are still below the 5-a day target (which is already considered a sub-optimal aim). Of particular concern, all age and sex groups showed a significant reduction in vitamin A and folate. The survey also found that for all age and sex groups, vitamin D levels were lowest between January – March, highlighting the need for seasonal vitamin D supplementation.6,7
5. Support a healthy heart & body weight
A 2018 randomised placebo controlled trial published in the American Heart Journal found that high dose oral multivitamin and mineral supplementation seemed to decrease combined cardiac events in a stable post myocardial infarction population not taking statins. These significant findings were unexpected and are deemed significant; they are now being retested.8 A 2018 meta-analysis of 12 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) on the effects of multivitamin and mineral supplementation (MVMS) on blood pressure found that MVMS may be an effective method for blood pressure control in subjects with chronic disease including hypertension. The study authors concluded that more well designed RCTs are needed to confirm this result.9
Earlier studies published in the International Journal of Obesity found that in obese individuals, multivitamin and mineral supplementation could reduce body weight and fat compartments and improve serum lipid profiles, possibly through increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation. In addition, multivitamin and mineral supplementation helped to reduce blood pressure and serum CRP in obese women with increased cardiovascular disease risk.10,11
1. Fletcher RH, Fairfield KM, Vitamins for Chronic Disease Preventions in Adults. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2002; 287: 3127-3129
2. Papadimitriou DT. The big vitamin D mistake. J Prev Med Public Health. 2017 Jul; 50 (4): 278-281. Doi: 10.3961/jpmph.16.111. Epub 2017 May 10
3. Pilz S, Trummer C et al. Vitamin D: Current guidelines and future outlook. Anticancer Res. 2018 Feb; 38(2): 1145-1151
4. Grant WB. A Review of the Evidence Supporting the Vitamin D-Cancer Prevention Hypothesis in 2017. Anticancer Res. 2018 Feb;38(2):1121-1136
5. Xu, Parks et al. Multivitamin use and telomere length in women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. June 2009, Vol 89, Number 6, Pages 1857 – 1863 1.
6. 6. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/ndns-time-trend-and-income-analyses-for-years-1-to-9
7. Dagfinn A, Giovannucci E et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality – A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol 46, Issue 3, 1 June 2017, Pages 1029 – 1056. Published 22 February 2017
8. Issa, OM, Roberts R et al. Effect of high-dose oral multivitamins and minerals in participants not treated with statins in the randomised Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy. Am Heart J. 2018 Jan; 195: 70-77.doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2017.09.002
9. Kelei Li, Chunxiao Liu et al. Effects of multivitamin and multimineral supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of 12 randomised controlled trials. Nutrients 2018 Aug; 10(8): 1018. Published online 2018 Aug 3. Doi: 10.3390/nu10081018
10. Li, Wang et al. Effects of multivitamin and mineral supplementation on adiposity, energy expenditure and lipid profiles in obese Chinese women. International Journal of Obesity advance online publication, 9 February 2010; doi: 10. 1038/ijo.2010.14
11. Li, Wang et al. Effects of supplementation with multivitamin and mineral on blood pressure and C-reactive protein in obese Chinese women with increased cardiovascular disease risk. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2009; 18(1): 121-30
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