Multivitamins have come a long way in the past decade. The general feeling of multivitamins has long been that you just take them and all is well. Feeling under the weather? Take two. Multivitamins like Flintstones vitamins and gummy vitamins don’t help either. They are as close to candy as you can get and the sweetness takes the danger out of the equation. Multivitamins are not benign and can have several different effects – some very good and some very bad.
People have a pretty clear idea of what they are told a multivitamin can do. It makes up for the vitamins you don’t get in your regular food intake. It has almost excused bad eating and is used to replace too large amount of missing vitamins and minerals. That is a lot to ask of a pill.
There are very good advantages to taking a multivitamin:
1) Helps make up for not getting the essential 13 vitamins your body needs to function properly. Not getting these vitamins can cause deficiencies and illness.
2) Relieves stress. It may not make it “all go away” but that stress you are feeling is putting a huge strain on your physical body. Multivitamins help by keeping protecting us from disease and illness at their optimum level. You tax your system when stressed which strains your immune system – this can lead to illness.
3) People with particular illnesses, such as heart issues can benefit by being sure to have the vitamins and nutrients that help – like vitamin K.
4) Growing and repair. For children, multivitamins are essential as most food today, especially fast-food and pre-packaged foods, are severely lacking in the vitamins necessary for healthy growth. Multivitamins come in chewable forms for kids and don’t have to be a sugar source either – look for all natural types. Another option is vitamin and mineral filled drinks like Pediasure. For adults and aging adults, multivitamins are huge in helping recover from illness and injury. They aid in the repair of skin and keeping many organs functioning at their optimal level. Ensure is another option for adults if pill form is not wanted.
5) Pregnancy. Pregnancy is possibly the time vitamins have the greatest effect. Not only for the mother’s health, but also the unborn baby. What mom eats, baby does too. Some women gain a lot of weight and it is assumed that baby will be absorbing all those wonderful nutrients, yet, if you are filling up on junk food, so is baby. The same is true for those who don’t get enough to eat and are relying on their body to supply the baby with stored nutrients. You will run out and need to supplement regularly. The phrase “eating for two” takes on a whole new meaning in the world of necessary nutrients and vitamins.
6) Mental Health. Our bodies and minds synch as one. When you are ill, it takes all the possible mental will power you have to get up and keep moving. When you give up mentally, the body soon follows and vice versa. Keeping your physical body healthy by supplying the essential vitamins keeps your mind healthy. When you feel good physically, you feel good mentally. They go hand in hand.
So, there are some incredible and important benefits and needs that multivitamins can help to fill. They are a helping hand, not a solution. Proper eating and exercise is the first step. Multivitamins are there to fill in the gaps, not be a food supplement.
With all this good, what could possibly be bad? Well, there are a few side effects that can be caused by multivitamins, as well as a threat of overdose:
1) Medication interaction: Believe it or not, some medications and multivitamins do not mix and can cause adverse health effects or even cause the medication to be less effective. Example: Calcium, which is usually found in multivitamins for women, blocks the effectiveness of Depakote, an anti-seizure medication. If you are taking medication, consult your physician before adding a multivitamin.
2) Stomach upset: Some of the vitamins in multivitamins are hard for people with sensitive stomachs to take. This upset stomach can be relieved by taking the multivitamin before bed. It is usually a mild discomfort but enough to cause nausea.
3) Diarrhea. Multivitamins can have a high amount of magnesium in them. You need magnesium but it sometimes just doesn’t agree with you. It can cause diarrhea which can lead to dehydration which is a serious health concern. Contact your physician if it persists more than 48 hours.
4) Cardiac Issues: High amounts of Zinc causes cardiac rhythm issues and can result in a fragile heart. A long period of having a frail heart may result in heart attack. High Zinc absorption can cause teeth staining, muscle weakness and stomach issues.
5) Kidney Stones: This usually happens in people who are taking calcium supplements alone, but can occur with multivitamins as well. High levels of calcium cause the kidney stones which are incredibly painful. On top of the pain is cramping and constipation. Again, consult your physician if you have these problems.
Overall, multivitamins can do more good than harm as long as they are taken properly. In today’s world economy, more and more people are suffering losses in income. These result in poorer nutrition as the price of natural foods goes up. One way to assure you and your family are getting the proper vitamins is with multivitamins. For those who are considered healthy and who exercise regularly and eat well, there is still room for improvement.
Chances are you are still not meeting your daily nutritional needs and multivitamins are a great way to supplement. With a multivitamin, more is not better though and can lead to serious complications. As with all prescribed medications, take a multivitamin just as seriously. Take it as directed and report any adverse effects to your physician.