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Getting The Facts Straight On Vitamin Truths!

An article recently published in Readers Digest attacked the use of a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement. Find out what Shannon Clark has to say in her defence for vitamin truths!

If you're like many people these days, you're starting to grow more concerned with your overall health status and are starting to take action to make sure that you are getting the nutrients you need. For many of you, this means adding a high quality multivitamin to your diet - one that's going to offer you a good dose of many of the nutrients you may be missing. Iron and calcium are two big ones in particular that most of us do fall short in, especially females who are still of menstruating age.

But recently, an article was published in the Readers Digest Magazine that stated taking supplements offered little advantage at all.

Could this really be true? Before you jump ship on your favorite supplement, you may want to take a closer look so you aren't misled.

Making Up For A Poor Diet ///

The first point the article raises is the claim that a multivitamin can make up for a bad diet. However, if you look at most dietary and supplement advice, you'd soon find out that very few multivitamins claim to make up for a bad diet. Rather, they are meant to supplement a diet that's already enriched with plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

The authors of the study point out that most people would be 'very unlikely' to be deficient in nutrients if they consume an average American diet, but these authors should really take a closer look at the standard American diets.

Image of eggs and fruit

Multivitamins Are Meant To Supplement A Diet Already Enriched with Whole Grains, Fresh Fruits, And Vegetables.

Most people these days are consuming plenty of soda, plenty of processed snack foods, and get their protein from plenty of fast or convenience meals - if they get in enough protein at all.

They are not taking in high quantities of milk, water, whole grains, fresh fruits, or vegetables, so to say they are getting their requirements would be an overstatement.

Vitamins For Disease Prevention ///

Another issue that is touched upon in this article is the claim that vitamins cannot help to protect you against disease. While it's true that the body definitely will get a great deal more from fresh fruits and vegetables in terms of cancer prevention, if you're not eating fresh fruits or vegetables, at the very least a good vitamin can help to boost your overall immune system so you can fight off what you encounter on a daily basis.

Again this goes back to the assumption that people are using vitamins instead of eating a healthy diet. Most people these days are well aware of the fact that a vitamin cannot replace a diet but when used for supplementary purposes give you the peace of mind that you do have some back-up on days when you may miss the mark with your regular diet plan.

Image of vitamins

A Good Vitamin Can Help To Boost Your Overall Immune System.

The Case Of 'Why Not' ///

Another point raised in this article is a 'why not' case. The authors claim that some people figure that even if the vitamin isn't really working all that well, why not take it - just in case. The article claims that in doing so, negative health risks could start to become prevalent.

First, this is complete neglect of the authors to recognize that many people will look into recommended dosages and be sure that they are within safe limits.

Like anything else in life, if you take too much of it problems will occur. Moderation is always key with everything not just supplements and most people do realize this. If someone is super-dosing on vitamins and not paying attention to recommended dosages, then it should be expected that negative impacts are seen.

Those who ensure that they use their supplements in a safe and smart manner on the other hand do not risk seeing health problems so will not need to concern themselves with this point.

RELATED POLL
Do You Pay Attention To Dosages?

Always.
Not all of the time.

Vitamin C And The Common Cold ///

Finally the last point that was brought up in the article was that vitamin C is not as helpful as some people thought at fighting off the common cold.

While the article does stand correct in the fact that vitamin C will not entirely prevent a cold completely, the article misses the point that vitamin C use can definitely reduce the severity of a cold should it take place and help to shorten the total duration you remain sick.

They state that benefits were only seen in a specific group of people, but one study that was published in the Can Med Association Journal described that of subjects in a double blind trial that received vitamin C, 30% of them illustrated fewer total days of being disabled by a cold and noted that the difference was significant compared to those not taking the supplement.

So while you must maintain realistic expectations of what vitamin C supplements can do for you, they do still prove to be helpful. When you're down suffering with a cold, you know very well that even one less day of feeling that way could be well worth adding that supplement of vitamin C to your diet on a regular basis.

Image of vitamins

Be Realistic About What Vitamin C Supplements Can Do For You.

Conclusion

All in all, multivitamins are definitely not a 'cure all', nor are they meant to be. But to claim that they are simply unnecessary is stretching beyond limits. Regular use of a multivitamin does definitely help maintain good health levels provided they are used wisely and that you are not expecting them to work miracles while you go off and eat a very poor diet.

When used in combination with an overall healthy diet, they will help promote better health and well being and put your mind to rest that you aren't running a large-scale deficiency in any major nutrient.


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About The Author

I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.

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