Why Take a Multivitamin?

One of the most commonly asked questions is “Why should I take a multivitamin supplement?”

Because vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that the human body alone cannot manufacture in sufficient quantities to provide the foundation for all normal biological functions. Vitamins and minerals are required for normal metabolism, growth, and general well being. A single deficiency of any vitamin or mineral can endanger the whole body. Many people believe they are eating the ‘right’ foods, and getting the proper amount of essential nutrients in this way. And, of course, eating a balanced diet is one way to obtain the vitamins and minerals you need.

The problem is, few of us get a truly balanced diet. Processing, storing, or even cooking can reduce the vitamin content of foods. Foods can also be adversely affected by chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and soil conditions. Nutrients are also adversely affected by heavy smoking, alcohol consumption, and numerous health conditions including obesity and chronic illness.

Your multivitamin should contain a full range of vitamins and minerals to meet essential nutritional needs. For example, the average diet frequently provides less than the recommended daily allowance for zinc. A low-dose supplement (15 mg per day) can fill in dietary gaps. Many diets are deficient in Zinc. Zinc is considered the most important mineral for proper immune system function. Magnesium is also an important element available in multivitamin form. A lack of this essential mineral can lead to fatigue, abnormal heart rhythms, muscle weakness and spasm, depression, loss of appetite, listlessness, and potassium depletion.

A good multivitamin can give you re-assurance that you are obtaining the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals needed for good health. Whatever your specific nutritional needs are, a multivitamin should be the foundation of any nutritional supplement or vitamin regimen and will significantly increase the effectiveness of the other supplements you take.