There has been much debate recently as to whether multivitamins are effective or not. Recent evidence indicates that the regular intake of multivitamins does not offer any significant benefit. Some have gone so far as to say that multivitamins are nothing but sugar-pills.
Before we jump to conclusions and throw away our multiple bottles of vitamins, it might be a good idea to re-evaluate the issue. First, there is no denying the fact that multivitamins should not be considered a substitute for a healthy and nutritious diet. According to Penny Kris-Etherton, a distinguished Professor of Nutrition at the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Health and Human Development, “nutritionists recommend food first because foods provide a variety of vitamins and minerals and also dietary factors that are not found in a vitamin or mineral supplement.”
As recommendations go, having a healthy diet is a definite requirement. However, despite trying our best to eat healthy, there is still a chance that we remain deficient in some areas. That is where multivitamins and supplements can help provide us the necessary support. It is a fact that all of us do not eat healthy all the time and our daily diet may not be providing us all the necessary nutrients. Thus, there is nothing wrong with taking vitamins and mineral supplements if and so required.
However, it is a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider with respect to the best supplements for you. According to Kris-Etherton, a volunteer with the American Heart Association, “A supplement will generally provide 100 percent of the daily recommended allowance for all vitamins and minerals. Therefore, many nutritionists will agree that a supplement is OK if nutrient needs are not being met by a healthy food-based diet.”
Some of the basic dos and don’ts from the American Heart Association include:
– Eat a healthy diet.
– Patients with heart disease need omega-3 fatty acids called EPA+DHA. If they can’t get this through their die, they should take supplement. This also goes or patients with high cholesterol.
– There is no evidence that shows benefit of antioxidant vitamin supplements such as A, C and E.
– Never rely on supplements alone since there is not enough data to show that they can fully compensate or provide all nutrients. While vitamins can lower your risk factor levels, they are not the ultimate source of prevention for all diseases.