Is it Worth Taking a Multivitamin?

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We're constantly being told that one of the best ways to good health is to 'take our vitamins'. I've personally gone through phases where I take a multivitamin daily followed by times when I don't touch them, because I've always wondered whether they actually offer any benefit and are worth the hefty price tag. So I decided it was time for me to do a little research on this topic. Here's what I discovered.


Many studies have shown that multivitamins don't actually offer any substantial health benefits. In fact, scientists are increasingly realising that most vitamin and mineral supplements are pointless. An editioral that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine entitled Enough is Enough; Stop Wasting Money On Vitamin and Mineral Supplements concluded that multivitamins don't reduce the likelihood of developing cancer or cardiovascular disease and do nothing to slow down cognitive decline.

It's not a case of our bodies not needing vitamins and minerals – of course, we require them to survive and to perform at our best. However, most people living in the West who eat a varied diet will acquire the majority of them from their food. Taking high amounts in a synthetic form isn't natural and could actually be harmful by increasing the risk of cancer, other diseases and mortality.

If you've been considering taking a vitamin supplement because you feel you may be deficient, instead try incorporating more nutrient rich foods (especially fruit and vegetables) into your diet. Educate yourself as to which foods contain certain vitamins and minerals, then eat them. Plenty of them. It's hard to overdose on vitamins from vegetables because there's only so much we can eat before feeling full. On the other hand, a pill doesn't offer the satiety factor so it's a lot easier to consume a potentially dangerous dosage without realising.

There has never been any substitute for healthy eating...and guess what? There never will be! Taking a multivitamin is not your ticket to eat an unhealthy diet and think it's ok because you're still getting your vitamins in. It just doesn't work that way!
 
What are your thoughts on multivitamins? Do you take them?
 
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Is Cutting Out Meat Really Better for Your Health?

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4 comments:

  1. Great post, I couldn't agree with you more! About a year ago my blood tests showed that I was deficient in a variety of vitamins and the doctor told me to take various supplements that should help. No matter how many multivitamins I took I didn't feel any different until I changed my diet! It is truly all down to the food you eat and the vitamins that it fuels your body with. :)

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  2. Hi Laura, thanks for your comment! It's so true that it's the food you eat that makes the biggest difference. Glad you're alright now!

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  3. Hey Nic!

    I am becoming addicted to your blog, haha!! I'm always looking for ways to lead a healthier lifestyle (minus afternoon tea visits, haha) and your blog really inspires me. I do take multi vitamins and I don't know why if that makes sense. For me, it has become a routine and although I try to live in a healthy way (everything in moderation), I just feel better taking them and I like the taste!

    Sarah xx

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  4. Hi Sarah! Thanks for the compliment, glad my blog inspires you :) Maybe the vitamins have a kind of placebo effect on you - the act of taking a multivitamin makes you feel healthy psychologically. That's not a bad thing, because feeling healthy will encourage you to stay healthy (in all aspects of your life!)

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