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The Importance of Multivitamins

The Importance of Multivitamins

We all know that vitamins and minerals are essential for good health. Each vitamin and mineral has multiple and critical roles in all of our bodily processes; many of these nutrients interact with each other and can enhance or impair another vitamin or mineral’s absorption and functioning. Too much of one and not enough of another can negate the potential effectiveness of the one in excess – this is why it is important to ensure that we are getting the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of every vitamin and mineral.

Since our bodies do not produce the majority of vitamins or any minerals, we must get them from our diet. Eating fresh and whole foods is an important means for obtaining these nutrients, but even if our diets are balanced, there are certain conditions or circumstances that can create vitamin deficiencies. People who take medications including antibiotics, sleeping pills and oral contraceptives may be prone to deficiencies because the medications can interfere with vitamins in the body. Lifestyle habits such as smoking, dieting and alcohol consumption also adversely affect nutrient absorption and function.

A bigger problem for all of us – not just those who are candidates for deficiencies – is that our food does not have as many vitamins and minerals as it did decades ago. Several studies of USDA historical food composition tables show a decline in minerals, vitamins and other nutrients over the past 70 years. This decline has been attributed to deterioration in air and water quality, and most importantly, the degradation of soil fertility by industrial agriculture. When the soil is lacking nutrients, then the food grown in the soil also lacks nutrients. Processing, transportation, and storage of food also impacts the nutritional quality of vitamins and minerals – milling, blanching and cooking decrease the content of some nutrients. So when we read that a particular food as a certain amount of vitamins and minerals, it is important to remember that this is a raw number and that some of these nutrients will be lower after the food has been processed.

Do you ever wonder why the incidence of certain diseases is rising disproportionably to the increase in population? It has been shown that vitamin deficiencies increase the risk factors for various diseases including cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, and can contribute to general ailments such as muscle pains, hair loss, forgetfulness, brittle nails and slow-healing wounds among others.

Why take the risk of illness by not getting the nutrients you need? Given the essential roles of vitamins and minerals for maintaining health, and the lower-nutrient foods of current times, multivitamins can help ensure that you are getting the amount of nutrients that your body needs to function properly and to help prevent disease. Incorporate a multivitamin into your daily routine, and your body will thank you!

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