Most people nowadays confidently pop multivitamin tablets into their mouths as if it is a candy, without knowing what it does or its benefits. We even see many influencers in social media recommending a variety of vitamins or supplements for better health and fitness.
But, is taking these multivitamins daily really necessary to maintain overall health?
Does it really work or does it do more harm than good?
In this article we will decode everything you need to know about multivitamins and if you need to take them or not.
Are vitamins and supplements the same?
A vitamin is a micronutrient that promotes the growth of our body and metabolism through a biochemical reaction. A majority of the vitamins we need are available in the environment and the food we eat.
A multivitamin, on the other hand, is a supplement that consists of a combination of vitamins, nutrients, and other ingredients. They are generally taken to treat vitamin deficiency due to illness, pregnancy, or poor nutrition.
A supplement is a manufactured product that consists of nutrients extracted from food or made synthetically. It is intended to supplement your diet and is taken in the form of a pill, capsule, or liquid.
Do we need to take multivitamins daily?
Our body requires a daily intake of various vitamins in different doses which differs from individual to individual. So, the question is not whether we need vitamins or not but how we take them.
As mentioned above, our body gets a majority of its vitamin and mineral requirements from food and environment. However, few people have particular vitamin deficiencies due to various causes. These people must identify the vitamin they are deficient in and take supplements to fill that gap. That is if that person is unable to meet the requirement through a daily diet.
With the marketing of products getting aggressive by the day and new forms of marketing like influencer marketing emerging, there has been constant misinformation of this topic floating around these days.
One of the most common misconceptions surrounding this topic is that taking multivitamins and other supplements irrespective of whether you need it or not will benefit your health. However, that is completely wrong. The vitamin requirements differ from one person to another.
Taking multivitamins has a placebo effect of sorts on people as they feel healthier when they do something they believe that makes them healthy. However, in the long run, this will damage their body and health.
People who have a complete and wholesome diet do not require additional intake of supplements or multivitamins. You must not substitute a healthy diet with supplements. After all, they are called supplements for a reason.
In fact, excess intake of those will do more harm than good.
Possible health risks due to vitamin overdose
- High doses of vitamin D and calcium can cause kidney stones.
- Excess amount of vitamin B6 intake for prolonged periods is connected to nerve damage that may impair body movements.
- Vitamin K interferes with blood thinners
- A high dosage of vitamin E may cause brain strokes.
- Certain fat-soluble vitamins are known to cause toxicity in the body and blood.
- High intake of vitamin C can result in gastrointestinal disturbances and may also cause migraines.
- Excess vitamin A can cause toxicity or hypervitaminosis A, its symptoms include intracranial pressure, coma, and even death.
How do I improve my nutrition without supplements?
One of the best and foolproof ways of improving your nutrition is by having a healthy diet. Start by examining your diet and understanding the nutrition values of each food you eat. Keep a track of what you eat in a day or for a certain period.
In spite of having a wholesome diet, if you feel that your body is short of certain vitamins, consult with a nutritionist or a doctor before going for a supplement.
When should you consider taking a supplement?
Few people, due to their fast-paced lifestyle do not have the time to prepare wholesome food or include essential healthy foods into their diets. Such people might have vitamin deficiencies.
However, even if you are a healthy person with good eating habits and an active lifestyle, you might still have some vitamin deficiency. Take Vitamin D for instance. Our body gets vitamin D naturally from sunlight. These days people have stopped spending time out in the sun, due to which a majority of us are deficient in vitamin D.
To confirm which vitamin or mineral your body is deficient in, you need to get a body check-up. Based on the results, your doctor or nutritionist may suggest a diet or a supplement.
Depending on the level of deficiency, you need to take the supplements for a particular duration, after which it needs to be tapered off and eventually stopped.
To understand if your body is getting enough vitamins and minerals, and to identify other issues, you can now get a Full Body Check-up, starting at as low as 385/-. You may Contact us at +91 88-00-644-744 to Book your Check-up.