Can Multivitamins Really Bring a Positive Change in Your Health?
Vitamins and minerals are necessary for our body's functioning. They fuel everything from immunity to muscle repair, to even ensuring our reproductive organs run smoothly—the list goes on. And while a healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables gives us our daily dose of nutrients, they are not enough to bridge the nutritional gap. This is where multivitamins come into the picture.
What exactly are multivitamins? How do they work? Which multivitamins should you consume? If these are some of the questions about multivitamins running through your mind, you’ve come to the right place. Scroll down to get the answers to all your questions.
What Are Multivitamins?
Multivitamins are supplements that provide a range of vitamins and minerals at the same time. Currently, they are available in the form of–
- Chewable gummies
- Instantly dissolving oral strips
- Effervescent tablets
Can Multivitamins Really Help Improve Your Health?
Before revealing the answer, let’s first look at what various studies have to say about it!
Studies in Favor Of Multivitamins
A study says that multivitamins may help improve neural efficiency in older adults. Another study shows that multivitamins may also help older men on the verge of cognitive decline by improving episodic memory.
Macular degeneration (age-related) is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. And according to one study, an antioxidant mineral and vitamin supplementation can help delay the progression of this disease.
What's more, some studies even suggest that vitamin and mineral supplementation can help prevent cataracts and other eye diseases.
A certain controlled trial revealed that the daily consumption of multivitamins didn’t reduce mortality, strokes, or heart attacks in males. When it comes to chronic conditions, taking multivitamins early on in life can help prevent certain illnesses; these supplements, however, may not help cure existing or hereditary conditions like cancer.
Well, considering the studies in favor and against multivitamins, it's evident that they can benefit you in several ways. For example, you can expect a reduced risk of heart disease, improvement in eye health, cognition, and much more.
So, yes, multivitamins can help bring about a positive change in your health.
What Do We Know About Multivitamins So Far?
Multivitamins are designed to bridge nutritional gaps by providing necessary vitamins and minerals in an easy-to-absorb form. People believe that multivitamins can take the place of their daily meals. But this is a myth that needs to be debunked considering that it has adverse consequences. Multivitamins aid in fulfilling the daily nutrition requirement; they are not a replacement for food.
What Are The Different Types Of Multivitamins?
Some common types of multivitamins or natural supplements that you can come across are:
Liquid multivitamins are easy to consume; your body doesn’t need to work on breaking them down, and the nutrients can be absorbed easily. The only downside is that they don’t taste good and may not last long.
You can get multivitamin powders in a can or in small sachets. You can add the required amount of powder to water, juice, smoothies, or any other suitable drink to consume it. These are usually filled with the necessary vitamins and minerals to fill the nutritional gap in the body.
3. Time-Release Capsules
You must be familiar with capsules, which work similarly to tablets. The difference here is that they have a covering of either vegetarian or non-vegetarian substances to improve absorbability. Time-release capsules use modern technology to slowly release all the nutrients in the intestine over a span of 8 hours to improve bioavailability and efficacy.
4. Oral Strips
Oral strips are the most travel-friendly alternative on the market. You don’t even need to carry water to consume it. These fast-acting and super-effective supplements use a Unison Effect Formula to ensure 95% more bioavailability than traditional pills. And the best part is, you just have to place it on your tongue and let it dissolve for a couple of minutes.
5. Effervescent Tablets
You can take your daily intake of vitamins and minerals in a pleasant and refreshing way with effervescent tablets. Simply drop a tab into a glass of water and watch it fizz, turning the water into a delicious, healthy beverage.
Types of Vitamins
All vitamins can be divided into two types based on their solubility:
1. Water Soluble
Water-soluble vitamins are carried to all your body tissues to perform their necessary functions. The body does not store these vitamins. Being water soluble, excess amounts of these vitamins are flushed out of the body by the kidney. Hence, you need to consume these vitamins daily to ensure that your body gets the right amount of vitamins it needs every day. The two water-soluble vitamins are B-complex vitamins such as B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 (cobalamin), and vitamin C. B-12, which is water-soluble but nonetheless stored in the liver, is the lone exception to this rule.
2. Fat Soluble
When your body absorbs fat, it also absorbs fat-soluble vitamins and stores them either in the liver or fatty tissues. So even if your daily nutrient intake lacks these vitamins, your body can use up the reserves and fulfill your daily vitamin requirements. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. The only bad part about this is that taking high doses of a certain fat-soluble vitamin every day can cause an overdose, leading to serious issues.
Benefits of Multivitamins
With the help of multivitamins, you can make sure that your body receives the right quantity of nutrients each day so that it is able to function as it should. Here are a few changes you'll notice if you start taking multivitamins consistently.
1. Increased Energy Levels
Do you feel tired all the time? Or do you get very exhausted after doing something? The reason could very well be a vitamin deficiency. Vitamins B12, C, and D are most likely the culprits here. B12 is necessary for the production of functional red blood cells, which supply oxygen for energy production. Additionally, it impacts the nerve cells, hence a lack of B12 in the body can easily cause fatigue. Vitamin D and C are necessary for bone strength and immunity, respectively. A deficiency of any of these vitamins can make you tired. Some mineral deficiencies, like iron, can also be an underlying cause of your fatigue.
Consuming multivitamins daily will ensure that your body doesn’t lack any necessary vitamins, allowing you to enjoy your day with full energy and enthusiasm.
2. Enhances Immunity
The easiest way to make your immune system stronger is by providing it with proper nutrients. Although vitamin C is usually crowned as an immunity booster, vitamins B, D, and E and zinc also play a considerable role in strengthening your immune system. One multivitamin supplement capsule or oral strip provides your body with all the nutrients necessary for proper immune function.
3. Maintains Heart Health
Although taking multivitamins is not a cure for heart disease, it can certainly help you avoid it. Many studies have observed a relationship between heart health and vitamins D, E, C, and B12 with folic acid. Consuming such vitamins regularly will aid in your efforts to keep your heart healthy.
4. Promotes Eye Health
Your vision can be affected by a lack of vitamins. For example, vitamin A helps maintain corneal health and vitamins E and C act as powerful antioxidants that keep free radicals from damaging your eyes. A study proves that regular doses of vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid prevent age-related macular degeneration or AMD. Moreover, B12 is a vitamin that acts on the nervous system, so it has the potential to have an impact on your optic nerves. Consuming eye health supplements rich in vitamins E, C, B, and folic acid can help you maintain your eye health for a longer period of time.
5. Maintains Muscle Strength
Vitamin B3 or Niacin plays a vital role in strengthening your muscles. It is recommended to a lot of people who want to build muscles. B3 promotes enhanced metabolism in addition to muscle recovery, restoration, and development. Moreover, antioxidants like vitamins C and E help reduce damage caused by free radicals.
6. Improves Brain Function
A study proved that consuming multivitamins for women for merely 3 years can delay the age-related deterioration in brain function by 60%. The results showed better overall brain function, memory, and executive functions.
7. Reduces Stress & Depression
Cognitive deterioration and psychological disorders have been linked to nutritional deficits. Low concentrations of neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin, have been associated with depression. Low levels of these neurotransmitters can result from vitamin D, B5, and B6 deficiency, which can lead to mental health disorders like stress and depression. Depression may not be cured by multivitamins, but they can certainly reduce the symptoms to help you manage your mental health.
8. Skin Benefits
Biotin, along with vitamins A, C, D, and E, is an essential vitamin for healthy skin. Vitamin D provides anti-inflammatory qualities, vitamin A encourages natural moisturization, Vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis, and vitamins C and E work as antioxidants to stop hyperpigmentation and cell damage. Besides these, biotin is a multipurpose supplement to your beauty regimen that makes your skin hydrated, smooth, and youthful. You can also start including some collagen supplements for plump, young skin.
9. Promotes Healthy Hair
Our star beauty supplement, Biotin, also helps enhance the beauty of your hair. Also known as vitamin B7, biotin boosts the formation of keratin in hair and can accelerate follicle growth. Apart from biotin, vitamins like E and C help you control oxidative stress for healthy hair, Zinc helps with keratin production, and Folic acid aids in cell division thus helping in making your hair stronger and voluminous.
Can Multivitamin Consumption Cause Any Harm?
Multivitamins are meant to help your body function properly. Since they contain all the vitamins and/or minerals your body needs, they are least likely to cause any harm. Additionally, excess water-soluble vitamins are flushed out, so an overdose is less likely to happen. However, excess fat-soluble vitamins can cause some discomfort. Consult a doctor to figure out your deficiencies before consuming any vitamins.
A lot of people tend to believe that, if the tablet is providing all the nutrients, we don’t need to eat food. This is a very harmful perception that can cause serious problems. As mentioned earlier, multivitamins aid in filling nutrition gaps but are not a replacement for food.
So, as long as you have your meals daily and are consuming the recommended dosage, multivitamins will not cause you any harm.
It is challenging to meet your daily nutrient needs through diet alone. And, for older adults who have poor nutrient absorption, even the consumption of ample fruits and vegetables can prove ineffective.
Fortunately, daily essential multivitamins help. Whether you dislike consuming fruits and vegetables or have poor nutrient absorption, multivitamin supplements can provide you with the required nutrients.
What are some of the side effects of multivitamins?
Multivitamins are absolutely safe as long as you take them as per the recommended dosage. Consuming multivitamins in an unsupervised manner for a long period of time can cause digestive issues. Even the best multivitamin, when consumed in excess, can show side effects.
Can multivitamins cause acid reflux or heartburn?
Consuming certain vitamins on an empty stomach works, while others can trigger acidity. It is always a good habit to consume vitamins post-meal to avoid acid reflux and ensure proper absorption. Water-soluble vitamins like B-complex and C are easily absorbed on an empty stomach; however, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) need you to have food for proper absorption.
Can multivitamins give you energy?
Lack of energy can be due to iron deficiency, lack of B-complex vitamins, low red blood cells, some neural disturbances, poor bone, and muscle strength, and more. Having multivitamins and multimineral supplements can help you prevent deficiencies and maintain normal nutrient levels, thus increasing your energy levels.
Can multivitamins make you constipated?
Consuming an excess of multivitamins that contain iron and calcium for a longer period of time may cause constipation.
What happens to your body when you start taking multivitamins?
Vitamins and minerals, directly or indirectly, control some of the essential bodily functions. Hence, consuming multivitamins can help your body function smoothly. Multivitamins work on the inside, which shows results on the outside. Some noticeable changes that you can observe are more energy, better digestion, better focus and concentration, stronger immunity, improved mood, and better skin, hair, and nails.
How long do you have to take a multivitamin to see results?
If you have higher levels of deficiency, then it might take up to 6–8 weeks to see results. People who consume multivitamins to maintain their normal vitamin levels can see results within the first 4–6 weeks.
Multivitamin/mineral Supplements: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/MVMS-Consumer/
Macpherson H, Silberstein R, Pipingas A. Neurocognitive effects of multivitamin supplementation on the study state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) measure of brain activity in elderly women. Physiol Behav. 2012 Oct 10;107(3):346-54. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.08.006. Epub 2012 Aug 23. PMID: 22939764. ( https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22939764/).
Harris E, Macpherson H, Vitetta L, Kirk J, Sali A, Pipingas A. Effects of a multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplement on cognition and blood biomarkers in older men: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2012 Jul;27(4):370-7. doi: 10.1002/hup.2236. Epub 2012 Jun 18. PMID: 22711385. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22711385/)
Lim LS, Mitchell P, Seddon JM, Holz FG, Wong TY. Age-related macular degeneration. Lancet. 2012 May 5;379(9827):1728-38. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60282-7. PMID: 22559899. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22559899/)
Evans JR, Lawrenson JG. Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements for slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Nov 14;11:CD000254. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000254.pub3. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Jul 31;7:CD000254. PMID: 23152201. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23152201/)
Sesso HD, Christen WG, Bubes V, Smith JP, MacFadyen J, Schvartz M, Manson JE, Glynn RJ, Buring JE, Gaziano JM. Multivitamins in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in men: the Physicians' Health Study II randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2012 Nov 7;308(17):1751-60. doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.14805. PMID: 23117775; PMCID: PMC3501249. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23117775/).
Bailey RL, Fakhouri TH, Park Y, Dwyer JT, Thomas PR, Gahche JJ, Miller PE, Dodd KW, Sempos CT, Murray DM. Multivitamin-mineral use is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease mortality among women in the United States. J Nutr. 2015 Mar;145(3):572-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.204743. Epub 2015 Jan 7. PMID: 25733474; PMCID: PMC4336535. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25733474
Dawsey SP, Hollenbeck A, Schatzkin A, Abnet CC (2014) A Prospective Study of Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Use and the Risk of Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88774. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0088774. (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0088774#references)
- Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
- Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection.