Fats and Cholesterol

Do Multivitamins = Health Insurance ?

  This has long been a topic of discussion.  Should I take a multivitamin and which one??  Perhaps this will shed some light on the subject for you.

  A study sponsored by a California supplement company randomly assigned 80 healthy, well-nourished adults who were living in the Boston area to take either a standard multivitamin or a placebo for two months.

  “Even in these healthy people, we found a significant boost in the blood levels of certain nutrients up to levels that are associated with a lower risk of disease,” says Diane McKay, an assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston.

  Multivitamins fall short on fiber, calcium and potassium due to the bulk needed to include a full days worth.  However of the seven nutrients identified in 2010 as ‘short fall nutrients’ by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the other 4 (vitamin B-12, vitamin D, folic acid and iron) are substantially supported in multivitamin formulations.

  McKay’s conclusion: “Taking a multivitamin formulated at about 100 percent of the Daily Value for vitamins and minerals can be a pretty convenient and cost-effective way of filling in the gaps that may exist between what you need and what you’re actually consuming.”  There are several brands that are available at your local market or pharmacy.

  Multivitamins are only inexpensive insurance if they don’t cost too much. You don’t need to pay more than $5 a month for a high-quality multivitamin.

Source: J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 19: 613, 2000
Article adapted from Nutrition Action: http://www.nutritionaction.com