Why take daily multivitamins?

5 Reasons Why Daily Multivitamins Are Important

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Are you happy with your nutritional status? Are you getting the right amounts of nutrients to support optimal health? If not, what are you doing to improve your nutrition?

The best advice when it comes to nutrition is to eat more whole, minimally-processed foods. However, even if you are doing your best to do that, there are other factors that could mean that you are not getting the nutrients that you need to enjoy optimal health. Improving your knowledge on nutrition and healthy eating, and making small, sustainable changes in your diet and eating habits will help you beyond your physical health.

Taking quality multivitamins is one of the daily habits that we highly recommend. However, there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there regarding the need for supplements. It’s important that you do your own research, objectively look at what both sides have to say, and decide based on the amount and weight of the evidences you see. Read on to see if any of the evidences below will make sense to you.

1. More Plants Are Growing In Nutrient-Poor Soils

Our physical health depends on the health of our topsoil. The plants manufacture vitamins and antioxidants and receive minerals from the soil. However, with over-farming practices, the soil is not given enough time to recover the nutrients it needs before new crop is planted again. Fertilisers are not enough give optimal amount of nutrients for the plants, either. This soil degredation leads to the loss of soil micro and macronutrients. Nutrient-poor soils are not able to produce healthy food for the animals and humans that depend on them.

This is not new to us. In 1936, US Senate Document 264 quoted: “The alarming fact is that foods, fruits and vegetables and grains, now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of certain needed minerals, are starving us – no matter how much of them we eat! Between now and 1936, population and farming demands have grown even more.

At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (known as the Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, reports included soil mineral content depletion. Agricultural soils in Africa, Europe and Australia lost 74%, while US and Canadian agricultural soils lost 85% of their mineral content. Asian and South American soils dropped 76%.

A study in Great Britain between 1940-2002 revealed 15% – 62% mineral losses. In Canada, between 1949-1999, the spud lost 57% of its Vitamin. C and iron, 28% of its calcium, 50% of its riboflavin, and 18% of its niacin. Fruits and vegetables had 80% loss of calcium and iron, 75% loss of Vitamin A, 50% loss of Vitamin C and riboflavin, and 33% loss of thiamine.

In short, if optimal nutrients are not in the soil, they’re not in the plants, they’re not in the animals that eat them, and they’re not in our body.

2. Not Getting Enough Micronutrients Is The New Kind of Malnutrition

Micronutrients are mostly our vitamins and minerals. In 2006, the United Nations talked about a new kind of malnutrition: multiple micronutrient depletion. It is not the quantity of food that is the issue; it is the quality.

Not Eating Enough Fruits and Vegetables

In 2018, only 28% of adults in UK meet the 5-a-day fruit and vegetables recommendation. The average was 3.7 portions per day. Fewer men than women meet the 5-a-day guideline, and young people aged 16 to 24 are also less likely than other adults to get their five-a-day. In 2018, 18% of children aged 5 to 15 ate five standard portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

In addition, vitamins are not fully retained during the cooking process.

Eating More High-Fat, High-Sugar Foods

Many are overweight yet undernourished. In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese. In 2020, 39 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese. This is due to an increased intake of high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, energy-dense, and micronutrient-poor foods, coupled with an increase in physical inactivity.

In 2000, WHO reported that more than 2 billion people in the world were estimated to be deficient in key vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A, iodine, iron and zinc. The groups most vulnerable to micronutrient deficiencies are pregnant women, lactating women and young children, mainly because they have a relatively greater need for vitamins and minerals and are more susceptible to the harmful consequences of deficiencies.

3. Chronic Nutrient Deficiency Leads To Degenerative Diseases

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency

Suboptimal intake of some vitamins is a risk factor for chronic diseases and common in the general population, especially the elderly. Suboptimal folic acid levels, along with suboptimal levels of vitamins B6 and B12, are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects, and colon and breast cancer; low levels of vitamin D contribute to osteopenia and fractures; and low levels of the antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, E, and C) may increase risk for several chronic diseases.

Free Radical Damage

Free radicals also contribute to cellular damage. Free radicals (or ROS – Reactive Oxygen Species) are atoms or molecules that have an unpaired electron in its outer shell. This loss of electron is called oxidation, and it is a normal part of metabolism. UV light, radiation, smoking, air pollution, stress, intense exercise, and inflammation increase the levels of free radicals in your body.

Every cell in the body is hit 10,000 times by a free radical everyday. Imagine what will happen to the cells if they are constantly under attack by free radicals. Eventually, the cell membrane collapses, which leads to damage in various parts of the cell such as the mitochondria and DNA. Every structure in the cell is susceptible to damage and degeneration. It doesn’t end there, because these damaged and mutated cells also replicate.

Go back to imagining every cell in the body being hit by free radicals 10,000 times a day. This can really hurt various cells of the body — in the heart, skin, kidneys, joints, lungs, brain, immune system, blood vessels, eyes, and all the other organs. This is what we call oxidative stress, which leads to systemic inflammation. The damaged cells can no longer function well, and that is when you start to see signs and symptoms of disease.

4. Nutrients Are Needed For Cell Regeneration And Repair

We have over 100 trillion cells in the human body. Every cell in your body eventually dies and is replaced by new cells. The human body is in a constant state of regeneration, from the cells in your skin to the cells in your skeleton.

  • Your skin rebuilds itself in 1 month
  • Your liver rebuilds itself in 6 weeks
  • Your stomach lining rebuilds itself in 5 days
  • Your blood rebuilds itself in 4 months
  • Your body builds a whole new skeleton in 10 years

You need optimal amounts of vitamins and minerals to ensure healthy cell regeneration.

How Antioxidants Work

Antioxidants are important as our defence against free radicals. Remember that free radicals have a missing electron, that’s why they’re unstable. What they do is they keep “stealing” an electron from their neighbouring atoms, turning them into free radicals, as well. It becomes a chain reaction, leading to extensive free radical damage. Antioxidants help us by donating an electron to the free radical. This stops the electron-stealing chain reaction, and so the free radical becomes harmless (neutralised).

Your body can create antioxidants, but in inadequate amounts. That is why you need to get it from our diet. One exogenous (coming from diet) antioxidant can neutralise one free radical. However, one endogenous (produced by your cells) antioxidant can neutralise dozens of free radicals. Usana’s patented InCelligence Technology sends communication signals to your cells so they can produce their endogenous antioxidants, so you can have more powerful antioxidant action in your body.

In the study of Dr. Myron Wentz, a microbiologist and Albert Einstein Award recipient, he found that antioxidants provide a marked improvement in inhibiting cellular damage.

Usana Antioxidants
Human cells under the microscope as seen by USANA’s founder, Dr. Myron Wentz

5. Hundreds Of Studies Confirm The Health Benefits Of Supplementation

In the 1980s, the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) published that people of normal health do not need to take supplements, and can meet all their nutritional needs through diet alone. In 2002, they changed their stand. JAMA said that modern diet is not enough; supplementation is a preventive measure against chronic disease.

In 2004, a study on Vitamin K2 supplementation in Rotterdam had 4,807 subjects. They saw a 57% reduction in death from heart disease. People who took Vitamin K2 supplements live 7 years longer, and had reduced vertebral (60%), hip (77%), and non-vertebral (81%) fractures.

In 1992 the journal Epidemiology published a 10-year study on men who took 800 mg/day of Vitamin C. They lived 6 years longer than those who consumed the RDA of 60 mg/day, and they had extended average lifespan and reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

In 1996, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied 11,178 elderly people. Those who receivedsupplementation with Vitamin E showed reduced the risk of overall mortality by 34% and reduced the risk of coronary disease mortality by 47%. Supplementation of Vitamins C and E reduced the risk of overall mortality by 42% and reduced the risk of coronary disease mortality by 53%.

In 1997, the British Medical Journal studied 1,605 healthy men with no evidence of pre-existing heart disease. They found out that those who were deficient in Vitamin C had 350% increased incidence of sudden heart attacks compared to those who were not deficient in Vitamin C.

In 1998, a study was done on 88,756 nurses who took folic acid as part of a daily multivitamin. Findings included the following: (1) 400 mg/day or more of folate had lower risk for colon cancer (compared to 200 mg/day); (2) After 5 years of use: reduced risk for colon cancer; (3) After 15 years of use: 75% reduction in the risk of colon cancer.

Those who took Vitamin B6 supplementation had reduced risk for heart attack by 30%. Those who received Folate + Vitamin B6 can reduce homocysteine levels by up to 32% in healthy individuals (which means they have a lower risk for heart attack and stroke).

In 2008, a study on post-heart attack patients taking omega-3 supplementation showed lower risk for arrhythmia and 85% reduction in the risk for premature death.

In 2010 in Norway, elderly men without heart disease who supplemented with fish oil showed 47% reduction in the risk of premature death compared to those who did not supplement.

A 19-year study revealed that men with poor Vitamin D status have three times the risk for colorectal cancer than those with sufficient Vitamin D.

Researchers of the University of California conducted a meta-analysis of worldwide studies from 1996-2004. They found out that 1,000 IU/day of Vitamin D lowers risk for colorectal cancer by 50%.

A 2008 review of current research findings revealed that 1,000-4,000 IU/day intake of Vitamin D can protect against cancer of the breast, colon, prostate, ovary, lungs, and pancreas.

Hundreds of studies are out there. You can find a compilation of many other research on the Health Benefits of Nutritional Supplements (1990-2013) on this link.

Which of these five reasons stand out for you?


Remember, though, that not all supplements are created equal. Again, do your own research. After all, it’s your health and body and you want to make sure that you can trust the quality of the products that you take. Learn about the highest-rated supplement brand and see several third-party evidences on this link.












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