Sixty percent of adults
are presently taking vitamin supplements each day. Of these, multiple vitamin
and mineral supplement products are used most frequently. The primary reasons
cited for taking a daily multiple vitamin include:
- to enhance energy and well-being
- to help defend against degenerative diseases
such as cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and dementia
- to help manage existing health conditions such
as arthritis and diabetes
- to slow the aging process.
However, some people
still argue that we can get all the vitamins and minerals we need from food
alone in order to attain the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) for each
nutrient, therefore supplements are not necessary. Individuals who have done
their homework on this subject know that 80 to 91% of the population do not
achieve the RDAs for each vitamin and mineral each day, nor do they even come
close. In fact marginal nutrient deficiencies are present in as much as 50% of
non multiple vitamin and mineral users (1). As well, the RDA levels for each
nutrient are only intended to guard against severe nutrient deficiency diseases
such as scurvy (Vitamin C), pellagra (Niacin), and beriberi (Vitamin B1), but
are not intended to serve as levels of vitamin and mineral intake that are
optimal in regards to preventing degenerative diseases, slowing the biological
processes of aging and maximizing our well-being and longevity (2). In the past
two decades a great deal evidence has demonstrated that ingesting certain
vitamins and minerals at levels beyond which can be routinely achieved from food
alone is associated with a reduction in risk of many degenerative diseases and
appears to slow important aspects of the aging process. These research findings
have led to the increased use of multiple vitamin supplements by the general
public. However, knowing what to look for in a multiple vitamin is crucial in
terms of deriving the best available benefits. Most multiple vitamin products
include all vitamins and minerals from A to zinc, but often at insufficient
doses to provide the disease prevention and anti-aging benefits you should be
seeking. Here are the features you should look for in a multiple vitamin and
mineral product to ensure that you get the protection and benefits you deserve:
A desirable multiple
vitamin and mineral product should be enriched with antioxidants at the
following levels: Vitamin C (500-1,000 mg), Vitamin E (200-400 IU, natural
source), Beta-carotene (7,500-20,000 IU), selenium (100-200 mcg), Vitamin A
(2,000-3,000 IU), with additional lycopene and lutein. These recommendations
stem from the understanding that antioxidants quench and neutralize dangerous
free radicals that are linked cancer development (free radicals damage the DNA
of our cells causing cancerous mutations), heart disease, damage to brain cells
linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, cataracts and
macular degeneration of the eye (the leading cause of blindness in people over
the age of 55), and accelerated aging of our skin and other tissues. Each
day our tissues are
bombarded with free radicals, which arise from our use of oxygen in normal
metabolism (free radicals are a by-product of oxygen metabolism in the body).
Other environmental factors increase our exposure to free radicals, including
cigarette smoke, alcohol consumption, nitrosamines (nitrate treated foods), and
other environmental agents (i.e., aromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic amines,
nitric oxide), including the damage done to our skin and eyes by excessive sun
exposure. A large body of evidence has demonstrated that bolstering our
antioxidant defences can protect our tissues against the damaging effects of
free radicals and has been shown to help reduce the risk of the degenerative
diseases and conditions mentioned above. In fact, a number of clinical trials
reveal that even certain precancerous conditions can be reversed through
targeted antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplementation. (3 - 65)
supplementation has also been shown to improve immune system function in older
patients (who normally show immune decline with aging) and slows down key
aspects of the aging process itself (66–71). The problem is that most multiple
vitamins in the market place do not contain adequate antioxidant levels, forcing
consumers to purchase additional Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium, Beta-carotene
etc., to achieve appropriate antioxidant protection. This is too expensive,
impractical and unnecessary as high quality multiple vitamins now contain
everything you need in one product.
A well-designed multiple
vitamin should also provide a full complement of the B-vitamins as a B-50
complex. Enhanced B-vitamin status through supplementation has been shown to
help reduce risk of heart disease, reduce certain inflammatory states, improve
detoxification processes and maintain brain and cognitive function as we age.
B-vitamins are essential in the synthesis of brain chemicals required for
thinking, memory and other vital brain activities. B- vitamins are essential for
the synthesis of red blood cells, normal cell replication from one generation to
the next and many more crucial functions (72 –106). Known for their
anti-stress and anti-fatigue properties, a B-50 complex is an important element
of a high-grade multiple vitamin and mineral formulation. Be sure your multiple
vitamin contains at least 50 mg of Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and pantothenic
acid, as well as 50 mcg of B12.
Bone Support Nutrients
, at least one on four women currently develops osteoporosis by age 50 and one
in eight men develop this condition after the age of 65. In women, complications
of osteoporotic fractures cause more deaths each year than the combined
mortality rate from breast and ovarian cancers. Osteoporosis is an extremely
important problem that requires a lifelong strategy to prevent its development.
Central to the prevention of osteoporosis is the adequate daily intake of
calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium, copper and zinc, which together are the essential
bone strengthening nutrients. Studies show that across the population most
adults (including 11-24 year olds) are lacking at least 500 mg of calcium per
day in their diet, on average to prevent the future development of osteoporosis
(107-121). Vitamin D nutritional status is also sub-optimal (Vitamin D is
necessary to absorb calcium) as is the consumption of zinc (122-128). Thus, a
well designed multiple vitamin should contain 350-500 mg of elemental calcium,
400 IU of Vitamin D, 15 mg of zinc, 150-250 mg of magnesium and 1-2 mg of
copper. This is an important consideration for all individuals 12 years and
older. In addition to high potency multiple vitamin and mineral many individuals
require further supplementation with
calcium and vitamin D to
achieve optimal intake levels that protect against osteoporosis and cancer. If
you are not exposed to adequate sunlight year round then your daily total
vitamin D supplementation target is likely to be 1000 – 2000 IU per day. Have
your blood level of vitamin D checked. If the value is below 85nmol/L then
increase your vitamin D supplementation levels to achieve at blood value that is
above 85nmol/L, and not exceeding 250 nmol/L.
A multiple vitamin and
mineral product that is antioxidant enriched, contains a B-50 complex and proper
doses of bone building nutrients (i.e., 500 mg of calcium) can not only help
defend your body and mind against degenerative conditions and slow the
biological processes of aging, but can also help to improve the quality and
texture of your skin, hair and nails, improve sleep quality, strengthen your
immune system and enhance your daily energy level. All of these outcomes are
frequently reported by individuals taking multiple vitamins that meet the
criteria outlined in this review. In my view, all individuals 16 years of age
and older should take the nutrient doses provided by a high quality multiple
vitamin and mineral product each day to optimize their health. (Unless
contra-indicated due to a specific medical condition). Below, see the daily
doses contained within the Adeeva Multiple Vitamin and Mineral, which meets the
criteria discussed in the review. This supplement or one of similar composition
is an important foundation product for individuals who understand the importance
of nutritional supplementation in health optimization, disease prevention and
preserving their quality of life.
Vitamin A (palmitate)
Vitamin D (cholecalciferol)
Vitamin E (d-alpha
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Vitamin B-1 (thiamine
Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine
Vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin)
Calcium (carbonate &
Iron (ferrous fumarate)
Chromium (hvp chelate)
Selenium (hvp chelate)
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