Multi-vitamins are a controversial topic. People either love them or hate them. Is there science behind them, or are they just another supplement scam?
This article will go in-depth on the pros and cons of taking multi-vitamins and whether or not you should consider taking one.
The History of Vitamins
The 20th century discovery of vitamins was a major scientific achievement in our understanding of health and disease. The idea that special nutrients found in food were necessary for everyday health was a ground-breaking discovery at the time.
Vitamins were officially given a name by Polish scientist Casimir Funk, who initially called them a “vitamine”. This clever name was a composition of two words: “vita” which means life, and “amine” which was taken from the word thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1), which was one of the first vitamins that Funk isolated.
If you think about it, our knowledge of vitamins goes back only one hundred years. They could still be classified as a new discovery for humanity!
While vitamins are still a fairly new discovery, much research has been done on them in the last 100 years. Scientists have discovered how many vitamins there are, how much each person should take each day, and how to detect deficiencies.
The Science Behind Multi-Vitamins
The idea behind taking a multi-vitamin is very straightforward. You take a daily supplement and it will fill in all of your nutrient gaps.
For instance, during the winter, there tends to be less sunlight and, unless you live someplace tropical, the weather is colder. This makes it difficult to get out in the sun and receive valuable Vitamin D. This can lead to deficiencies, which can compromise your immune system along with a host of other problems.
Taking a daily multi-vitamin allows you to get Vitamin D, even if you don’t have access to sunshine. So in a way, it fills in your gaps. It protects you from deficiencies and shortages.
It works in the same way for other nutrients as well. For instance, you may be in the majority of people who doesn't eat the recommended 5-13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Failing to eat enough greens can lead to low amounts of important nutrients, such as Vitamins C and K.
Taking a daily multi-vitamin can help to ensure that you get these needed nutrients.
Scientific research is supportive of taking multi-vitamin and mineral supplements. There are many benefits for taking a multi-vitamin (1)!
What Are The Benefits of Taking A Multi-Vitamin?
There are a number of benefits to consider as to whether or not you should incorporate a multi-vitamin into your daily routine.
Multi-vitamin benefits include:
•Insurance against nutrient deficiencies
•Supports cognitive function
•Helps to support positive mood
The main benefit is that taking a multi protects against dietary deficiencies. While you may strive to eat a healthy, varied diet, the odds that you get EXACTLY the right amount of each macro and micronutrient each day are slim. Taking a daily multi-vitamin/mineral will help to fill in those nutrient gaps.
Other benefits of taking a daily multi-nutrient is that it will help to support a more positive mood. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial done in 2015, researchers showed that taking a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement may have beneficial effects on mood. This is due to elevated B-vitamins levels and lowered homocysteine levels (2).
Another benefit of taking in micronutrients (through a multi-vitamin) is that it will help to improve brain function. A double blind, placebo controlled study in 2016 showed that taking in micronutrients (including both vitamins and minerals) helps to improve your cognitive abilities (3).
All of that being said, taking a multi-nutrient is important for your health. It ensures that you get the right amounts of vital nutrients each and every day.
One of the major concerns with multis is that you may end up overdosing on vitamins or minerals. This can be especially dangerous when it comes to fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamins A, E, D, and K.
You can end up with too much of a good thing.
Look for multi-vitamin products that contain scientifically formulated products. While this might seem like a no-brainer, many products available for sale are formulated to hit a specific price point, not for effectiveness. So make sure to choose a premium grade multi supplement such as our Essentially-U formula.
Price is a big factor with taking a multi. Buying a quality supplement is expensive, there is no way around that. Quality will always come with a price.
One of the ways to overcome this is to consider looking at the cost of your daily supplement as an investment in your self. Break it down into a cost per capsule. Doing this will show you the relatively cheap cost, especially when compared to other items that you pay for on a regular basis.
For instance, our Essentially-U supplement costs $69.95 for a full month’s supply. When you break it down to a daily serving, your cost is a $2.25 per day investment in your health. That makes it an easier pill to swallow.
Many multi-vitamins are ineffective. There are a multitude of reasons for this, but they all point back to the same thing, ingredient quality. Many manufacturers use the cheapest quality ingredients they can find so that they can offer enticingly low prices.
Many people will go with a cheaper pricing option to save a buck. While this is understandable, you have to realize that with supplements, the old adage still rings true:
You get what you pay for.
Ultimately, the most expensive product is the one that doesn't work. When you purchase a supplement based on price, it will often contain ingredients that are not absorbed by the body, or in doses that are not effective at producing the desired outcome. You are better off not buying a supplement if your only concern is based on what is the most economical.
Buy the cheapest product available and you are going to be disappointed. But, how do you know what constitutes a good multi?
What To Look For In A Multi-Vitamin?
When buying a multi, there are a few things to be on the lookout for. Not all multi-vitamins are created equal. Additionally, not all multis are formulated the same way. Some are targeted for specific age brackets, while others focus on boosting a few specific ingredients.
First off, you want to buy a “multi-nutrient”, not a multivitamin. A multi-nutrient will include needed vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other micronutrients. You want full spectrum coverage, not a simple vitamin formula.
Below are some things you’ll want to look for on the label:
Look for USP-grade vitamins on the label. This means that the vitamins are pharmaceutical grade, the highest grade available.
Buy supplements that have “chelated” minerals. Chelated minerals have increased absorption and are easily utilized by your body. You can read our in-depth articles on chelated minerals here. Our Essentially-U product is made with premium Albion®’s TRAACS®, the gold standard for chelated minerals in the world.
Look for plant-based nutrition. Our Essentially-U includes ingredients such as apple, cranberry, turmeric, and even ginger! All of these ingredients help to increase absorption, and are easily digested by your body.
Make sure your product has zeaxanthin and lutein. These two ingredients are crucial for eye health. While these two ingredients are highly beneficial, many supplement companies refuse to put them in their formulas due to their cost.
What To Avoid When Buying A Multivitamin
You’ll want to avoid cheap, one-a-day multi-vitamin formulas. These products are nearly worthless when it comes to adding to your health. They include the cheapest forms of vitamins in minuscule amounts.
Don’t fall for the one-a-day scam. Buy multivitamins that are going to be effective for you. If you don't eat all of your meals for the day in one sitting, why would you do that with your multi?
Also, stay away from fully plant-based vitamin formulas. While the idea behind these products are great, the problem is that they are woefully under-dosed. When you synthesize vitamins from natural plant sources, you end up with small amounts. This leads to under-dosed formulas.
Buying Your Multi-Nutrient
Our Essentially-U product is our foundational formula. It is made with THE best natural ingredients. No corners were cut when creating this formula.
That does mean that it comes at a cost. You could save 15% and receive free shipping by setting up a subscription. Also, if you feel that 6 capsules a day is too much, you could take fewer capsules to make the bottle last longer. 1 capsule of Essentially-U is going to provide you more benefit than any one-a-day product on the market today.
Be sure to check out Essentially-U and give it a try. We are confident you will notice a difference, or your money back.