Are multivitamins really necessary?
This is probably one of the most frequent questions I get. And that question is followed by these:
How often do you take them?
And most importantly which one should I take?
I am a big believer in getting those vitamins and nutrients from natural organic food but most of us will have a hard time getting all the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables per day. So the answer to are multivitamins necessary, is yes!
Which multivitamin is definitely not an easy question to answer since we all have different needs depending on your age, other diseases that you might have, or even if you are taking medications, since medications can cause certain vitamin deficiencies as well.
So taking a multivitamin and a mineral supplement might be actually needed.
As a general rule however I would recommend to look for a liquid form or for a powdered form that can be added to water and drunk immediately since those would offer the best absorption. A gel form is probably next. Avoid sugar, preservatives or artificial coloring and, if needed, look for gluten- or dairy-free ones.
What to Look For?
A good multivitamin should provide at least 100 of the daily value (DV) for all the essential nutrients. I also like the ones that offer a twice-a-day regimen for better absorption and the morning/evening formulation since some vitamin can compete for the same absorption pathways and receptors. On the opposite spectrum there are compounds that will actually enhance each other’s absorption ( a process called synergy) for example adding flavonoids to the mix .
Most of the time a good multi includes calcium, vitamin D and magnesium (try to find the carbonate form or chelated) although those amounts might not be necessarily sufficient.
There are certain forms of other vitamins and minerals that are much easier to absorb and use, so look for methylcobalamin which is the active B12 form and 5 MTHF instead of folic acid. Look for natural and mixed forms of vitamin E such tocotrienols. Another example would be selenomethionine which is the active form of selenium, a very important mineral.
Most people do not need iron or copper however adding lutein is proved to be beneficial for the eyes health. Lately a lot of research has been done on vitamin K2 which is extremely important for the bones especially in the MK7 form.
Some supplements should be avoided — for example beta carotene can increase the risk of lung cancers in smokers or boron can be problematic for patients with hormonal dependent cancers.
There is a huge variety of multivitamins brands available on the market. One of the foundational things you can do to improve your health is to choose the right ones. And the place to start is with a simple blood test and nutritional counseling.
How Medical Creations Integrative Medicine Can Help
Integrative medicine combines effective strategies and therapies from multiple methods of healing, both conventional and alternative. At its heart, this type of patient care focuses on the true problem, not just the related symptoms and effects. Accordingly, our goal is to discover the root cause (or causes) of whatever issues you are experiencing, then we concentrate our efforts there.
Beginning with your first visit or phone call, we become partners in the healing process, and work together toward your optimum wellness. Our efforts take into consideration the whole body, as well as your mind and spirit, offering responsive as well as preventative care. This is the beauty of integrative medicine.
Call (678) 732-9065 for a free phone consultation.
About Dr. Neacsu
The founder of Medical Creations Integrative Medicine, Dana Neacsu, MD, is board-certified in internal medicine. She completed a fellowship at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, was awarded the Joseph T. Trubiano award for professionalism in medicine, and has applied functional medicine in clinical practice at the Institute of Functional Medicine.