Multi-vitamins: A Jack of All Trades?
Are multi-vitamins a “Jack of all trades” or a “Master of none”? Have you been told that they aren’t necessary, worth the money or, are you a devotee that picks up a bottle once a month while you’re getting your groceries?
Lets start with what the typical multi-vitamin is. They are supplements that contain many different vitamins, minerals and, occasionally fillers in each pill. Some brands may also contain fatty acids or amino acids. These are usually hard packed/pressed caplets and contain low doses of each ingredient.
Do we even need a multi-vitamin?
The health world can be very divided on this issue but everyone agrees that we need 13 essential vitamins and at least 16 minerals for good health. Deficiencies in nutrients and minerals can lead to a host of medical issues.
Nutrition deficiencies can be linked to mood disorders, poor cognitive performance, poor physical performance, macular degeneration, cardiovascular issues and low energy. The science of nutrition has come a long way and if, with healthy lifestyle and proper nutrients, we can stay healthier for longer, who wouldn’t want that?
When a doctor says “eat a balanced diet and you’ll be fine”, it may be true for some but unfortunately it is not true for most. Scientific American cited a study that says…
that one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.
U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, finding “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century. Davis and his colleagues chalk up this declining nutritional content to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance) other than nutrition***.
You can read the entire Scientific American article here***. Add to this, the fact that we live in a processed food world; we are likely not getting what we need nutritionally from food alone. Yes, in all likelihood, a multi-vitamin should be incorporated into your day; but not just a “typical” multi-vitamin.
What are you getting in a “typical” multi-vitamin?
That is a really great question and unfortunately one that’s difficult to answer. Every manufacturer is a bit different in their ingredients and fillers so unless you are a really good label reader you may have trouble. I have seen store bought vitamins labelled so poorly that it astounded me. There have been lawsuits brought against vitamin companies for mis-labelling their ingredients or for contaminants found.
However, new studies indicate that while the vitamins, minerals, and other naturally occurring substances found in these daily vitamins and supplements are harmless, the supplements themselves may contain dangerous and sometimes?life-threatening, toxic chemicals and heavy metals that put consumers at risk. Lack of government over-site in the nutritional industry has result in dangerous, contaminated supplements and contaminated vitamins to make their way to the shelves nationwide.*
The Vitamin Shoppe ended up in a bunch of trouble over this issue, you can read the article here*.
I am by no means saying that every store brand has been misrepresenting what’s in their supplements but there’s more that have been caught, read on…
…a lawsuit in 2015 accused GNC of putting synthetic chemicals in purportedly all-natural products. The suit also alleged that GNC obtained supplies from third-party vendors with possibly unsafe and illegal ingredients.
Target, Walgreens, and Walmart also found themselves in hot water the same year. An investigation in New York found that four-fifths of the stores’ top supplements didn’t contain the herbs listed on the labels. Products had cheap substitutes such as beans, carrots, and rice.**
There’s so much more to read on this but you get the point, buyer beware. Read the full article here**.
One more thing to consider. Remember how I said earlier that typical multi-vitamins are hard packed/pressed. We’ll talk about the best delivery more in a bit but, I’d like to add a personal anecdote to the discussion. Sorry, this is a bit gross. I once had an herbalist tell me that the filtration screening at sewage treatment plants were full of undigested vitamin pills. You grossed out? I sure was, enough said on that!
What should we look for in a good multi-vitamin?
Here’s where things get interesting because the one size fits all vitamin doesn’t make any sense.? Consider this: two adults, one a 100 pound woman and one a 200 pound man. Does it really make sense for them to take the same supplement? Not really.
The right formulation
Before we talk ingredients, if you’re not going to read any further, at the very least find a powder/veggie cap supplement. At least what you’re taking will be digested and not end up down the drain!
The key to a great multi-vitamin lies in getting the right formulation for you. Some may have the luxury of a doctor that will run regular blood tests to check vitamin levels in our body, most won’t. The problem with blood tests however, is it’s a snap shot in time and can vary considerably day to day depending on a number of factors. The best way to find what your body needs is to go to the cellular level with an analysis that shows where the body has weaknesses that need to be mitigated.
How do you determine the formulation do you need? It’s all about the findings from twenty years of research.
If you have followed the scientific advancements in the world of nutrition, you have likely heard the term nutrigenomics. You don’t follow this research? No problem, read on…
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- the scientific study of the interaction of nutrition and genes, especially with regard to the prevention or treatment of disease.
Nutrigenomics is truly a breakthrough for modern health and falls under the Precision Medicine umbrella. Take your health and lifestyle habit seriously now and help prevent problems down the road.
‘Show me your Routines, Habits and Rituals and I’ll show you your future” J. Duncan
What was once thousands of dollars to test for, is now affordable at $99. A single HIPAA compliant DNA test covers 18 possible SNP’s (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms), analyses the genes for variants handed down by the mother, father or both, and then develops a custom nutritional supplement especially for you. A simple swab of the cheek and over 20 years of research and development is yours. A one in 400 million possible combinations. Here’s a list of what is tested to make the ultimate multi-vitamin from almost 100 peer reviewed and White Papered ingredients…
When I discovered that I wasn’t absorbing Vitamin B12 it made sense because you see, I could tell every time I went to the bathroom. I was wasting my money and at the time I just didn’t know what to do about it. It’s just one example of what I found out in my report and now, I absorb and use what I’m taking because my supplements have been formulated based on my unique profile. I have around 80 ingredients in my personal supplement. Can you imagine buying each ingredient separately? I can tell you, it’s made a massive difference in how I feel.
Naturopaths to surgeons agree that this is the future. One day everyone will have custom nutrition supplements made exactly to their specifications. Everyone deserves to have vitamins, minerals and whole food supplements that will mitigate any genetic weaknesses that we may have. Everyone deserves to have vitamin, mineral and whole food ingredients in amounts (to the mg) specific to their body’s needs. Everyone deserves to feel their best every single day. Everyone deserves to have their genetic data HIPAA secure and their formulation from a lab that is CLIA certified. Everyone deserves to have exactly what their body says it should.
Let’s wrap it up
- Yes, custom multi-vitamins are recommended for optimum health
- No, pharmacy or grocery store brands are not the way to go
- Yes, a regular multi-vitamin might be a waste of money because no two people have the same nutritional needs so a one size fits all vitamin isn’t going to do the trick.
- No, you don’t have to throw you hands in the air and give up in frustration at all the conflicting information you’ve heard, because you’ve heard A LOT!
- Yes, you can let you body tell you what it needs, no more guess work.
- Yes, you can have a custom formulated nutritional supplement made from almost 100 plant based vitamins, minerals and whole foods. You can have it in powder form or contained in gel caps.
- Yes, you can have vegan, gluten free and non-GMO with not a single artificial filler made for you in a CLIA certified lab!
- Yes, the HIPAA compliant DNA test is easy to do; just a couple of cheek swabs. Click >>here<< to get started and order your test.
Yes, multi-vitamins can be a “Jack of all trades” as long as you pick the right one. Pick the wrong one and it’s the “Master of none”. Choose customized for your body to have everything it needs in one bottle!
If you’d like more information, I’m happy to help you out. Browse around my other posts and leave a comment for more information.
In good health,