Many people wander whether or not they should take a vitamin and mineral supplement. The answer depends on several factors, including your diet, your health and your activity level. No matter the age of the patient, they can benefit from a multivitamin supplement.
Adults and the Elderly
Elderly and adults people often experience nutritional deficiencies due their inability to properly absorb nutrients from their food. Their nutritional needs also increase with age. Another reason multivitamins should be taken daily is due to prescription medications. Some medicines do not allow the body to properly absorb vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, the elderly often have a variety of health conditions that can cause a nutritional deficiency. For example, pernicious anemia makes it difficult for the body to absorb vitamin B-12. Gastrointestinal conditions can limit the amount of iron the body is able to absorb. As people begin age, muscle tone diminishes; short-term memory wanes and falls are common. Calcium, along with a multivitamin, can improve muscle strength, prevent falls and improve short-term memory.
Children and Teenagers
Children and teenagers require extra nutrition. Children who are finicky eaters or those with certain medical conditions often require vitamin and mineral supplementation. Additionally, those who are active or who consume carbonated beverages can benefit from multivitamins. Carbonated beverages inhibit the absorption of calcium, vitamin A and phosphorous. Children who participate in sports require more nutrition than those who have a sedentary lifestyle.
In addition, children with digestive troubles or asthma may benefit from taking a multivitamin. These chronic conditions are often treated with medications that can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals.
Benefits of Taking a Multivitamin
Multivitamins help protect against a variety of medical conditions, including dental problems, vision problems, sexual difficulties, and hearing loss. For optimal health, a vitamin and mineral supplement can improve or correct these and other conditions.
Dental problems often result from a nutritional deficiency. Vitamins A, C and E are essential to gum health. Additionally, zinc helps protect against periodontal disease and helps prohibit plaque from adhering to the teeth.
Vision troubles occur when the eyes are not receiving the nutrients they need. Vision loss and dry eyes often occur because of free radical damage. Consequently taking a multivitamin filled with antioxidants help protect the eyes.
Sexual difficulties often stem from a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Erectile dysfunction is often caused by low zinc, magnesium and selenium levels. Infertility in women is often caused by a vitamin D deficiency.
Stress and other mood disorders can cause difficulties in relationships and sap energy levels. A daily multivitamin can improve mood and energy levels by supplying the body with the nutrients it needs to perform at peak performance.
Finally, there is a correlation between elevated homocysteine levels and hearing loss. Studies have shown that taking a vitamin B-complex lowers homocysteine levels, thus protecting against hearing loss.
As you can see, there are many reasons to take multivitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals protect against a plethora of illnesses and diseases, including the common cold, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.