Adding a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement to your diet has been debated for many years. The on-going debate has two sides. The anti-vitamin side believes that a multivitamin is unnecessary for healthy individuals. Some experts claim that eating a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and proteins can provide the body with all the essential nutrients it needs to function at a healthy level.
Unfortunately, very few people in the United States are considered well nourished. In my experience, a majority of Americans don’t come close to following the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, to ensure they’re getting enough of the essential vitamins and nutrients they need.
For years, I have done serum and red blood cell vitamin and mineral testing on my patients. On initial testing, over 80% of my patients are deficient in one or more vitamins and minerals. Often, when patients do try to eat right, they may still be low, largely due to soil depletion of nutrients from over-farming. As a rule, most fruits and vegetables grown today contain 30%-80% less vitamins and minerals than those grown just 50 years ago.
Those who are proponents of multivitamin and mineral supplementation suggest that supplementing important nutrients is necessary because eating a well-balanced diet cannot provide the proper daily value of nutrients needed for optimal health. While most Americans are not suffering from malnutrition like many global communities, this doesn’t mean that they’re getting the correct nutrients for healthy living.
With a typical American diet filled with preservatives, excess salt, sugar, and trans fats rather than enough good nutrition, it’s nearly impossible to claim that a multivitamin is non-essential in today’s society. Scientific American reports that many nutrients are being depleted in the soil due to over-farming, which causes our crops to be less nutritious overall. Basically, even those of us who ARE getting plenty of fruits and vegetables have to ‘climb many mountains’ just to eat clean and reap the benefits of real, whole foods.
According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), the dietary supplement or dietary ingredient manufacturer is “responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement or ingredient is safe before it is marketed.” In order to ensure their safety, the FDA regulates finished dietary supplements and ingredients. They are ultimately responsible for taking action against any misbranded supplement after it reaches the market.
Overall, inconclusive research can confuse many aspects of multivitamin usage. What we DO know is that many Americans can benefit from essential supplements filling in gaps within their diet to bolster nutrients. In my opinion, multivitamins and minerals are necessary for everyday consumption and optimal health. Too often, the quality of the specific product one takes is overlooked but should be the first concern.
Choosing the Right Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement
Due to the loosely regulated manufacturing of multivitamins in the United States, multivitamins can range in ingredients, price, and quality. You want to choose the best multi for you, but not sure where to start?
First of all, avoid purchasing multivitamins from big box stores or grocery chains. A vast majority of these products in the major chain stores are overly processed, and contain a multitude of poor quality ingredients.
Secondly, remember that price does matter. It’s a disservice to our bodies and our health to choose a multi based on price. By searching for the lowest price, you often also get the lowest quality. If you are looking for optimal health, then don’t forgo the higher quality product for a cheaper version.
Avoid Binding Agents Used As “Glue”
With a little education, you can spot a low quality vitamin and avoid purchasing. Start with the ingredients label first. Avoid purchasing any multivitamins that contain the following list of binding agents.
All three of these are added as “binders” that act as glue to hold the vitamin together. Many of these “glue” agents actually work too well and keep the vitamin intact throughout your GI tract, without absorbing any of the nutrients!
Watch Out For Additives Used to Fill Space or Enhance Appearance
Additives are another type of unnecessary ingredient which are easy to avoid if you know what you’re looking for. Some of these additives pose as unsafe allergens, causing dangerous reactions in some people.
Lastly, food coloring should be avoided at all costs. They might make a vitamin look pretty, but the coloring is purely for appearance – not nutritional value. Artificial coloring has been linked to damage in our DNA and organs, as well as behavioral problems.
Diamond Nutritionals Supplements
When you put quality ingredients together, you get quality results. I have been recommending Diamond Nutritionals’ supplements to my patients for many years. Their quality ingredients have well-established success for overall health. Diamond Nutritional products are completely gluten, soy, egg, fish, dairy, shellfish, tree nut, peanut, yeast, and wheat free! No need to worry about quality either, as Diamond Nutritionals uses the highest quality ingredients available to produce the best supplements on the market. And they are made in America!
For a good, comprehensive multivitamin and mineral formula, the Foundation Vitamin Formula provides essential vitamins and minerals that support a balanced diet. This multivitamin also provides a full spectrum of B-vitamins to help boost energy levels and reduce stress, as well as vitamins E and D. Often times it isn’t the multivitamin that’s ineffective, but the absorption within the body. In order to increase absorption, the Foundation Vitamin Formula uses fully reacted minerals to optimize the effect and ensure complete absorption.
Other specialty formulations are available to support a variety of issues and areas including: memory, cardiovascular system, and overall men’s and women’s health. As always, follow proper guidelines for dosage and consult your physician before starting any new vitamins or supplements as a part of your regular diet.