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The Critical Link – The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals

Multivitamins have easily become the most widespread form of supplementation across the globe. Particularly here in South Africa, you are able to find them not just in pharmacies and supplement stores but also in supermarkets as well. Additionally, they are not just media hype or a blown up fad by the publicists. They are extremely valuable and serve to aid a variety of key bodily functions and processes. Let us delve in and take a closer look.

What is inside a multivitamin and mineral complex?

The constituents of your regular daily multivitamin tablet or capsule includes at least 13 various vitamins and an additional 16 different minerals. All of these play key roles in your bodies ability to use the enzymes necessary for your daily internal functions as well as support several signalling reactions needed for the creation and composition of important structural elements that your body uses. The reasons for these integral reactions and procedures all include reproduction, maintenance, growth, and regulation of bodily processes.

Alright, so how else are they useful?

Brain function

Several studies, including one conducted by the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University in Australia[1], found that a daily multivitamin supplement plays an extremely helpful role in the improvement of memory in adults, particularly older ones. Additionally, the brain is at the centre of mood responses and mood control functions. A control study at the Depression Clinical and Research Program performed at Harvard Medical School[2] found a strong correlation between negative moods and nutrient deficiencies. The study even went further to show that multivitamins played an essential role in mood improvement and reduced symptoms related to depression.

Eye Health

Macular degeneration has been documented as one of the leading causes of blindness in people across the globe. A study conducted by Evan JR[3] found that antioxidant vitamins were shown to slow down the progression of this ocular disease. Another common eye disease known as cataracts also effects a large portion of the global population. Research has further shown the consistent supplementation of multivitamins and minerals may aid a great deal in the prevention of cataracts.

Heart Disease

Heart disease has been well documented as the leading cause of death around the world. Many public forums and the general media at large have purported that taking multivitamins may reduce the risk of heart disease in individuals. However, the studies on these for people as a whole have been inconclusive. While several studies have found a correlation between the reduction in the risk of heart disease and the supplementing of multivitamins, others have shown no link between the two. Nevertheless, a more recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition[4] found that for women on a large scale, taking daily multivitamin supplementation for a minimum period of 3 years was linked to an overall 35% reduction in risk from death by heart disease.

Illness and Immune Boosting

Quite possibly the most famous use for multivitamins is in illness prevention and immune system functionality. The western diet has seen an ever-growing increase in faster, cheaper, and less nutrient packed food choices that are available on shelves for then general public to buy. The common household is packed with frozen pre-made goods as well as several snacking options to keep individuals satiated throughout the day. Regardless of physical activity levels and attempts at exercising, people who are unaware of the impacts of their haphazard dietary choices may see a range of problems when it comes to nutrient deficiencies and their correlated diseases. People in this category may experience extraordinary benefits from the intake of a daily multivitamin and greatly reduce the negative impacts and risks of their deficiencies.

Physical Activity

A smaller range of specific vitamins have been shown to have more targeted roles and benefits when it comes to physical activity and performance. Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that fight free radical damage, delaying muscle fatigue (while also fighting muscle damage and promoting cardiovascular health). Vitamin B-12 combats fatigue and weakness, while also helping athletes make more efficient use of other vital nutrients. Vitamin D3 is essential for maintaining healthy bones. Additionally, Vitamin D3 plays a key role in a number of processes that are important for optimal athletic performance such as muscle contractions, nerve stimulation, enhanced system immunity, and improved anti-inflammatory responses.

In conclusion

Multivitamins and minerals go a long way in playing a range of basic functions for the body as well as greatly assisting in physical performance, reducing the risk of nutrient deficiencies, and decreasing and slowing down the onset of various diseases and illnesses. While the general public may all reap enormous benefits from supplementing with vitamins and minerals, those who would benefit the most from these are people who run the risk of not getting all the necessary nutrients they need (like vegans and vegetarians as a result of their dietary choices) and older adults. Additionally, those who are on calorie restricted diet plans (such as competing bodybuilders and physique competitors) will benefit enormously from a multivitamin due to their limited range of food and caloric intake.

All in all, taking multivitamins can greatly benefit individuals on an extremely wide and versatile scale and it is highly recommended that you support your day to day life with this form of supplementation.

SUGGESTED SUPPLEMENTS


Vitatech Multi Vitamin & Mineral - Active

With vitamins A, B1-B7, B9, B12, C, D, E, Chromium AAC, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese Sulphate, Molybdenum AAC, Selenium AAC and Zinc, Vitatech Multi Vitamin & Mineral - Active is a daily vitamin and mineral complex suitable for males and females.


NOW Foods Special Two

Multiple vitamins help to bridge the nutrient gap in our daily diets. In today's world of processed foods and fast-paced lifestyles, many of us do not get the daily recommended allowance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.


Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men

OPTI-MEN is a complete Nutrient Optimization System, providing the ultimate in performance supplementation. With more than 75 distinct ingredients, OPTI-MEN lays a solid foundation for everyday health, performance, and vitality.


 References:

[1] Macpherson H, Silberstein R, Pipingas A. Neurocognitive effects of multivitamin supplementation on the steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) measure of brain activity in elderly women. Physiol Behav. 2012;107(3):346‐354. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.08.006

[2] Alpert JE, Mischoulon D, Nierenberg AA, Fava M. Nutrition and depression: focus on folate. Nutrition. 2000;16(7-8):544‐546. doi:10.1016/s0899-9007(00)00327-0

[3] Evans JR, Lawrenson JG. Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements for slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;11:CD000254. Published 2012 Nov 14. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000254.pub3

[4] Bailey RL, Fakhouri TH, Park Y, et al. Multivitamin-mineral use is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease mortality among women in the United States. J Nutr. 2015;145(3):572‐578. doi:10.3945/jn.114.204743