Multivitamin: What is it?
Civilization has come with the need for man to live longer, full lives while on earth. The need for nutrition as a life enhancing* power is one fact- both religious and secular persons acknowledge. Since not everyone can access nutrition from its natural source i.e. natural foods, there now exists multivitamins, these are basically extracted nutrients compressed and packed in forms of tablets capsules or syrup. In a nut-shell, they are referred to as dietary supplements.
Why You Need it?
We live dynamic lives that are forever on the move. This means we see time sleeping and sleeping as wasted time. You see, no one ever has time to cook anymore; therefore, they live lives based on fast foods. A diet of pizza, burgers, fries et cetra simply gives you two nutrients; calories and starch. Other nutrition such as proteins, vitamins and minerals are thus rendered almost foreign in the human system.
It is this lack of nutrition that is referred to as ‘vitamin-deficiency’ which is actually a misnomer, technically speaking. It is to avoid this lack of nutrients that multivitamin pills have come into the market. These pills (tablets, capsules or syrup) are packed with these specific nutrients thus those who desire more nutrition can have them at hand.
Types of Multivitamin
- Tablets: These multivitamins are first extracted from whatever source, then mixed with some form of binder before being compressed into pellets easily ‘swalloable’. These usually have to incorporate some forms of stabilizers so that the binding and bonding of the different nutrients can be efficient and stable (free from perish-ability).
- Capsules: These multivitamins differ from the first in that they are extracted and dried into powder form. The powder dietary supplement is then enclosed within a capsule- a tiny edible container the size of a tablet. These have the advantage that not much is added to them.
- Liquid: This form of multivitamin dietary supplement is extracted from source and if in liquid for already, the nutrient is left as it is as it is mixed with other nutrients intended to be in the multivitamin. Since these are in their more fresh-state, they perish easier than the other mentioned types of multivitamin, unless they are stored in airtight containers. To improve* on their storage however, some manufacturers ad stabilizers. Also added at times are anti-caking agents that prevent the liquid syrup from crystallizing a room temperature.
Does it Really Work?
Most modernized persons do have the notion that multivitamins are the end solution to the problem of malnutrition. Like every coin, there are two sides to the story:
The first scenario is a person who tries to live healthy- having enough exercise and rest but still lacks a portion of dietary nutrition. for this kind of a person, it is very easy to incorporate these multivitamins into the system, as they would work hand in hand with an otherwise working human system.
The second scenario however, is a person who wants o live on nothing but the multivitamins. The system is therefore deficient of the exercise it needs (the digestion system muscles also do need exercise). However much multivitamin such a person will consume, they will not be fully well nutritionally speaking.
What’s the Recommended Dosage?
Like each container varies from the next in terms of how much capacity it can hold, so do these multivitamins vary. Some are designed to give you your dietary needs in a single capsule/tablet while yet others require you to consume them as you would food- twice a day. Others till are used periodically and not in a daily routine. It is however recommended that multivitamins should be used sparingly, and used in reference to a person’s well being, considering the person’s Body Mass Index.
Potential Health Benefits
Used appropriately, multivitamins have the potential to boost* ones health where there is lack. For instance, the Eskimo living in the Alps has very little of vitamins, the sailor has very little calcium, the everyday man eats very little roughage- all these lifestyles can benefit from multivitamins that work to provide these missing aspects of diet
Is it Safe to Use?
The balanced mind is the smartest mind there is. Although governments work towards releasing only the safe products- edibles inclusive- these supplements still have in their composition chemicals that can be harmful to one’s health. Concerning their safety, it is thus safe to say; multivitamins are generally safe but exercise caution while using them.
There are some basic precautions that should be taken while handling these dietary supplements. First on the list is to know what nutrients you actually want to supplement. This helps avoiding waste and ‘over-nutrition’ that works against you.
Second, know your dosage. Overdosing these supplements can lead to high toxicity of the blood that destroys the liver thus causing more harm than good. Thirdly, it is best to always know who you are buying from. If possible, choose a brand and stick to it, it is easier to trace defects easier in this way.
How to Choose The Best Multivitamin?
- Know Your Needs: As mentioned earlier, don’t buy what you don’t need. That is only useless to your system.
- Type of Vitamins and Minerals: Choose a type that is most natural and consume within the stipulated time.
- Amount of Vitamins and Minerals: Don’t go overboard!! Remember overdoses are very dangerous.
- Quality: Ensure that what you use giving you what you need. This most of the time means that you look for local mark of quality.
- Cost: Good quality stuff generally cost more, thus the costing of multivitamins should tell you about their quality.