I’ve been asked if taking a single multivitamin per day is enough for most people. The answer is…maybe.
The answer is vague because each of us are different. It depends on your age, lifestyle, gender, level of health and medications that may be taking. You might need supplements of certain, specific vitamins that are lacking in your diet, or you might need to compensate for those lacking in your body. You might need more of a vitamin to combat a certain difficulty you might be having.
This is not a cop-out to the original question. Taking a multivitamin is the least you should be doing. Why? Taking a multivitamin, and specific vitamin supplements help you get energy for proper metabolism. They also help if you’re too busy to eat right. If you’re not having enough fresh foods, fruits and vegetables, a multivitamin may help as a stop-gap measure. But it is only a temporary fix. No matter how many vitamins you take, if you’re not eating right, you’ll never be fully healthy.
Now if you’ve got major issues with your eyes for example, you certainly need to load up on Vitamin A, beta-carotene, Vitamin C, E, zinc, Omega 3’s, lutein and zeaxanthin. For major skin problems, it’s Vitamins C, E, A, K, and B, Selenium, Copper, Zinc and EFA’s.
As an in-depth example of why you might need more than a multivitamin, let’s take cholesterol. There is LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol).
The good guys are like little cops. They patrol your body and keep the bad cholesterol away from your arteries. (“Move along, you can’t hang out here fellas!”).
The bad cholesterol meanwhile. (let’s call them the little thugs), try to get in, and make their hideout inside your arteries. As they build up their ranks, they form plaque which blocks your arteries. (like they are blocking the road and robbing whoever tries to get through). If they completely block off an artery that leads to your heart or brain, a “clot” forms, and that’s when a heart attack or stroke can happen.
I will tell you that I had cholesterol levels that were very high. My LDL (bad cholesterol) was high and my HDL (good cholesterol) was low.
By changing my diet, exercising daily (which raises HDL and lowers LDL), and taking specific vitamins, I went from above-average risk to below-average risk within weeks.
This was a powerful mix, but it worked too well. My cholesterol went down too much. See, I learned that if your cholesterol is too low, you then begin to become susceptible to many other problems.
Believe it or not, cholesterol is actually good for you. But too much is not good for you. Cholesterol helps you produce vitamin D in your body, as well as cell membranes, hormones, and acids that help digest fat. Cells can’t form without cholesterol.
Many medical reports have linked low cholesterol levels to lowered immunity levels, and mental disturbances, including substantially increased risk of suicide, and impulsive, aggressive behavior– due to depression. Research on monkeys that were put on low-fat or low-cholesterol diets showed decreased serotonin activity in their brains, with the low serotonin activity making them exhibit more aggressive activity. So this makes sense, since antidepressant drugs (like Prozac) work by increasing serotonin in the brain. Researchers are investigating this, but not a lot is known in this area yet.
Ideally, to be in the “normal” range, you want your total cholesterol between 140 and 200 milligrams and your LDL cholesterol under 130. But what’s most important though is your HDL/Cholesterol ratio. It’s easy to calculate this by dividing your HDL level by your total cholesterol. This a hotly debated topic that we’ll get into more later, but I digress.
I took policosinol in the morning, along with coconut oil to raise my cholesterol levels, and viola! I am at the perfect level. Some supplements lower cholesterol, while some raise it, and there I am, perfectly, right in the middle. And by the way, I also take vitamins and supplements for other stuff. For instance I have literally reversed the effects of kidney disease by adjusting supplements, diet, and exercise.
If this is making your head spin, it’s only to point out how this works for me. It may not work for you. The point is that we are all individual, so we all have different answers to the question, “Is One Multivitamin Per Day Enough?”
So how do you figure this out? It’s best to get your blood work done every time you go in for your yearly physical. Get a full blood workup done, because many major problems begin by showing up with you feeling tired, forgetful, or some show no sign at all at first. I had no idea and no symptoms of kidney issues at all until it showed up on the tests.
If any abnormalities show up, you’ll need to address them. You’ll need to get advice from someone, or several people who have experience with your specific issue, and find out what your options are. Also, by doing research online, you will begin to educate yourself on what ails you. It’s always best to catch potential problems before they become real problems, so you can adjust your lifestyle to head ’em off at the pass. They are kind of like little, juvenile thugs in training.
Oh, and in case your curious, those troublesome thugs inside my body have been arrested, and the cops are not eating doughnuts on the job! Some thugs are still hanging around because they are good construction workers and help the little old ladies cross the street…:)
Change your health, change your life,
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