June 16, 2014

272 The Case for Multi Vitamins [16 June 2014]

The need for multi vitamins has never been greater. Despite the December 2013 Annals of Internal Medicine editorial admonishing us to “stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements”, there are plenty of studies showing a multitude of benefits. And there are many reasons why we can’t depend on our diet to get all our nutrient requirements.

First I need to emphasize that food supplements are meant to supplement a good diet, not replace it (that’s why they aren’t called food replacements). Having said that, despite our best intentions we often fall short of an ideal diet. Health Canada recommends 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily but Statistics Canada found in 2006 less than half of Canadians ate even five servings.

A Harvard study (JAMA 2002) concluded: “most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.” While the evidence isn’t as strong as we’d like (due to reasons discussed in #250 & #251) there are many studies showing that supplementation protects against heart disease, mental decline, immune imbalances, diabetes and osteoporosis. See #252 for a short list of such studies.

Finally, here are some reasons why we may need more nutrients than we can obtain from our food:
• vegetables and grains grown on nutrient-depleted soil
• animals raised in confinement and fed nutrient-deficient food
• varieties bred for shelf life at the expense of nutrient content (#201)
• processing of food that removes or destroys nutrients
• greater environmental toxic exposure requiring greater need for antioxidant vitamins
• prescription drugs causing nutritional deficiencies (#29)

Source: lecture by Nelson Narciso (May 30, 2014) and his website keepwell.ca

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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