Many people take multivitamins to help fight illness or boost their energy. But what can you really expect from vitamin supplements.
The health supplement industry is one which has been growing almost constantly for decades. Once considered a fad or something to be associated with hardcore health enthusiasts, taking vitamins and minerals is now regarded as something which is completely normal. Even those with virtually no interest in nutrition, exercise or general health can be found taking multivitamins pills each morning in an effort to stave off illness, boost their energy, or obtain any one of a number of reported effects. However, the effectiveness of such remedies is far from guaranteed. So what can we expect from multivitamin supplements?
Making Up For Poor Choices
Unfortunately, the average person’s diet is no longer as good as it once was – and this can’t all be blamed on the food industry, as will be discussed below. The point is that the Western world has grown accustomed to processed meats, refined grains, and large amounts of sugar and salt. Not only has this led to a crisis of obesity that is putting unnecessary strain on healthcare systems, but it means that we are voluntarily excluding nutrient-rich foods from our diets. No health supplement will ever make up for a varied nutritional intake, formed from vegetables, fruits, fish and lean meat, but a good multivitamin could help to cover the bases. These supplements will not make our diet healthy or ensure that we’re getting enough – they will merely prevent us from being seriously deficient.
Compensating For Low Quality Food
Modern farming methods are not focused on producing food which is as nutritious as possible, but which is plentiful and resistant to disease. This shift, alongside environmental changes which have eroded soil quality, mean that the healthy food which we do consume contains lower levels of nutrients. Once again, a multivitamin supplement may be taken in order to boost our diets and make sure that we do not fall too far short in our consumption of vitamins and minerals.
To Support an Active Lifestyle
Even if all of their nutritional bases are covered, some fitness enthusiasts take a multivitamin in order to compensate for an intensive regime. Exercise can increase our need for certain substances as the body attempts to rebuild and refuel muscle tissue which has been broken down and exhausted. Adequate intake of vitamins and minerals can help to ensure that your recovery from exercise is quick and efficient. This is especially relevant in the case of sustained cardiovascular exercise, which has been shown to suppress the immune system.
Which Multivitamin Should I Take?
For better or for worse, vitamin supplements are mostly unregulated. This means that unless the manufacturer elects to have their products tested by a third party, there are no guarantees that the listed ingredients are actually present in the product. Try to choose a multivitamin that has been tested by a reputable body or which is manufactured by an established brand.
This is guest post from Tom Sykes, A contibuting writer and a health blogger who enjoys writing about multivitamins for UK customers.