Preventive Health: A Daily Nutritional Supplement

wildflowersDo you take a daily vitamin or supplement? Perhaps you should. Research suggests that supplement users are healthy people who tend to eat a better diet than most and who consider nutritional support one of several ways to protect their health. The primary reasons cited for taking a daily multiple vitamin include:

  • Enhance energy and well-being
  • Help defend against degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and dementia
  • Help manage existing health conditions such as arthritis and diabetes
  • Slow the aging process

In fact, although we can’t make specific claims about nutritional supplements, a growing body of evidence shows a correlation between supplemental multivitamins and other nutrients and improved health, including the following:

  • Reduced incidence of heart disease and stroke
  • Protection against certain kinds of cancer
  • Decreased incidence of certain birth defects
  • Improved immune functioning
  • Decreased number of sick days caused by infections among the elderly
  • Delayed onset or progression of vision-robbing macular degeneration
  • Reduced incidence of hip fractures from osteoporosis

A study undertaken by The Lewin Group found that given the myriad potential protective benefits, daily use of a multivitamin is a relatively inexpensive yet potentially powerful way to improve one’s health. They also noted that within a health insurance context, the five-year estimate of potential net savings resulting from daily multivitamin intake for adults over 65 is approximately 1.6 billion dollars.

Research shows that 80 to 90 percent of the population does not achieve the recommended daily value (RDV) for each vitamin and mineral, nor do they even come close. As if it weren’t hard enough to get the nutrients through our diet, 12 of the top 20 medications prescribed in the United States are drugs that can cause nutrient depletion — a situation exacerbated by the pace and stress of a daily multi-tasking lifestyle. In fact, marginal nutritional deficiencies are present in about 50% of the non multiple vitamin and mineral using population. And, keep in mind that the RDV levels for each nutrient are intended to guard against only severe nutrient deficiency diseases like Scurvy (vitamin C), but are not intended to serve as levels of vitamin and mineral intake that are optimal in regard to supporting biological functions, preventing degenerative diseases, and maximizing our well-being and longevity.

I advise my patients to take a simple  multivitamin/multimineral that contains USP Pharmaceutical Grade Quality ingredients, chelated minerals that enhance absorption and bioavailability and a coating that avoids lead and other heavy metals. A daily multivitamin should be independently assayed for purity and content and contain 100% of the recommended daily value (RDV) for all the essential vitamins and minerals.

Learn more about the highest quality vitamins, minerals, and omega-3’s at

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One Comment

  1. Gregory Pokrywka MD FACP FNLA NCMP January 9, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    The weight of the evidence STRONGLY supports that healthy Americans should NOT take a daily mutivitmain supplement, as confirmed by several recent studies. see this link and MANY references and links within. 🙂

    “If scientific evidence guides our health decisions, we will look back at the vitamin craze of the last few decades with disbelief. Indiscriminate use is, in most cases, probably useless and potentially harmful. We are collectively throwing away billions of dollars into supplements, chasing the idea of benefits that have never materialized. Multivitamins are marketed with a veneer of science but that image is a mirage – rigorous testing doesn’t support the health claims. But I don’t think the routine use of vitamins will disappear anytime soon. It’s a skillfully-marketed panacea that about half of us buy into.”

    Three new papers published in the Annals of Internal Medicine add to an accumulated body of research that has studied the health effects of routine vitamin and mineral supplements in healthy populations. The best available evidence gives us good, reliable information to conclude that multivitamins offer no meaningful health benefits to the generally healthy consumer. It’s time to bring an end to the era of indiscriminate multivitamin use.”

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