Written By Elizabeth McLean @ Health Wiz
The evidence is conflicting, with some studies indicating a reduction in chronic disease bio-markers (reduced inflammatory mediatiors ie C-reactive protein and homocysteine, and reduced cholesterol markers ie triglycerides) while other studies indicate little or no difference amongst subjects taking multi-vitamins versus placebo. Other studies have investigated whether multi-vitamins can be linked to the development of breast and other cancers, but have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to suggest risk of harm.While the messages are varied, the general consensus is that in certain groups, supplementation with a multi-vitamin can be effective in preventing chronic disease states and even in prolonging life. Our individual vitamin needs change throughout the life span; in infancy and childhood adequate vitamin A is essential for the development of the retina for eye-sight, in womanhood a multi-vitamin with added folate can prevent neural tube defects in offspring, while multi-vitamins with additional levels of vitamin D and calcium have proven to reduce fractures in older adults.
If you are purchasing a multi over the counter in the chemist or even on-line you will find that most of them will contain vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid (B9), B12, B5 (pantothenate), H (biotin), A, E, D3, K1, potassium iodide, zinc, calcium, magnesium, chromium, manganese, molybdenum,beta-carotene and iron as a minimum. Many of the practitioner only products are superior to over the counter options and will contain these, plus herbs and amino acids to provide additional support for the digestive and immune systems.
Choose a formula appropriate for your gender and age group to ensure that you are only consuming the extra vitamins that your body requires! This is particularly important for pregnancy or pre-conception to ensure you meet your RDI of folate and do not exceed it for vitamin A, which can cause toxicity at high doses and potentially impair fetal development. Always ask for advice from your trusted health professional if you have any doubts.