We have all seen hundreds of multivitamin capsules being sold all around us, but the applications and the real reason for multivitamin capsules are still widely debated and misunderstood. First, let us understand what multivitamins are. Basically, multivitamins are preparations intended to work as alternatives to the essential nutritional elements usually provided by our food.
Multivitamins have been recognized in the food category by the Codex Alimentarius Commission which was formed with the purpose of protecting the health of consumers and ensuring fair practices in the food trade. A multivitamin is defined as an alternative to the essential nutrient intake through daily food, which includes three or more vitamins and does not contain hormones, drugs or herbs’. Basically, multivitamins are a supplement to our regular dietary requirements in a convenient, super easy form intake form.
Our body requires a wide variety of essential nutrients to keep our body functioning in tip-top shape. Every individual vitamin/mineral has its purpose and provides necessary benefits to the human body. If our regular diet provides us with all the necessary vitamins required, there would be no need for multivitamins.
List of vitamins that the human body needs on a regular basis, their uses and source
· Vitamin A: Improves growth and development including healthy eyes, teeth, and skin. The natural sources of vitamin A are carrots, sweet potato or melons.
· Vitamin B: Necessary for immunity system development, energy production and also iron absorption. Whole grains potatoes, bananas, chili peppers, etc. are the natural sources.
· Vitamin C: The anti-oxidant functions of the body are promoted along with skin elasticity and the strengthening of blood vessels. Fruits like oranges, guava, and kiwi along with Brussels sprouts provide this vitamin.
· Vitamin D: The development of bones, is an important function of vitamin D. Egg fish and mushrooms are the natural sources other than the sun for this.
· Vitamin E: Improves blood circulation in the human body. Almonds are the main source, tomatoes and nuts also provide you with vitamin E.
· Vitamin K: A very important vitamin responsible for improving the blood clotting and development of bones. Green leafy vegetables that most of the population hates is the main source of vitamin K.
These along with minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, chromium, folic acid are all very necessary ingredients required on a daily basis for the proper functions of our body. But the daily diet we follow in today’s fast moving world with unhealthy junk food, fast foods and packed instant food products available, the human body is no longer receiving the necessary vitamins listed above. Even our best eating plans may fall short of providing the 40 plus nutrients that our body requires every day. Our lifestyle changes may be our choice, but it is to be remembered that we should not punish our body for the same.
Multivitamin capsules are specifically made for this purpose. With one single capsule, you will receive all the vitamins necessary on a daily basis. No shopping, cooking or cleaning necessary. Take a close look at the list above, are all the vitamins being delivered to you naturally? It’s a less price to pay to reap the benefits of longevity.
Multivitamin capsules are now being widely criticized due to numerous blunders committed by the many numbers of companies that used incorrect and misleading advertisements to push less than perfect products on unsuspecting customers. As a consumer, it is your responsibility to distinguish between genuine and fake marketing. Multivitamin capsules are not magical pills that will build muscle, lose fat, and increase strength all on their own. It is just marketing stunts to get consumers to overpay for basic vitamins.
Sure there are a few genuine multivitamin capsules that help in improving strength, muscle and also helping to lose weight. But these are not magical capsules, only with proper dedication, workout, diet are these possible. Multivitamins provide a helping hand to achieve the goal, but it will never reach the goal all on its own. It helps in just one of the many indirect parts of the overall process.
The next concern that arises in every consumer minds when it comes to supplements is the possibility of side effect. Multivitamin capsules contain the vitamin and minerals needed by the body for healthy living. Hence the risks of side effects are negligible. But as to all others, there are exceptions, first of all, make sure the brand of the capsules is recognized and there are ideal amounts of essential nutrients required. Make sure there aren’t any mega doses that could harm you.
Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K in different variations along with zinc, omega 3, folic acid, magnesium, iodine, potassium, selenium, and iron are the common ingredients in a multivitamin capsule. Above this, every brand has its mix of ingredients which make them suitable for different groups of people. Less iron is present in a multivitamin capsules designed for men, more vitamin D is present in capsules meant for senior citizens, and some make it a point to add extra antioxidants. So be careful in choosing the right multivitamin capsule for you.
Also to be taken care of is the usefulness of multivitamin capsules with subgroups of people with special needs and vulnerabilities. For example, always consult a dietitian to make sure if pregnant ladies can consume the capsules and also if you have any medical conditions or even if you are nursing. Consult a doctor before consuming the same.
Factors to be considered:
· Check a number of essential nutrients: Always make sure a number of nutrients in the product are appropriate for you subgroup, age, and sex. Also, consider any special needs you might have.
· Check what type vitamins and minerals are present: The exact form of the vitamin or mineral present is an important question to ask before purchasing the product.
· Quality: Always complete your due research on a product before purchasing it. Check for independent lab testing results to find out whether a number of nutrients present are the same as that claimed by the company.
· Specific needs: Each subgroup of the population requires different specifications of essential nutrients in various forms. Multivitamin capsules for women have more iron and folic acid whereas men’s capsules have less iron. Capsules of senior citizens are usually hyped with vitamin D, calcium and vitamin B6 and B12.
The last thing to keep in mind is the proper storage of multivitamin capsules. Supplements don’t last forever, and they tend to loose potency over time, especially if not kept in proper storage. Check expiration dates, store in a dry, cool place and avoid hot, humid storage locations like bathrooms and kitchen.