Eating a healthy diet with recommended foods, fruits and vegetables, we would not need to look for alternatives to consume vitamins or, as they are usually called today, multivitamin packs.
However, we are far from being able to say that, in general, the population has good eating habits. Hence the growing market for supplements and supplements based on vitamins, minerals, collagen, proteins, etc.
In this article we wanted to make a review on the opinion of the scientific community with respect to multivitamin complexes and whether they really have a positive effect on our body.
In our opinion, the consumption of this type of product is positive at a certain time, but it should not always be used. In this case, it is necessary to carry out a review on our diet to make changes, since there is a clear imbalance that makes us resort to this type of aid.
According to statistical data, the Multivitamins is one of the most used supplements in the world, with a wide variety of products, brands and options.
Every year that obesity increases, the number of diseases and habits worsen, these products increase their sale in significant quantities. Therefore, a form of compensation for sedentary life and fatty foods is sought.
What are multivitamins really?
The multivitamin concept it is the union of different concentrations of vitamins and minerals, even with other added compounds. The concentration of each product depends on the research of the department of each company or looking for a commercial positioning of the product.
In addition, in the market we have different purchase options, either in the form of tablets, liquids, powders diluble in water, chewing gum, capsules (the most common), etc.
In general, the dosage varies with each product, but can be standardized into 1 or 2 tablets daily. On the labels they give us information about how much and what percentage with respect to the recommended daily amount we are contributing to our body.
Content of multivitamins
In general, this type of vitamin supplements contain the necessary 13 vitamins and essential minerals (at least 16), alone or together with organic acids, plant extracts or amino acids.
Let’s see the example of some of these products and their content.
One of the best known brands in pharmacy is Multicentrum Plus, which has an extensive catalog of different products focused on men, women or older (from 50 years old).
We study the comparison between different products to see the main differences.
Contributes to reduce tiredness and fatigue; the normal functioning of the immune system; the maintenance of the skin in normal conditions and the protection of cells against oxidative damage
Helps reduce tiredness and fatigue; the normal functioning of the immune system; helps against blood loss during the menstrual cycle; to the maintenance of skin, hair and nails as well as bones in normal conditions
Contributes to reduce tiredness and fatigue; the normal functioning of the immune system; the maintenance of bones in normal conditions and for the normal functioning of muscles; helps the normal functioning of the heart
Review of foods that contain high amount of vitamins
Relationship between multivitamins and cancer
One of the biggest concerns of overall health is the risk of cancer, which is undoubtedly on the rise.
With regard to the effect of vitamin complexes and cancer prevention, there are many studies and clinical trials in this regard, but they have not been able to opt for one side or the other.
In general, the response of these products is mixed and no clear conclusions can be drawn.
Several reviews that have involved more than 47000 people have obtained enough information to clarify that there may be positive effects on men (up to 31% less), but not on women. [See study]
Relación entre las multivitaminas y las enfermedades del corazón
Prácticamente, en cada una de las plantas medicinales, productos y suplementos que hemos hablado, hay una parte destinada a la prevención de las enfermedades del corazón.
Y no es para menos, ya que es la principal causa de muerte en todo el mundo según la World Health Organization (56.9 millones de muertes en el 2016).
Por eso, los ensayos clínicos dedican esfuerzos monetarios en encontrar bioactivos que mejoren la salud cardiovascular.
En cuanto a los productos multivitaminas, ensayos clínicos no han sabido encontrar una relación directa en la reducción de las enfermedades cardíacas y los productos multivitamínicos. [See study]
That is, some studies have obtained positive results, but others do not, so today we cannot speak of a positive (or negative) effect.
The latest trials do establish an improvement of up to 35% in reducing the risk of dying from heart disease in women, but not in men. [See study]
However, more complete information is needed to do an impact review on vitamin cocktails and heart health.
Are they positive for mental health and brain activity?
Would these multivitamin supplements have any effect on brain functionality?
It is true that there are many products commercially based on their consumption at exam time or where good mental concentration is required. The scientific community gives rise to these products since in several trials an improvement in memory has been obtained, especially in adults. [Consult source of information]
These investigations have combined a direct relationship between nutritional deficiencies (vitamins and minerals) and states of depression and mood swings.
This vitamin supplement It is interesting in times where a maximum concentration is required, and where we leave aside for lack of time (as an excuse) good eating habits and mismatch the amounts of vitamins we take.
There is a direct relationship in the vitamin deficiency and ocular degeneration, being one of the leading causes of blindness in the underdeveloped world.
Specifically, it is not only the lack of vitamins, but as a whole the mineral deficiency, lack of antioxidants, etc.
There is a positive scientific relationship between multivitamins and the lower risk of blindness from eye diseases, such as cataracts. [See study]
Possible side effects
Not everything is a sea of roses, since there are cases of diseases by excess vitamins. Although most are eliminated through the urine, imbalances between the vitamin-mineral ratio cause disorders and worsen certain diseases.
Dosage is an important factor to consider when taking multivitamins.
In general, vitamin E and K are not toxic even in excess, but this is not the case with vitamin A and D, as it can have toxic effects if taken in excess.
An excess of vitamin A in pregnant women can cause birth defects in fetuses, so it is something to take into account, according to scientific research. [See information]
Cases of excess vitamin D toxicity are very rare and unlikely, at least with the intake of these multivitamins. But toxicity from excess vitamin A is not so rare.
Should I take these types of supplements?
Vitamin supplements are not made for everyone, and should be taken in temporary cases where we are not eating good eating habits.
The low consumption of fruits and vegetables considerably reduces vitamin intake, being well below the recommended daily amounts (% RDA).
Therefore, it is recommended in specific cases such as those discussed below:
Adults and the elderly
From menopause or in adults where there is not so good fixation of vitamins, supplements rich in vitamin B12 and vitamin D may be recommended. In this way there will be a greater assimilation of calcium and an improvement in the prevention of negative effects in falls and broken bones.
Vegan diets or diet
Vegetables are not able to provide us with all the essential nutrients we need, as we saw in this nutrient review.
Therefore, in specific cases we need to use vitamin supplements that are only obtained from animal meat, including easily assimilated iron (heme iron).
Pregnant or breastfeeding women
At such a crucial time where you must pay close attention to food, you have to consult with the medical specialist to study providing an extra vitamin and reach the recommended RDA, which in many cases skyrocket and more is needed.
However, we must take precautions about what we have said about vitamin A.
Best Vitamin Supplements
These are the products with the best rating of vitamin supplements.
Keep in mind that each supplement has its own ratio of nutrients and it is necessary to consult its technical specifications and dosage.