A Closer look at the traditional understanding of Multivitamins

A Closer look at the traditional understanding of Multivitamins

For ages, the traditional understanding of multivitamins suggests taking a pill as an easy way to meet all the body needs for vitamins and minerals. As recently as 2020, a study was released suggesting that 37% of the Indians take micronutrient supplements in India. However, there are still a lot of questions around multivitamins.

Although scientists suggests that these external vitamins could be very useful for the body, if properly taken, there is a lot of disagreement that hovers around the appropriate circumstances and dosage necessary to achieve the required benefits. Therefore, we feel it is worth re-examining the question, whether a person should take multivitamin?


Where it all started: Evolution of multivitamins

The concept of multivitamins first started in the early 1940s on the onset of serious nutritional deficiencies. Diseases like rickets, caused by the deficiency of Vitamin D and Scurvy, caused due to the deficiency of Vitamin C, came into knowledge and thus pills of micronutrients were introduced. Since then, scientists started their research on the multivitamins that can replenish every nutrition need, a body may have.


Diet can only be good to deliver necessary nutrients

People who eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and proteins, and take care of all the environmental needs like getting appropriate sunshine, should get most of the essential nutrients required by the body. If you fall in this category, you might not need a multivitamin. However, the facts say that most of the Indians don’t follow the ideal diet, by choice or by ignorance, which leads to some kind of deficiency.

A 2015 study suggests that over 81.28% of the sample audience was found to be deficient in Vitamin D and 7 out of every 10 Indians suffer from some kind of vitamin deficiency.  

Some people may benefits from a certain supplement because their body may need a particular micronutrient more than average. For example, a pregnant women are advised to take folate because it reduces the risk of particular birth defects. Certain gastrointestinal disorders may inhibit the absorption of nutrients in the body. So, now the big question is whether a multivitamin is actually the best way out to cater the holistic nutritional needs of an individual?


There is no single norm for Multivitamins

In India, the supplement formulation ingredient guidelines are laid down by ICMR- Indian council of medical research. Even though the dosage of the ingredients are prescribed, there is no regulatory defined for the composition of any dietary supplement. Thus, a multivitamin may contain any combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs amino acids or extracts.

With so many multivitamins available in the market, considerable research and educated decision is required to understand before buying any particular product. Each variety of multivitamin may be unique in terms of the type of ingredients, the quality of the same and the production techniques. It is also very important to study the list to determine which one would complement your particular diet and lifestyle.


Multivitamins: one-pill-fits all approach

Multivitamins are not precisely made to replenish any particular nutrition need but it is a holistic solution that carry different essential vitamins and minerals in small proportion that fits all.  The nutrients that you should take depends on various different factors like age, sex, medical condition and lifestyle. You need to check the formulation of the pill and find if the combination satiates the needs you might have.


In the midst of so many products, how to determine which one is right for you?

Every individual is different and carry a very different eating habits and lifestyle. Thus, giving the nutrition voids your body may have, a careful thought, is a better method to tailer vitamin regimen. By thinking about the diet you have and the lifestyle you follow, you are most likely to determine if you are having too little of a certain nutrient.

Other important considerations to make are your health history and your goals. This is to understand your body better and listen to what it speaks.

There are specific dietary supplements that can help certain specific body are or function, which a multivitamin might not be able to do. Before anything, you need to understand your body and then make an educated decision on which supplement is right for you.


Multivitamins or personalized vitamins can help meet your nutrition needs

Having a nutritious diet can cater a lot of basic nutrition needs. For most people, especially those with an imperfect diet, a multivitamin may be an easy way to prevent any kind of nutrition deficiency or promote general healthy lifestyle. However, the major drawback of multivitamins is that they don’t cater to the personalized nutrition needs. If you want to go for a customized supplement solution that compliments your diet and lifestyle, consider consulting a nutritionist or taking an online assessment to identify what can suit you better!

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