One of the most commonly asked questions is “Why should I take a multivitamin supplement?” Because vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that the human body alone can not manufacture in sufficient quantities to provide the foundation for all normal biological functions. Vitamins and minerals are required for normal metabolism, growth, and general well-being.
Many people believe they are eating the ‘right’ foods, and getting the proper amount of essential nutrients in this way. And, of course, eating a balanced diet is the most important way to obtain the vitamins and minerals you need.
The problem is, few of us get a truly balanced diet. According to a recent U.S. government survey of 21,000 people, less than 1% obtained 100 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for each of ten basic nutrients.
Processing, storing, or even cooking can reduce the vitamin content of foods. Chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and soil conditions can also adversely affect foods. Nutrient intake is also depleted by heavy smoking, alcohol, and numerous health conditions including obesity and chronic illness.
Your multivitamin should contain a full range of vitamins and minerals to meet essential nutritional needs. For example, the average diet frequently provides less than the recommended daily allowance for zinc. A low-dose supplement containing 1.5mg can fill in dietary gaps. Statistics show that over 65% of American diets are deficient in zinc. Zinc is considered the most important mineral for proper immune system function.
Magnesium is also a critically important element that is deficient in a majority of American diets. A lack of this essential mineral can lead to fatigue, abnormal heart rhythms, muscle weakness and spasm, depression, loss of appetite, listlessness, and potassium depletion.
A good multivitamin can give you reassurance that you are obtaining the proper amount of vitamins and minerals needed for good health. Whatever your specific nutritional needs, a multivitamin should be the foundation of any nutritional supplement program and will significantly increase the effectiveness of any other supplements you take.
CFS and FM patients may want to select a multivitamin that includes additional energizing and immune-enhancing nutrients, such as malic acid, IP6, soy, and B-12. H