The main purpose of a multivitamin is to fill in nutritional gaps and supplement the body with nutrients and chemicals naturally found in food. Multivitamins can play an important role when nutritional requirements are not met through diet alone.
Promotes healthy aging: As we age, our nutritional needs increase and it also gets more difficult for the body to absorb nutrients. Certain medications can further deplete the body of nutrients. A multivitamin can help to treat these deficiencies.
Good for your heart: Studies have found that taking a high quality multivitamin may reduce cardiovascular disease. Vitamins B1, B2, B6, omega 3, CoQ10 and magnesium all play an important role in heart health.
May reduce cancer risk: Studies have found that daily multivitamin supplementation may reduce the risk of total cancer.
Boosts immunity: Vitamin C is an antioxidant known for strengthening the immune system. Vitamins D and E also boosts immunity.
Supports eye health: Vitamins A, C, E, copper and zinc support eye health. Lutein and Zeaxanthin also protect the eyes from harmful light waves. Studies have shown multivitamins containing a combination of vitamins, lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Water-soluble vitamins: Unlike fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), water-soluble vitamins (B and C) are not stored in the body. Excess water-soluble vitamins simply travel through the body. This means it’s necessary to take these essential vitamins on a daily basis if not included in the diet.
Healthy hair and skin: Supplementation with certain nutrients (vitamin A,E,C,D, zinc, iron and copper) found in multivitamins can help to promote healthy, thick and strong hair and affect the elasticity and appearance of skin.
Helps you to feel better: Taking a multivitamin including B vitamins is associated with an increase in energy levels, improved feelings of well being, and may decrease stress and anxiety.
Vitamins and minerals are nutrients your body requires in small amounts to function optimally. These nutrients are important to ensure a healthy and strong body.
Most people receive all the nutrients they need by having a balanced diet, rich in all food groups. However, some individuals may require extra nutrients to remain healthy.
Most individuals do not need to take vitamins and minerals if they are consuming a balanced, varied and healthy diet. Depending on the individual's health status, extra vitamins and minerals may be required if there is a deficiency present.
If a tablet and liquid contain the same amount of nutrients, then the effects are identical. However, it is found that liquids are absorbed and metabolised faster than tablets. Generally liquids are effective immediately while tablets are absorbed more gradually and have a slower absorption rate.
There are many factors that affect the absorption rate for vitamins including the amount of nutrients taken (rate of absorption is higher when a smaller amount of nutrients is taken), whether it is taken with food (the absorption rate of fat soluble nutrients are higher when taken with foods containing fat) and whether the nutrient levels currently in the body are low or high (the absorption rate is higher when nutrients levels are low in the individual).
Not all nutrients can be obtained from the diet alone. In cases such as smoking, weight loss and certain disease conditions, some nutrients are not absorbed efficiently and will benefit from supplementation. If a well balanced diet from all food groups is consumed then supplementation is not vital.
This is true for some medicines, where vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron deficiencies have been reported when taking H2 receptor antagonists, medications for stomach aches and heartburn. One of the symptoms of these deficiencies is anemia. Antibiotics (penicillin, chloramphenicol, tetracycline and streptomycin) may also cause B2 deficiencies resulting in symptoms such as a sore throat and inflammation of the tongue and the corners of the mouth. It has also been found that extended use of anti-epilepsy drugs such as phenytoin is known to reduce blood serum levels of folic acid.
It is commonly known that secondhand smoke may be harmful to individuals exposed to it as it contains carcinogens and other harmful substances. Vitamin C deficiency is experienced amongst those who smoke as vitamin C is metabolised more rapidly in order to counteract the harmful substances that are inhaled, which reduces the overall amount of vitamin C in the body. Smoking has also been shown to reduce the absorption of vitamin C in the small intestine. Exposure to secondhand smoke also decreases vitamin C levels. Another study also found that tobacco smoke exposure is known to lower serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations.
Vitamins and minerals are governed by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) which is an entity of the National Department of Health, created by the South African government to ensure that the health and well-being of human and animal health are at its core.
SAHPRA (Schedule 3A public entity) is responsible for:
- Regulation of health products intended for human and animal use
- Licensing of manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of medicines and medical devices, radiation emitting devices and radioactive nuclides
- Conduct of clinical trials in a manner that is compatible with the national medicines policy
Individuals may experience side effects when taking supplements and the nutrients available in the supplements may interact with medications, or may not have enough research ensuring safety for certain groups of people.
It is important to discuss supplementation with your healthcare practitioner if you are taking any medication, have any medical conditions, having surgery soon, pregnant or breastfeeding, or are trying to become pregnant. Most dietary supplements have not been tested on pregnant and nursing women, infants, or children. It is essential to always follow the directions on the label or your practitioner's prescription for the correct dosage amount.
It is best to research suppliers to find out more information about the supplements they supply. Factors to consider include:
- Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) manufacturing facilities
- Third-party testing
At VitaGene, we ensure all the supplements we stock meet the criteria above. Click this link to read more about our Product Quality Assurance: https://vitagene.co.za/pages/product-quality-assurance
At VitaGene, we have a Nourish Yourself Well nutrient assessment tool which will help to guide you towards an accurate personal nutrient supplement plan. This tool is reviewed by a team of qualified healthcare practitioners. Thereafter, you will receive an individualised nutrient assessment report. Click this link to read more about the nutrient assessment: https://vitagene.co.za/collections/nutrient-assessment/products/nutrient-assessment.
During the review of your genetic test results with a qualified healthcare practitioner, they will give you advice on which supplements you should be taking, and in what dosages. The gene results will guide this process and give valuable insight into dietary changes, supplement requirements and lifestyle changes to promote optimum health.
VitaGene has collaborated with two genetic test companies in South Africa to produce supplement guides for practitioners to assist them in making the best product recommendations for their patients.
It is very important to make sure you are not taking unnecessary supplements that your body does not require. Each supplement taken should target a specific treatment approach. If you are unsure of what supplements to take, please consult with your healthcare practitioner or use our Nourish Yourself Well - Nutrient Assessment Tool to determine the right supplements for you.