What You'll Learn Here:
- 1 Day-to-day Maintenance… How Vitamins Care for Your Whole Body
- 2 From the Cradle to the Grave…
- 3 Multi-vitamins Recommended for Sperm Health
- 4 Multi-vitamins Reduce the Likelihood of Birth Defects
- 5 1.5 Million Low Birth Weights Could Be Avoided Globally with Multi-vitamins6
- 6 The Multi-vitamin…a Must for Digestive Disorder Sufferers7
- 7 Obesity Is Related to Vitamin D Deficiency8
- 8 Vitamin-deficiency Anemia
- 9 Multi-vitamins for Diabetics and Others with Nutritional Deficits
- 10 Multi-vitamins for Kidney Dialysis Patients11
- 11 Multi-vitamins Can Help Slow Vision Loss (Age-related Macular Degeneration)
- 12 Women Can Protect DNA with Multi-vitamins…and Live 9.8 Years Longer15
- 13 Benefits of Multi-vitamin Use for the Elderly
- 14 In Summary
~ Jo Jordan
Unless you’ve been living in a remote village, or a cave somewhere in the Australian outback, you’ve likely noticed that every week there’s yet another news story about multi-vitamins. To take them or not to take them? Are they helpful or harmful? What do they do? How do you know what type to choose? What makes one brand better than another? And so on…all the way up the line at grocers’ tills across America, dozens of magazine articles making claims about multi-vitamins.
But what are the actual benefits?
From the cradle to the grave – in fact, even before you were nothing but a glimmer in your parents’ eyes – the benefits of the multi-vitamin to human life are mind-bogglingly far-reaching.
How Vitamins Care for Your Whole Body
Specific vitamins, we know, play a myriad of roles in maintaining daily health.
Vitamin A (beta carotene or retinol) is essential for cell growth and development; it promotes good vision, proper immune functioning, reproduction and the development of our unborn children, bone metabolism, and skin health; and it reduces the risk of heart disease.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is necessary for proper functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system; it assists in manufacturing glucose from the carbohydrates we consume.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is vital for turning carbohydrates into energy; it’s necessary for antibody production, respiration, the production of red blood cells, and in the regulation of growth and reproduction.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) turns carbohydrates, fat, and protein into energy. It aids the digestive system in its functioning, and fosters healthy skin, nerves, and appetite.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is crucial to the metabolizing and synthesis of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Research supports its use in combating diabetes complications, improving blood and liver quality, and promoting healthy hair and skin.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is crucial to normal brain and nerve function; it aids in the breakdown of proteins and muscle growth, and makes red blood cells. It combats depression by assisting the production of feel-good chemicals (such as serotonin).
Vitamin B7 (biotin) helps in the metabolizing of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Vitamin B9 (folic acid, folate, or folacin) helps the body produce red blood cells; it’s vital in the production of DNA, is essential to numerous body functions, and is crucial during times of rapid cell division and growth, such as during pregnancy.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) helps produce red blood cells, and is important for nerve cell function; it assists with brain and nervous system functioning, and fosters normal growth and development.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – an antioxidant – is necessary in collagen formation, tissue that helps hold cells together; it assists in tissue growth and repair, is vital for healthy blood vessels, bones, gums, and teeth. Vitamin C helps in healing, contributes to brain function, and protects DNA from damage and mutation.
Vitamin D strengthens bones, and is important in the maintenance of organ systems.
Vitamin E – an antioxidant – is important for the health of red blood cells, and it helps protect cells from damage. It also aids in healing, and promoting a healthy circulatory system.
From the Cradle to the Grave…
Multi-vitamins Prevent Terrible Things from Happening and Make a Long, Healthy Life Possible
For many of us, multi-vitamins are already a crucial part of long-established daily regimens to foster our overall health and wellness. But for others – such as those at risk for developing diabetes – taking a multi-vitamin has the potential to completely alter the rest of their life and the lives of their unborn children.
Let’s begin at the beginning…
Multi-vitamins Recommended for Sperm Health
For men, a daily multi-vitamin can foster optimal sperm production and function, as well as help to protect sperm from damage. The Mayo Clinic recommends daily multi-vitamin supplementation that contains selenium, zinc, and folic acid, trace nutrients vital for the production of hardy, energetic sperm that will be able to get the job done.1
Various fertility experts tout the benefits of B complex and vitamins C and E, and recommend a general multi-vitamin with minerals to enhance sperm production.
Multi-vitamins Reduce the Likelihood of Birth Defects
Good health begins long before conception. But three to eight of every one hundred pregnant American women contract gestational diabetes,2 and children of mothers with diabetes are four times as likely to develop birth defects as those born to mothers without the disease.3
So what can be done to protect the health of our unborn children? The CDC reports that taking multi-vitamins substantially reduces the risk for diabetes-associated birth defects. Children of mothers who had diabetes, but who took multi-vitamins during the three-month period prior to conception weren’t at excess risk for birth defects.4
A Canadians study report the enormous benefits of a daily multi-vitamin for women of childbearing age, including reducing the likelihood of severe birth defects such as neural-tube defects, spina bifida, brain-damaging hydrocephalus, heart malformations, truncated or missing limbs, urinary-tract abnormalities, and cleft palate.5
1.5 Million Low Birth Weights Could Be Avoided Globally with Multi-vitamins6
According to a new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), low birth weight and its associated complications are the most common cause of global infant mortality for children under the age of five. But taking multi-vitamins during pregnancy has the potential to reduce the risk of low birth weights by seventeen percent, says the CMAJ.
In the past, prenatal iron-folic acid supplements have been the standard recommended fare for all pregnant women. But multi-vitamins (i.e. the vitamins and minerals found in multi-micronutrient supplementation) provide a better return on health product investments than iron-folic acid alone, according to the results of fifteen studies published worldwide.
The Multi-vitamin…a Must for Digestive Disorder Sufferers7
People with serious digestive illnesses are often vitamin D deficient. According to study results presented at the American College of Gastroenterology’s 2008 scientific meeting, vitamin D deficiency is common in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and chronic liver disease (also referred to as cirrhosis).
Researchers found nearly fifty percent of IBD patients were vitamin D deficient. In Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) sufferers, vitamin D deficiency was linked to increased disease activity. Vitamin D deficient CD patients also had worse quality of life compared to those who weren’t vitamin D deficient. And an overwhelming ninety-two percent of chronic liver disease sufferers were vitamin D deficient.
Study results led researchers to suggest that digestive disorder sufferers ought to have vitamin D levels corrected aggressively since vitamin D replacement may be necessary to prevent osteoporosis, reverse deficiency-related bone loss, and ease other bone complications.
Calcium and vitamin D work well together, so it makes sense to take them in the form of a multi-vitamin. Vitamin D assists the body in the absorption of calcium, which plays a vital role in preventing fractures – especially for those with, or at risk of developing, osteoporosis.
Obesity Is Related to Vitamin D Deficiency8
Based on various research cited on Dr. Elmer M. Cranton MD’s web site, vitamin D deficiency is a common cause of obesity. The research concludes that it isn’t a coincidence that two epidemics – obesity and vitamin D deficiency – are plaguing society at the same time.
The research points out that vitamin D is known to increase calcium absorption, and that higher calcium intake is consistently associated with lower body weight. It notes that when taken together, vitamin D and calcium burn fat and suppress spontaneous food intake.
~ Taking a multi-vitamin simplifies the process of ensuring adequate daily intake of these two vital health constituents. ~
Finally, the study showed that people who had more vitamin D in their diet also weighed less.
Folate deficiency anemia is caused by a diet lacking in foods with vitamin B9. Deficiencies can result from an inability to absorb folate. Diseases of the small intestine – such as Crohn’s or celiac disease – or having had part of the small intestine (where most nutrients are absorbed) surgically bypassed or removed can lead to folate absorption difficulties.
While the body stores folate, anemia can develop quickly if vitamin B9 reserves are depleted. A healthy diet and folic acid supplementation of approximately 400 mcgs per day are recommended for this condition.9
Other types of anemia are treated with vitamin supplementation including vitamin C deficiency anemia. Vitamin C also helps in the absorption of iron.
~ Taking a multi-vitamin simplifies the process of ensuring adequate daily intake of vitamin B9, folic acid, and vitamin C. ~
Multi-vitamins for Diabetics and Others with Nutritional Deficits
In 2006, the United States Department of Health and Human Services reported that multi-vitamins have beneficial effects for people with poor nutritional status. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.10
Various minerals and vitamins affect insulin function and the metabolizing of glucose. Research shows that a large percentage of people who have diabetes are dangerously deficient in nutrients and micronutrients.
People with conditions such as, gluten intolerance may have inadequate levels of nutrients in their diets. They may skip meals when they are feeling unwell, and the damaging results of gluten on their intestines affects nutrient absorption.
Multi-vitamins for Kidney Dialysis Patients11
For those with kidney disease or people undergoing hemodialysis, there’s an increased demand for supplemental folate as a result of frequent dialysis and a restricted diet. Dialysis removes essential antioxidants, vitamins, and trace elements; patients become malnourished, and at increased risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack.
Researchers at the University of Ulster, Ireland, found that multi-vitamin use by dialysis patients increased folate levels (vitamin B9, important for heart health), and antioxidant enzymes (which minimize oxidative damage, thereby protecting membranes such as that of the heart). They also discovered multi-vitamin use resulted in a reduction in the production of homocysteine, an amino acid that is harmful to the heart.
In the National Eye Institute’s (NEI) Age-Related Eye Disease Study, a special high-dose zinc, antioxidant (vitamins C and D), and beta-carotene (vitamin A) formula was administered to people at a high risk for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
While there is no known treatment to prevent the development of AMD, taking the formula reduced the rate of advanced AMD in people at high risk by about twenty-five percent over a six-year period. 12
The NEI also recommended multi-vitamins be taken as well for the various important nutrients required by elderly people.13
While eating a nutritionally balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits is one of the most effective ways to promote healthy eyesight, the Mayo Clinic reports that the progression of AMD can be slowed by taking vitamins A, C, E, and the mineral zinc.14
Women Can Protect DNA with Multi-vitamins…and Live 9.8 Years Longer15
The June 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that multi-vitamins help women live longer lives by preventing their DNA ends from shortening. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Utah found that multi-vitamin use was associated with a decrease or slowing of age-related DNA shortening.
Researchers say the decrease corresponds to an estimated 9.8-year less age-related chromosome end loss in supplement users. In other words, the potential to maintain longer DNA ends and, therefore, a longer life is possible with multi-vitamin supplementation.
Benefits of Multi-vitamin Use for the Elderly
In 2007, the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency published a set of standards for healthy eating that included a recommendation for more iron and vitamin D for the elderly.16
Bone health in older people is particularly at risk because they often don’t get enough calcium in their diet, nor adequate exposure to sunshine (vitamin D) because they live in nursing homes, are housebound, and/or tend to wear clothes that completely cover their skin. The production of vitamin D from sunlight happens less efficiently in the elderly, and without it they may be shortening their lifespan.17
Around the world, scientific studies are bearing out what many people have believed for years – that the benefits of daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplementation are as far-reaching as science itself.
From alleviating ailments as diverse as stress, nerve problems, irritability, and depression caused by deficiencies in B-complex vitamins, to helping to minimize fractures and bone disease (osteoporosis) caused by low levels of vitamin D and calcium, daily multi-vitamin supplementation just makes good health sense.
Doctors and nutritionists are seeing a range of preventable illnesses resulting from deficiencies in the standard American diet. Environmental stresses also play a major role in creating vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Medical experts now believe that by including a multi-vitamin in our daily health regimens, it’s possible to both prevent and lessen the symptoms of a range of common twenty-first century ailments.
With a rich, superior-grade multi-vitamin / mineral supplement you can be assured that you’re taking the right combination of vitamins and mineral. Puristat’s Advanced Supplementation formula is based on the latest medical and nutritional knowledge on how best to foster and maintain optimum health.
By supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals, you may just end up feeling better than you ever have in your life…for the rest of your life!