4 Reasons to Swallow that Multivitamin
don't be deceived: a little vitamin can go a long way
Before I went to naturopathic medical school, I did not take a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement. I wrongly assumed I was the special health guru who didn’t need a multivitamin. I put all my bean sprouts in my super healthy diet, but my digestion sucked! When I started taking daily vitamins and minerals, I noticed a ten fold increase in energy (pssst, even Michael Hyatt attests to this!). I felt alive! I also stopped getting sick all the time.
Here’s why I think you need a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement:
1. Your Diet Sucks
Let’s be honest. You eat a lot of crap. You are NOT going to get your day’s worth of vitamin needs if you eat Austin variety pack crackers from Costco for breakfast, Five Guys for lunch (with fries!), a kale infused Thai curry for dinner, and then a mixing bowl’s worth of homemade buttered popcorn. Even if that butter was organic and your dinner would have gotten 5 star approval from your naturopath, the crackers, the Five Guys burger, the fries, and the popcorn all take the place of nutrient dense foods that could have helped to meet your daily nutrient needs. Every bite of junk eats away a bite of nutrients. If you eat any kind of crappy food, you should consider taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement.
2. Your Digestion Sucks
Your diet doesn’t suck? Even if you ate all the right foods all day long, you may not be getting all the nutrients you need. Most people have terrible, terrible digestion. Your digestive tract can malfunction in several ways, making it difficult for your body to get all the goodies from your organic whole foods diet. You could have low stomach acid, making it difficult to digest minerals. You could have impaired secretion of pancreatic enzymes, making it difficult to break down food. You could also have an inflamed intestinal lining, making it difficult to absorb nutrients. As you age, your digestion worsens, which also increases your need for a multivitamin and mineral supplement.
3. The Soil Sucks
If your diet and digestion are absolutely awesome, just remember that the soil quality today is pitiful compared to thousands of years ago. The soil that has grown your food has been stripped of vitamins and minerals. It has been polluted and trashed with heavy metals. The nutrients found in plants vary according to the soil they were grown. The plants we eat today are far from the quality of what Adam and Eve ate from the garden of Eden.
4. Prevention Rocks
Taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement will prevent vitamin deficiencies. It will also build your overall vitality and support your immune system. The vitamins and minerals found in a multivitamin are all the little cofactors your body needs to make energy, meet its daily metabolic needs, and detox from our toxic world. If you are low in these cofactors, even though you may not be deficient, things work more slowly. This can make you more susceptible to environmental toxicity and disease, or just make you feel like crap.
Almost every health condition can benefit from a multivitamin and mineral supplement, but there are some health conditions where they can be life threatening! Talk to your naturopathic physician before taking any multivitamin and mineral supplement.
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July 16th, 2012 at 7:51 am
I’m the worst! I have been trying to motivate myself to take a multivitamin for the longest time. You’re pushing me in the right direction :)
July 16th, 2012 at 9:00 am
Hey Archer – you should write a post on or make a comment about the research that came out this year showing increased mortality in people who take a multivitamin. I think a lot of people read that and jumped to many conclusions about vitamins. Maybe also make a brief note about the quality of multis? Personally I’d rather my patients NOT take a multi than take a Centrum or cheap Costco brand vitamin. There is so much garbage in those!
July 16th, 2012 at 11:31 pm
Thanks for the post suggestions! I definitely want to talk about that article, but I need tickity tockity time to read & critically analyze itt! Do you have a PMID # for it?
I also prefer to streamline my posts into a specific focus… but I hope people don’t think I’m recommending Centrum or Costco ones! The link in the text above that links back to my detox series where I talked about multi-vitamins touches on quality. My follow-up post to this one will be about finding the best quality multi-vitamin. :) Just didn’t want to write any promises in case my schedule didn’t allow this week. Would love your ideas if you have any more! I wish there was a research study on finding the best quality multi-vitamin!
And, miss you and thanks for your thoughts!