top of page
  • Writer's pictureWalt

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements...Why so Essential.

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

Vitamins and Minerals


Vitamins and minerals are essential substances that our bodies need to develop and function normally. The known vitamins include A, C, D, E, and K, and the B vitamins: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxal (B6), cobalamin (B12), biotin, and folate/folic acid. A number of minerals are essential for health: calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, sulfur, cobalt, copper, fluoride, manganese, and selenium. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020 recommends that people should aim to meet their nutrient requirements through a healthy eating pattern that includes nutrient-dense forms of foods.


Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplements

Multivitamins/multiminerals (MVMs) are the most frequently used dietary supplements, with close to half of American adults taking them. MVMs cannot take the place of eating a variety of foods that are important to a healthy diet. Foods provide more than vitamins and minerals. Many foods also have fiber and other substances that can provide health benefits. However, some people who don’t get enough vitamins and minerals from food alone, or who have certain medical conditions, might benefit from taking one or more of these nutrients found in single-nutrient supplements or in MVMs. However, evidence to support their use for overall health or disease prevention in the general population remains limited.

Taking an MVM increases overall nutrient intake and helps some people get the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals when they can’t or don’t get them from food alone. But taking an MVM can also raise the chances of getting too much of some nutrients, like iron, vitamin A, zinc, niacin, and folate/folic acid, especially when a person takes more than a basic, once-daily product that provides 100 percent of the daily value (DV) of nutrients.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), which was led by NIH’s National Eye Institute and concluded in 2001, showed that daily high doses of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and the minerals zinc and copper—called the AREDS formulation—can help slow the progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a blinding eye disease. Data from the later AREDS2 study showed that a supplement formulation containing the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin instead of beta-carotene was safer and more effective in slowing the progression of AMD.

There’s no standard or regulatory definition for MVMs, or any dietary supplement, as to what nutrients they must contain or at what levels. Manufacturers choose which vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients, as well as their amounts, to include in their products. Simply stated, dietary supplements aren’t required to be standardized in the United States. However, they are required to bear a Supplement Facts label and ingredient list

describing what’s in the product.

Read the Supplement Facts label to identify MVMs in your supplement product. Be sure to check the percent daily value (% DV) to see what proportion of your daily allotment you’re getting.

This information was based on articles by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services.

12 views0 comments

留言


bottom of page