Could a multivitamin help you lose weight, boost your metabolism, and help you feel less stressed?
Have you decided if multivitamins are worth your time and money? I know there are two camps on this topic – those who swear by a daily multivitamin and those who would never waste their money on a pill that doesn’t get absorbed anyway.
Are the people who swear by multivitamins just throwing their money away? The answer is… it depends. It depends 100% on the quality of the multivitamin. It is absolutely true that some lower quality multivitamins which boast 100% daily value of a long list of vitamins and minerals really don’t do anything. But if you can get your hands on a multivitamin that actually gets absorbed into your body, the results really do look promising.
The data shows that it is safe to take a daily multivitamin or mineral supplement daily; no long-term adverse effects have been found with consistent use. But how do you know if you are getting any benefit from your vitamins?
I found some interesting studies that showed benefit in metabolism and benefit on mood and perceived stress levels after taking a multivitamin+herbal supplement.
This third study was also very interesting because it showed people who took a multivitamin regularly during a weight-loss program felt less hungry, had lower body weight and dropped more fat than people who didn’t take the multivitamin; though the measurable body fat and weight values were less for females than males. (Major GC, Doucet E, Jacqmain M, St-Onge M, Bouchard C, Tremblay A. Multivitamin and dietary supplements, body weight and appetite: results from a cross-sectional and a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study. Br J Nutr. 2008 May;99(5):1157-67. doi: 10.1017/S0007114507853335. Epub 2007 Nov 1. PMID: 17977472.)
Interesting, right!? Though long-term studies have not really been conclusive on sustained and measurable benefits of long-term use of a multivitamin, I really think you have nothing to lose by taking one. You could reap all these benefits from daily use and I think it’s worth your time and money.
Here are a few things to look for when choosing a high quality multivitamin.
Daily values: The multivitamin you choose should have a good number of vitamins and minerals that reach somewhere between 50% and 100% of the daily value (DV).
Some minerals like calcium will almost never meet 100% in a single dose because it is too much at one time – your body cannot absorb that much calcium at once so it would be a waste and the volume of calcium would make the pill much too large to swallow. Remember too, you should get most of the vitamins and minerals you need from eating real food so it’s okay if not every item on the list reaches 100% of the recommended DV.
Source – derived from whole food or chemically synthesized?: Look for multivitamins that are sourced from whole foods, not chemically synthesized. This article by Healthline says “The accepted view is that synthetic nutrients are almost chemically identical to those found in food. However, the production process of synthetic nutrients is very different to the way plants and animals create them. So despite having a similar structure, your body may react differently to synthetic nutrients…For example, studies show that natural vitamin E is absorbed twice as efficiently as synthetic vitamin E.”
Grouping and storage of vitamins: Some compounds are fat-soluable and others are water-soluable. Some compounds do very well as a ground powder and others are fine as a pressed capsule. Some compounds only get absorbed in the presence of complementary vitamins; an example is calcium with vitamin D3 and vitamin K2. High quality vitamins will differentiate by storing each type of vitamin or mineral in its preferred and most natural state. Don’t trust a fish oil supplement that comes in a dry capsule. And don’t take a calcium-heavy supplement that doesn’t come at least with vitamins D3 and K2.
Hang with me this week in The Hassle-Free Family as we unpack even more about what to look for in multivitamins and find out how to supplement in a Hassle-Free way.
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