Multivitamins are appealing supplements for all ages. There are even multivitamins for infants and toddlers. Mature adults even have their special formulations. Regardless of your age, there is probably a multivitamin supplement out there which is right for you. You probably take them for their known health benefits.
However, are you aware of the health risks that multivitamins might have? That’s right: this bodybuilding supplement category has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s find out more about multivitamins’ pros and cons in this review.
PRO: Multivitamins address nutritional gaps
In most developed countries, nutrition deficiency and insufficiency still occurs. However, you can easily offset these with the regular intake of supplements which contain vitamins and minerals. You diet might not provide enough nutrients to fill your nutritional needs.
In addition, the availability of instant food items often satiates your hunger, but don’t give you the right nutrients. This leads to further nutritional gaps which are eventually detrimental for your health. Your body needs plenty of nutrients on a daily basis because it doesn’t manufacture them. It relies mainly on whole-food intake and a few key supplements so it can function at optimal levels.
Not everyone can live a healthy lifestyle. On that note, multivitamins become a necessity. If you don’t live a healthy lifestyle consistently, you should take multivitamins if you want to maintain your health and ward off certain illnesses.
The use of multivitamins to fill nutritional gaps is becoming more common because it is greatly beneficial your long-term health. In addition, some multivitamins are beneficial for older adults (who are more susceptible to certain illnesses due to the lack of nutrients).
PRO: Regular intake of multivitamins can reduce risks of several health issues
Cardiovascular issues and carcinogenicity are the biggest health issues worldwide. However, some studies suggest that regular intake of multivitamins may reduce the chances of getting these. The incidences of many health issues often increase due to the lack of nutrition which is detrimental for your long-term health.
In healthy normal men, experts associated consistent use of multivitamins for more than 20 years with a lower risk of major cardiovascular events. This proves that the use of multivitamins is capable of maintaining your health. In addition, multivitamins significantly reduce the risk of total carcinogenicity.
In women, there is a need to clarify the role of multivitamins on cardiovascular disease. This shows that the effects of multivitamins may vary depending on your gender. However, there are also clinical trials with male and female participants which suggest that multivitamins can keep several health issues at bay by increasing antioxidant capacity and cytokine production of the body.
In both genders, multivitamins provide modest benefits which include a reduced risk of carcinogenicity and nuclear cataract in healthy people. Multivitamins might help you steer clear of expensive medical treatments. It is best to ward off health issues with the use of affordable – yet effective – multivitamin supplements.
PRO: Multivitamins lower homocysteine levels
Homocysteine is a sulfur amino acid which is naturally in the body. However, elevated homocysteine levels have links to health risks and issues. Multivitamins help maintain healthy levels of homocysteine. Here are some of the health benefits of lower homocysteine levels:
- Lower risk of cardiovascular issues
- Reduced risk of kidney issues
- Decreased incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Lower incidences of bone fracture
PRO: Multivitamins can improve mood and cognition
Nootropic supplements often contain essential nutrients. These supplements enhance mood and cognition. Multivitamins also give you the latter benefit. As we all know, essential nutrients play vital roles in the biochemical processes in your brain. In addition, you need essential nutrients for optimum brain function.
Multivitamins benefit your body and mind. Another study suggests that multivitamins enhance your mood which may help keep depression and anxiety at bay. Just take your multivitamins based on the manufacturer’s recommendation. For better results, it is ideal to eat healthy food, too.
PRO: Multivitamins may boost your immune system
People often take multivitamins because they believe they boost their immunity. There are specific essential nutrients which boost your immunity. Multivitamin supplements often contain these nutrients. Nutritional deficiency and insufficiency are common causes of suppressed immunity. Regular intake of multivitamins helps offset these because the essential vitamins and minerals in their formulas support immune response.
CON: Multivitamins might interact with certain prescription medication
There are certain essential nutrients which interact with prescription medication or interfere with receptors in the body. The body absorbs and utilizes nutrients in similar ways. However, there are certain nutrients which may change the way how these medicines work in your body.
In addition, multivitamins may trigger adverse effects when you take them in conjunction with prescription medication. On the flip side, some nutrients increase the absorption of prescription drugs. It is best to read the information sheet of any medication that you are planning to take with multivitamin supplements. Better yet, seek your doctor’s advice beforehand.
CON: Some multivitamins provide high doses of vitamins A, E, D, C, K and folic acid which can be toxic
Essential nutrients provide maximum benefits if they are taken in the right amount. Too much of everything is not good – this also includes certain essential nutrients. Vitamins A, E, D, C, K, and folic acid (vitamin B9) are toxic in high doses. That is why you should steer clear of multivitamins which contains high levels of these nutrients. (that is, if you are already obtaining enough nutrients from dietary sources). This group of vitamins may cause vitamin toxicity and vitamin neurotoxicity.
Contrary to popular belief, too much intake of multivitamins don’t ward off health issues completely. In fact, extreme multivitamin intake is likely detrimental to your health. You only need to take high doses of these nutrients if your doctor identifies a deficiency of a particular nutrient. Otherwise, you just have to take enough of these nutrients to meet your daily nutritional needs.
CON: Excess vitamin intake increases the risk factor for obesity
There are some essential nutrients which increase fat gain and affect other biochemical processes in your body. So, if you are an athlete or bodybuilder, supplementing with a multivitamin may produce detrimental effects. In addition, excessive vitamin intake increases the risk of obesity. Here are some of the obesity risk factors which have ties to excessive multivitamins intake:
- Some B vitamins may cause insulin resistance (which is also a characteristic of obesity and type 2 diabetes).
- Epigenetic mechanisms may play a role in the development of obesity.
- The chances of hepatotoxicity (a chemical-related liver issue) may increase.
CON: Some multivitamins don’t work
In a study, experts observed that multivitamin use has little or no influence on the risk of common cancers, cardiovascular disease, or total mortality in postmenopausal women. However, this result might have links to the quality of multivitamin supplement.
If you need help in choosing an effective multivitamin, our guide on How to Buy a Good Supplement should help you choose the right formula. Ingredient forms and dosages matter the most. That’s precisely why you need to choose a formula which contains highly-bioavailable and efficient ingredients.
Conclusion on Multivitamins Pros and Cons
Multivitamins benefit your health. However, you still need to maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep health issues at bay. The use of multivitamins might help you ward them off over the long haul. Therefore, the benefits of multivitamins clearly outweigh their risks.
The long-term effects of multivitamins might also vary depending on the gender, age, and lifestyle of the user. You don’t need multivitamins if you eat healthy food to obtain the right nutrients which your body needs. However, if you aren’t sure about the nutrients from your whole-food intake, you should take multivitamins to maintain your health and fill nutrition gaps.
If you are a man who needs help in choosing the right multivitamin supplement, our review on the Best Multivitamin Supplements 2018 Edition might help you choose the right supplement. On the other hand, if you are a woman, you should check out our review on the Best Multivitamins for Women to know more about the best products in this bodybuilding supplement category.