Multi-Confusion about Multi-Vitamins

A goal of ours at Huron Church Chiropractic and Family Wellness Centre is to treat the body as a whole, and I often recommend that my patients take a good multi-vitamin. In fact for most people I suggest a ‘baseline’ approach of a good multi-vitamin/mineral, essential fatty acids (high in omega-3), extra Vitamin D and ideally a good source of probiotics. I have discussed some of these in previous blogs. At the very least I would say taking a good multivitamin is key.

There's a lot of confusion about what vitamins to takeThere is a lot of controversy out there as to whether or not we should take supplements. In previous blogs I have talked about the notion that we are bombarded with different types of stress, such as chemical/environmental, physical, and emotional. As an example, processed foods, or food that comes from nutrient-depleted soils that has pesticide residue in it is fairly prevalent in our diets. So our bodies are faced with more stress and we are not typically feeding ourselves a comprehensive nutrient-dense diet.

A good multi-vitamin can fill in some of these ‘gaps’ that are missing in our diets. Ultimately for us to be able to function our food has to be converted to energy. This takes place through numerous biochemical pathways that rely on key nutrients as co-factors for these chemical reactions. If you are running a large machine with sub-optimal fuels, the outcome is inevitable. Why would we even want to take that risk with our own bodies? Even if hypothetically, we are getting everything we need from our diets (not likely), think of it as a kind of insurance policy against what we might be missing. It may protect you in ways that you may not even realize.

When I suggest that patients take a multivitamin, I am often confronted with the question of which brand or, “how do I know which one to buy?” This is a difficult question because there are a lot to chose from and it can be quite confusing. Generally I do not recommend the large company brands from the big chain stores because they tend to fall short on quality and rely on branding and marketing to sell their product. A good health food store with a reputable proprietor should be able to steer you in the right directions based on your needs. Your health care practitioner may also carry what are known as ‘professional line’ products that can only be attained through them. This can be a good option because they would likely carry a high quality product and they would also know your overall health status. These are usually a bit more pricey than the big-name brands but the saying that ‘you get what you pay for’ often holds true in these cases.

First and foremost, a well balanced, whole-food, nutrient-dense diet, is paramount. Multivitamins can only complement or supplement this.

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