While a recent NBC News article and recent studies have been promoting the concept that multi-vitamins (MVI) are not safe or appropriate to take, MVI do show promise in being a useful part of an optimal health plan.
The recent studies that are circulating around in the media are dismissing MVI due to their lacking evidence that their usage did not prevent cancer, heart disease, and other causes of death. There are several problems with these claims. There are many factors that go into risk for diseases such as cancer and heart disease. While these studies do their best to control for other factors that could influence the results, it is impossible to control all of the risk factors for cancer and heart disease. Lifestyle plays a huge role in prevention and management of disease. Lifestyle can be defined as ones diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management practices.
Taken For Wrong Reasons?
Many times MVI are taken for the wrong reason. They are not meant to prevent disease, combat fatigue, increase mental acuity, etc. The main reason for a MVI is to help support a healthy diet in supplying an individual with the nutrients they need to survive and hopefully thrive.
While it is important that these studies assess the impact of interventions on large groups of people, supplementation should be individualized and managed by a qualified health practitioner, such as a Medical Doctor, Naturopathic Doctor, Physician’s Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, or a Registered Dietitian. There may be other specific nutrients that would be more appropriate for an individual than a MVI alone, but one may have difficulty determining this on their own.
There also is research showing negative effects of MVI on specific populations or related to the combination of MVI with other supplements. This typically happens when people take a MVI or other supplements that are inappropriate for their needs. At The Stram Center for Integrative Medicine, a patient’s nutrition plan is individualized so that each person has their specific needs met.