Dec 19 2013
Despite the recent Annals of Internal Medicine editorial knocking the value of multi-vitamins, Canadian and US statistics still show that many people suffer from nutritional deficiencies because of an inadequate or inappropriate intake of food.
The studies cited in the AIM editorial are based on
- A study of male doctors over the age of 65;
- A study where almost half of participants stopped taking the multi-vitamin during the study, and;
- A review which concluded that multi-vitamin intake actually reduced cancer risk in men.
Many people insist that you can get all the vitamins and minerals and nutritional needs from foods. That's absolutely true, BUT, based on our lifestyles today, the quality of the foods that most people actually consume and the depleted soils they are grown in it is almost impossible for most people to get all of their essential nutrients from their diet.
The editorial also made conclusions without considering the quality of the vitamins that people were taking. Not all supplements are created equal. No comparisons were made between wholefood multi's vs synthetic multi's, or using bio-active forms of vitamins. Also no considerations were made of what dose were they taking?
"Multivitamins and other natural health products help to effectively bridge the gap for the numerous Canadians who cannot meet their nutritional needs from food alone," says Helen Sherrard, president of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA). "Misleading editorials like the one published today in Annals of Internal Medicine are a disservice to the 7 in 10 Canadians who benefit from natural health products every day."
"CHFA recommends that people take multivitamins for overall health and wellness and to bridge nutrient gaps," said Sherrard. "There is clear scientific evidence that multivitamins work for those purposes and that's why the majority of Canadians who are not sure they are getting everything they need from their diet should consider taking a multivitamin."
Health is a life-long journey that includes healthy foods, exercise and natural health products. Health Canada regulations require that all natural health products authorized for sale in Canada must demonstrate their effectiveness.
To answer the first question, YES science tells us that vitamins are ESSENTIAL nutrients and therefore we cannot be healthy without them. Taking a multi-vitamin on top of a healthy balanced diet is optimal to ensure that your body gets all the essential vitmains and minerals that your body requires to maintain optimal health.
Farmers make sure that they have the healthiest animals and crops by supplementing the soil and animal feed for a very good reason! The AMA and most Medical Doctors recommend a multi for pregnant women for a good reasons too! Optimal health is achieved mainly through optimal nutrition and exercise.
For Health Canada's report on nutrient insufficiencies in Canadians, please view this page:
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