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If You Want to Enjoy Optimum Good Health A Multivitamin Can Help


It's never too late to change your habits, and if you are not in the habit of taking a multivitamin supplement regularly, it's time you did. Altering your behavior in this one respect will greatly improve your chances of living a long and healthy life. Good nutrition is necessary to maintain optimum health, and a multivitamin supplement will ensure that you receive what your body needs to help prevent and fight disease and improve your state of well being.

What Does Good Nutrition Mean?

We can enjoy good health and heal ourselves of most ills through good health practices, which include giving our bodies the fuel needed from the things we eat. Good nutrition means obtaining the right balance and amounts of water, carbohydrates, proteins and fats, plus vitamins and minerals. Although there are many food-sources of these nutrients, here is a review of what you learned in school as the main sources:

? Complex carbohydrates can be found in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, peas, and beans. Simple carbohydrates are in table sugar, fruit, and processed foods like dessert, candy, and soft drinks.

? Proteins are in abundance in meat and dairy products, as well in as nuts, seeds, beans, wheat, and rice.

? The fats we need are usually picked up from dairy products, meats, fish, and oils extracted from various vegetables.

? Vitamins and minerals are most easily obtained from the vegetables and fruits we eat.

Can Good Nutrition Come From a Well-Balanced Diet?

Medical spokesmen no longer try to reassure us that we can get everything we need by eating well. We can't. Food itself is no longer the same as it once was. Vegetables and fruits are often grown in soil that has been depleted of nutrients, which means the foods are also. As well, foods lose many nutrients in the process of storing, shipping, refining, and even through cooking. We can't be sure, therefore, that the food we are eating has the nutritional value it is supposed to have. Not only that, it might not be a healthy choice for other reasons:

? Fruits and vegetables can be contaminated with insecticides that can't be rinsed or even washed off, and if the skins are removed, many of the nutrients are removed as well.

? Additives can help preserve food and make it tastier and more attractive, but we aren't sure of the long-term effects of these chemicals on our bodies.

? Some fruit and vegetables are now routinely genetically altered.

? Sugar, salt, and fat are inexpensive commodities that add flavor, and, therefore, are used in large quantities in most commercially prepared foods.

? Animals and fowl are loaded with hormones that are passed on to us when we eat them.

Food production and processing are not the only culprits that worry us and make it difficult to obtain the nutrition we need from the food we eat. We have to share the blame by our own practices of skipping meals, eating on the run, and choosing heavily processed, nutrient-poor food:

? We eat too much fat and too much of the most harmful - read "saturated" - kind, such as meat, eggs, and cheese.

? We eat too much sugar and salt, and not enough fruit and vegetables.

? Some of us eat too much food for good health; others are constantly dieting and don't eat enough.

? We are, for the most part, not active enough to eat the amount of food needed to maintain good health without a substantial weight gain.

(These last two points fall into the category of damned if you do; damned if you don't.)

Since we can't rely on our diets to supply us with the necessary building blocks to maintain good health a dietary supplement is the answer. Supplements can be in the form of a tablet, a capsule, a liquid, or in powders that can be mixed in water or juice, or added to bars, creams, or gels. Supplements are sold as individual vitamins or minerals, or in combination multivitamin formulas, which may include mineral additions as well.

Why Choose a Multivitamin?

Vitamins are required to maintain both physical and mental health. For instance, a deficiency of vitamin C will cause scurvy, a deficiency of vitamin D will cause rickets, and a deficiency of vitamin A will cause eye problems. Minerals are needed for healthy bones and teeth, normal cell function, the composition of body fluids, and for the proper utilization of vitamins and other nutrients.

In a multivitamin, the whole range of vitamins will be included, taking into consideration the amounts recommended by the government's determination, many years ago, of the minimum required daily allowance (RDA) for the prevention of serious deficiencies. Since research conducted in more recent years has shown us that the prevention of disease is also possible, multivitamins are now formulated with this feature in mind.

Unless you have symptoms that show you need a particular vitamin or mineral in larger than normal quantities to correct a specific problem, a multivitamin supplement is usually a better choice than taking several different individual vitamins. Nutrients work together in cooperative action, or synergy, and correcting a deficiency in one vitamin or mineral may be not only ineffective, it may also induce a deficiency in another vitamin or mineral. A multivitamin's balanced preparation, therefore, is not only effective, it is safe. A one a day multivitamin is also a convenient delivery method for most people. Taking several tablets or capsules a day to meet your needs can be not only expensive but also too much of a burden for most people.

What is the Best Multivitamin for You?

Multivitamins are designed for specific purposes, and you will find formulas that are particularly suited for a child or for an adult. Women have special needs at various stages in their lives and a multivitamin for women will be formulated to optimize prenatal, pre-menopausal, or post-menopausal health. For example, there are different amounts of calcium and iron needed by women at different ages, and pregnant women require folic acid, zinc and manganese to a greater degree than non-pregnant women. A man may be looking for help with hair loss and waning libido.

Good health requires good practices like eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly and a maintaining a positive attitude. A multivitamin supplement can help in all three areas. Start taking one today.

Scott Gray is currently a freelance writer and enjoys providing tips to consumers who are in the market for all types of vitamins, multivitamins and wholesale vitamins.


MORE RESOURCES:

New York Times (blog)

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FDA Issues Warning On Weight Loss Supplements Containing Dangerous ...Yahoo Health
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WND.com

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WASHINGTON – More Americans are taking vitamin and mineral supplements than ever before, but the question remains whether they are getting what they pay for. Citing safety and product integrity, 14 state attorneys general recently sent a letter to ...



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DR. MANNY: Are your dietary supplements killing you?
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CBS News

Dietary supplements linked to increased cancer risk
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Consumers are always looking for ways to minimize their cancer risk, which is one reason why many turn to over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplements. But new research finds that while companies promote dietary supplements for their ...
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Excessive use of dietary supplements linked to increase cancer risk
Science Daily
While dietary supplements may be advertised to promote health, a forum at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015 by University of Colorado Cancer Center investigator Tim Byers, MD, MPH, describes research showing ...



PsychCentral.com (blog)

12 Supplements I Take Every Day for Depression
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12 Supplements I Take Every Day for Depression I hereby confess that it takes me a half hour each week to fill up my mammoth-sized pill container with the supplements and vitamins I take each week to give my brain every lift I can. It's expensive, it's ...



The News Journal

Study links muscle supplements, testicular cancer
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Researchers found a clear relationship between the use of muscle-building supplements and the risk of developing cancer even after controlling for other factors like race and age. Participants in the control group and the group with cancer had similar ...



New York Times (blog)

Retailers to Stop Sales of Controversial Supplements
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Some leading vitamin stores have announced that they were pulling from their shelves a group of supplements that may contain a dangerous stimulant. Vitamin Shoppe, one of the country's largest specialty retailers of dietary supplements, said that it ...
Supplement expert: FDA "completely dropped the ball"CBS News
Vitamin Shoppe Pulls Products After Speed-Like Drug Found in Dietary ...ABC News
Some supplements on market contain untested stimulantFox News
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New York Times (blog)

GNC to Strengthen Supplement Quality Controls
New York Times (blog)
GNC, the country's largest specialty retailer of dietary supplements, has agreed to institute sweeping new testing procedures on its herbal products that far exceed quality controls mandated under federal law. The action to be announced Monday comes ...
Investigation prompts new scrutiny of dietary supplementsMSNBC
Why You Should Care About GNC's New Supplement GuidelinesABC News
GNC Holdings settles herbal supplements dispute with NY Attorney GeneralReuters
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Bloody Elbow

Study finds troubling link between use of muscle-building supplements and cancer
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The growth in popularity of dietary supplements has come largely despite a lack of scientific evidence to back up claims that they work. There are, however, growing questions about their risks. The latest: A new study, published in the British Journal ...
Study: Popular legal supplements may double the risk of testicular cancerBloody Elbow
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