Biochemist Dr. Roger Williams states that a multivitamin and mineral supplement is an "insurance formula" for plausible deficiencies. He continues to explain that even healthy people should use them. You buy car insurance and house insurance for a 'just in case' scenario. It is important to 'invest in yourself' just as much as you invest in your 'stuff'. I'm not saying an individual will become deficient if they are not taking a supplement, its just an insurance policy. A good quality vitamin is one that comes from a good source, pure ingredients and without fillers. There are different multivitamin because every individual has different requirements. For example, my mom needs eye, cognitive, bone and immune support (this particular supplement is manufactured by Pure Encapsulations). Some people may be on blood thinners, including Aspirin, therefore should not have a multivitamin that contains vitamin K and other botanicals. For individuals on blood thinners, I recommend Genestra Active Multi Vite. Also, this particular supplement has an emphasis on hip/bone, immune and eye support.
These factors are important when considering a multivitamin. Second, knowing what the RDI (recommended daily intake) is suggested for your age group. There is exeptions for these recommendation like women in their child baring years shouldn't have the RDI of vitamin A because there are studies on possible birth defects when more than 2500IU is consumed (RDI is 5000IU). I want to emphasize the importance of consulting a nutritionist for your individual, specific needs. The RDI was created to help reduce the amount of deficient related diseases base on a group scenario, as the individual has different requirements than a group of people. Diabetics need higher amounts of some B vitamins, and the same for big caffeine drinkers.
The next key recommendation is antioxidants. These go hand-in-hand with free radicals, a.k.a oxidative damage. Studies have shown free radicals to be the initiator of many diseases like cancer and heart disease. Antioxidant nutrients like beta carotene, selenium, vitamin C and E help protect against damage from free radicals and slow down the aging process. It has been concluded that a combination of antioxidants will provide greater protection. A diet high in plant foods can give you this variety, as they also work together.
Lastly, essential fatty acid from flax seed oil can give you the right proportion of Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. Flax seed is rich in Omega 3, and holds twice the amount in comparison to fish oils. Scientific research has highlighted the benefits Omega 3 has on allergies, inflammation, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Consuming 1-2 tbsps. daily of cold pressed, organic flax seed oil is highly recommended.
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National Research Council. Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk. National Academy Press: Washington, DC, 1989.
National Research Council. Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th edition. National Academy Press: Washington, DC 1989.