Do I really need to take a Multivitamin?
This is such a commonly asked question that I have a hard time not smiling when it is asked. Of course, my answer is YES, but probably not the one you’re currently taking three times a week because that’s the only time you remember to.
Supplementation is necessary. For the body to function at peak performance, it needs to be nourished and supported. It's incredible that almost all of today's most common health conditions could have been regulated or even prevented in some cases, purely from proper supplementation. Almost every single patient I've treated in the last 6 years has been nutrient deficient. There are quite a few reasons one would be lacking in nutrients and here are just a few of them:
1) Poor diet
~ Whether you eat fast food daily or whether you eat a very clean, balanced diet, it is unlikely that you are receiving all the nutrients your body needs to thrive. Not only is a poor diet limiting the amount of nutrients you’re in-taking, but processed foods and sugar block your body’s ability to absorb the small amount you are consuming. This is one of the most common reasons for vitamin and mineral deficiency.
2) Poor digestion and absorption
~ According to the National Institute of Health, 60 to 70 million people are affected by digestive diseases including but not limited to, constipation, diverticulitis, GERD, IBS, colitis, etc. With all these digestive issues, there is a great likelihood that many of the natural vitamins you’d assume are being absorbed from your food are just being excreted through the body.
3) Prescription medication
~The average American takes about 10 prescription pills a day. Not only is that number mind-blowing but so many of those prescriptions could have been avoided had vitamin and mineral absorption been discussed with their primary care physician. Prescription medications block the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, therefore, we see side effects and symptoms that could be much better treated through supplementation than through another prescription.
4) Food Source
~ Plain and simple, we CAN’T expect our bodies to absorb all the necessary nutrients from our food when we aren’t growing our food in a nutrient rich environment. Our soil is now mineral deficient and full of pesticides and to expect to achieve great health from just healthy fruits and vegetables is like expecting your child to go to bed at bedtime every night. It’s a great thought but entirely unrealistic.
So, What Should I Do?
Well, take some supplements. Start nourishing your body. BUT, be aware. Not all vitamins are created equal. Here are some helpful tips to choosing the right Vitamins/Minerals/Supplements:
1) Know what the terminology means.
~ RDI: Reference Dietary Intake: This is the minimum amount the USDA recommends per day. This minimum is what will keep you from getting things like Rickets by not consuming enough Vitamin D. It does not mean that you have consumed nor absorbed the correct amount needed for your body to thrive.
~ DV: Daily Value: It means the same thing as RDI but is broken down based on a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet.
2) Multivitamins should not be a once a day pill.
~ If you could take one pill that would provide all your nutrients and vitamins, it should be about the size of a plum. There is no once a day miracle vitamin that will give you optimal health. Choose something that is taken multiple times a day. These products will typically give you the best protection.
3) Don’t choose cheap.
~If your vitamin is only $10 for 1,000 of them, after all the manufacturing, packaging, shipping, etc, how much money do you think was spent on using quality products? Probably not much. I also don’t think the most expensive brand is the best either. Just because it says women’s or men’s on it, doesn’t mean it’s any different than any of the other general multi’s. It’s a marketing tactic and can cost you extra money just because they printed a specific label.
4) Talk to your primary care physician.
~Begin with asking your physician about your routine blood work. Have they checked your vitamin levels? Are you iron deficient? Most times when I get patients blood work I am shocked to see some of the things that have never been addressed. If your primary care physician is thorough and has tested you for everything, then the answers you need should be found in your blood work with the help of your physician. If you need additional help, information or just a more thorough understanding as to your body needs then find a local acupuncturist, alternative medicine physician or functional physician. They will be able to guide you towards what your specific needs are to improve your total health.
In 2016 alone, there were 4.45 billion prescriptions written in the United States. Can you imagine how many of them could have been avoided had proper nutrition and supplementation been discussed in the prevention phase? Don’t let health conditions accumulate. Break the cycle and start nourishing your body today. You won’t regret it.
At Carrington Acupuncture we have helped many patients achieve total health and better quality of life through acupuncture, nutritional support and alternative medical modalities. We offer a wide range of services including consultations, acupuncture, cupping, supplementation counseling, blood work/lab review and more both in office and via email when applicable.
Call today to schedule your FREE CONSULTATION. Why wait to have pain relief and better quality of life?
In Sickness and In Health,
Dr. Steffani Corey, AP DOM