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Which multivitamins should you take? Top 3 multivitamins
One might think that vitamin and mineral deficiencies would be a thing of the past in our western world, but unfortunately this is not the case.
Even today, it is very easy for us to under-absorb some of the essential nutrients that our body needs in order to function optimally.
Research has confirmed that Europeans do not get enough vitamins and minerals (source).
A deficiency in micronutrients forms the basis for many health problems and chronic diseases.
That is why multivitamin tablets can be a valuable addition to your daily diet.
Are you now looking for the best multivitamin supplements? Here, in this article, you will find a lot of information about this.
You can find out here, among other things:
- Which vitamins and minerals I recommend for men and women (and the differences by gender).
- The most important difference between good and bad multivitamins (be sure to note!).
- 7 signs of vitamin deficiency.
- The answer to the question: "Can multivitamins help you lose weight?"
- And of course much more ...
What are multivitamins?
Multivitamins or multivitamin preparations are a combination of many different vitamins and minerals that are also found in normal foods and other natural sources.
Multivitamins can help ensure that you get enough vitamins that your normal diet doesn't get enough of.
Multivitamin tablets are also used to treat vitamin deficiencies that can occur due to illness, pregnancy, poor diet, indigestion and many other ailments.
Multivitamins are mostly touted for achieving very specific goals, such as better performance, more energy or improved resistance.
Multivitamin supplements contain a combination of vitamins and minerals and sometimes other additives as well.
There are innumerable such vitamins on the market. The manufacturers decide for themselves which vitamins, minerals and other substances they put in their products and also in what quantities.
The recommended daily dosages are given in percent on the packaging of all multivitamin preparations. These recommended amounts are the amounts of certain micronutrients that, according to health authorities, should be consumed at least daily, depending on age and gender.
Multivitamin tablets are often given based on the specific nutritional needs of certain groups. Multivitamin preparations for women, for example, often contain more iron, while multivitamins for seniors, for example, contain extra vitamin D.
But you should be aware that the Recommended daily dose was not designed for optimal health. The recommended daily dose was designed to prevent illness, and the required dose can be much lower than the dose for optimal health, which also helps prevent illness.
Orthomolecular therapists often recommend significantly higher daily doses of vitamins when focusing on achieving optimal health and preventive medicine.
I personally recommend taking ten times as much vitamin D here on HealthyHappy as recommended by the health authorities. The recommended daily dosages - given by health authorities - are often just a drop in the ocean. But that's a different topic for another article.
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Do you need multivitamin pills?
Have no idea whether to take a multivitamin supplement? Then just read on here.
The human body needs different vitamins and minerals every day to function properly. Each of these vitamins and minerals has its own benefits and has a very specific, unique role in supporting the body. Vitamins are considered just like minerals Micronutrients designated.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of multivitamin supplements is their format.
We could get the desired amounts of vitamins through food, but the problem is that most people don't get enough essential nutrients through their diet. And that is why a large part of the population struggles with a vitamin and mineral deficiency (source, source).
With the intake of multivitamin tablets you will directly absorb a lot of vitamins and minerals that you will probably not get through your daily diet. And that's one of the greatest advantages of multivitamin supplements.
In people who have a healthy and varied diet, studies have shown that even multivitamin tablets are not 'miracle pills' with which cancer, heart disease or other ailments can easily be prevented (source).
- For other population groups such as the elderly or people with bad eating habits, however, multivitamins can be quite useful (source).
And what about all the claims that multivitamin pills magically help burn fat and increase muscle strength?
This, of course, is a lot of nonsense that the supplement industry has come up with. In this way, customers should be able to get more money out of their pockets for a product that does not offer any additional advantages.
Vitamins and minerals are very important for maintaining good health.
In fact, they play an important role in just about everything the body needs to do to survive and stay healthy. They won't be able to help you lose weight directly, however, no matter what the supplement industry tries to convince you.
You can find out how multivitamin supplements can actually contribute to weight loss further down in this article.
Multivitamin tablets are no magic bullet that could replace a balanced diet. A healthy diet is still the be-all and end-all. That is why multivitamin supplements should only be viewed as a supplement to a healthy lifestyle. They provide you with a range of essential vitamins and minerals in a very convenient form.
In some cases it is advisable to buy separate supplements (e.g. for magnesium, vitamins C and D). You should always consume sufficient quantities of the substances in question if they are to be of use.
Multivitamin tablets will never be able to provide the optimal amount of all vitamins and minerals, otherwise the tablets would be much too big to swallow.
The most important vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals are essential substances that the body needs in small amounts in order to function optimally. The human body needs many different vitamins to maintain optimal health.
Vitamins can be divided into categories according to their solubility. There are two types of vitamins: water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins.
Water soluble vitamins
Most vitamins are water-soluble and are therefore also called water-soluble vitamins.
It should be known that most of the time the body cannot store water-soluble vitamins for long, with the exception of vitamin B12. An excess of water-soluble vitamins will leave the body in the urine. This is why it is so important to take in water-soluble vitamins daily through your diet.
All water-soluble vitamins can be easily absorbed through a balanced diet.
Vitamin B12 is only found in sufficient quantities in animal products. This is why vegans and very strict vegetarians run the greatest risk of showing symptoms of deficiency and should therefore take supplements or have regular vitamin B12 injections.
There are nine water-soluble vitamins in food:
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Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Vitamin B1 is an essential nutrient that is involved in the energy production and carbohydrate metabolism of the body. The human body needs vitamin B1 to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It is a molecule that transports energy within cells.
Just like the other B vitamins, vitamin B1 also acts as a coenzyme in the body. This applies to all of its active forms, but the most important one is thiamine pyrophosphate. Coenzymes are small compounds that help set up chemical processes that would otherwise not take place on their own.
Vitamin B1 was the first vitamin to be discovered. That is also the reason why his name is number 1.
Vitamin B1 deficiency is rather uncommon, but high blood sugar levels can cause it to be excreted more quickly in the urine. A low vitamin B1 concentration is therefore more common in diabetics (a reduction of 75% is not uncommon in diabetics) (source).
Alcoholics also run the risk of having a vitamin B1 deficiency due to an unhealthy diet and a reduced vitamin B1 absorption capacity (source). Long-term vitamin B1 deficiency can lead to serious conditions known as beriberi syndrome or Wernicke-Korsakov.
Food sources that are rich in vitamin B1:
- whole grain products
- Dairy products
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is the only water-soluble vitamin that is also used as a coloring for food (because of its yellow-green color). Vitamin B2 acts as a co-enzyme with different essential functions.
It is needed, for example, to convert nutrients into energy. Riboflavin is also required to convert vitamin B6 into its active form and to convert tryptophan into niacin (vitamin B3).
Vitamin B2 deficiency is not common in the Western world, but an unhealthy diet, age, lung diseases and heavy alcohol consumption can all increase the risk.
Studies have shown that increased doses of vitamin B2 (200 mg twice a day) can alleviate the symptoms of migraine sufferers (source, source).
Vitamin B2 is often found in:
- Meat (liver and kidneys)
- Dairy products
- Leafy vegetables
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is a group of two related compounds - niacinamide and nicotinic acid.
Nicotinic acid is the most common form of vitamin B3 found in supplements. It can also be found in plant and animal foods.
Nicotinamide (niacinamide) is found in supplements and in foods.
They have different functions in the body. Vitamin B3 promotes digestion and the functioning of the nervous system.
It is the only B vitamin that the body can produce on its own from another nutrient - the amino acid tryptophan. It is estimated that 60 mg of tryptophan can produce 1 mg of vitamin B3 (source).
Nicotinic acid supplements in doses between 1300-2000 mg per day have a positive effect on normalizing blood lipids (source, source). They lower high levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and help to increase "good" HDL cholesterol.
Some studies suggest that nicotinic acid can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but these study results are still too changeable to be able to derive really reliable results from them (source).
Good sources of vitamin B3 are:
- Baker's yeast
- Brewer's yeast
- Dairy products
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, plays an important role in various metabolic processes. There are several forms of pantothenic acid or compounds that release the active form of the vitamin when digested.
Vitamin B5 is found in almost all foods. The best sources are meat, fruits, mushrooms, brewer's yeast, and whole grains.
Since pantothenic acid is present in almost everything, a deficiency in it is also quite rare. Only people who are severely malnourished will be deficient in vitamin B5.
Vitamin B6 is an umbrella term for a group of nutrients that are required for the synthesis of pyridoxal phosphate, a coenzyme that plays a role in over 100 different metabolic processes.
Vitamin B6 is involved, for example, in the formation of red blood cells and in the metabolism of energy and amino acids. It is also used to convert glucose (sugar) from glycogen, the molecule the body uses to store carbohydrates.
Vitamin B6 supports the formation of white blood cells and helps the body to synthesize various neurotransmitters.
Animal foods in particular are rich in vitamin B6. A vitamin B6 deficiency is quite rare, but if you regularly consume large amounts of alcohol, the risk increases (source).
A vitamin B6 deficiency has also been linked to an increased risk of cancer (source).
Vitamin B7 (biotin)
Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is a coenzyme that is involved in many metabolic processes. For example, it plays an important role in the synthesis of fatty acids, the formation of glucose and in amino acid metabolism.
Women often take biotin supplements because they are believed to be good for their hair, fingernails, and skin. However, there is still no real evidence to support these claims.
Biotin is found in different foods.
Good sources of vitamin B7 include:
- Egg yolk (from eggs)
The intestinal flora also produces small amounts of vitamin B7.
Deficiency is unlikely and side effects are unknown.
Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
Vitamin B9, or folic acid, was first discovered in yeast but was later isolated from spinach leaves. That is why it got the name folic acid, derived from the Latin word folium, which means 'leaf'.
Folic acid and folate act as coenzymes and are essential for cell growth, DNA formation and amino acid metabolism.
It is a very important substance, especially during periods of strong cell division and growth phases, such as during pregnancy or the growth of children. It is also important for the formation of red and white blood cells, so a deficiency can also lead to anemia.
A vitamin B9 deficiency is not common. The most important symptom is anemia, but values that are too low cause an increased risk of congenital malformations in pregnant women. That is why women who want to get pregnant are advised to take folic acid early. Too high a dose has no harmful effect.
Some research also shows that vitamin B9 can lower the risk of heart disease, can improve blood sugar levels, and can also alleviate symptoms of depression (source, source, source).
Folic acid is found in both animal and plant foods.
Abundant sources of folic acid include:
- Dairy products
- Green leafy vegetables
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
Vitamin B12 is the only vitamin that contains a metallic element, namely cobalt. That is why vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamin. The best forms are the methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin.
Vitamin B12 acts as a coenzyme and plays an important role in many metabolic processes. It helps with neurological processing and red blood cell formation. It is also needed to convert protein and fat into energy and is essential for cell division and DNA synthesis.
It is found in almost all animal products (seafood, meat, dairy products and eggs), but it does not occur in plant products. That is why vegans and strict vegetarians are mostly affected by a vitamin B12 deficiency (source).
The body's absorption of vitamin B12 depends on a protein produced by the stomach. This is also known as the intrinsic factor. As people age, the risk of decreased vitamin intake increases. This is why many older people suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Other risk groups include people who have had slimming surgery or who suffer from Crohn's disease or celiac disease (source, source, source).
A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to a variety of health problems, such as decreased appetite, fatigue, memory loss, feeling numb, and dementia (source).
Vitamin C is the only water-soluble vitamin that does not belong to the vitamin B category. It is one of the body's most important antioxidants and is needed to synthesize collagen.
Vitamin C comes in different forms, the most common is also known as ascorbic acid.
Vitamin C supports many essential body functions such as protection against oxidative stress, collagen formation (without vitamin C the body would not be able to produce the most important protein of the connective tissue) and it supports the immune function.
The main food sources for vitamin C are fruits and vegetables.
A vitamin C deficiency is quite rare in our western world, but it can still occur in people who have a very one-sided diet and eat almost no fruit or vegetables. People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are also at increased risk.
- A severe vitamin C deficiency leads to a condition known as scurvy or seafaring disease. This disease is characterized by the breakdown of connective tissue (source).
Would you like to know how much vitamin C you should take and in what form it is best?
Now that we've discussed the water-soluble vitamins, let's turn to the fat-soluble vitamins.
What are Fat Soluble Vitamins? Fat-soluble vitamins do not dissolve in water. Instead, they can best be absorbed by the body when ingested with fatty foods.
There are four fat-soluble vitamins:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E.
- Vitamin K
These four vitamins are also essential for good health. With the exception of vitamin D, all of these vitamins are normally consumed in sufficient quantities when following a balanced diet.
The vitamins are found in fatty foods and their absorption can be improved by adding a little extra oil or fat to your food.
I will now describe the fat-soluble vitamins in more detail:
Vitamin A is probably the most important vitamin for eyesight. A vitamin A deficiency can lead to eye problems such as night blindness and damage to the retina.
Vitamin A is actually a generic term for some bio-organic compounds called retinoids. Retinoids can be found in the human body as well as in some food sources.
Vitamin A deficiency is not common in Western world countries. However, vegetarians are at greater risk of suffering from a corresponding deficiency, as some variants of vitamin A are not ingested through their diet.
An excess of vitamin A can be harmful. This condition is known as hypervitaminosis A. People who use vitamin A supplements or eat fish liver oil are at increased risk. Pregnant women should also be careful. Too high a vitamin A content can damage the growing fetus and lead to deformities in the baby.
Foods High in Vitamin A:
- Cod liver oil
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that influences the stability of the skeleton but also affects blood pressure, mood and brain functions. Strictly speaking, vitamin D is not a real vitamin, but a group of fat-soluble prohormones.
The most important fat-soluble hormones are vitamin D2 and D3. Vitamin D3 is the preferred variant because it causes the vitamin D values in the blood to rise much more than vitamin D2 (source, source)
In principle, your body can produce enough vitamin D as long as you regularly expose larger areas of skin to UV radiation (i.e. sunlight) (source).
Most people today, however, spend too little time in the sun or protect their skin with lots of clothing. This will reduce the amount of vitamin D made by the skin.
This means that most people should get enough vitamin D through their diet. But few foods naturally contain vitamin D. The best sources are fatty fish and fish oil, which are also food sources that most people do not get enough of.
A vitamin D deficiency can occur if you go out into the sun too little or too much protection and at the same time not enough food containing vitamin D is eaten. As a result, a vitamin D deficiency is quite common. Today at least every second European suffers from a vitamin D deficiency (source)!
A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased susceptibility to infections and autoimmune diseases (source). Other symptoms include fatigue, depression, hair loss and poor wound healing.
Vitamin D supplements can therefore be a useful supplement for people who spend little time in the sun and rarely eat fatty fish.
The most important function of vitamin E is its effect as an antioxidant, thus avoiding oxidative stress and protecting fatty acids in the cell membrane against free radicals (source). As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E protects cells from premature aging and free radical damage.
Its antioxidant properties are enhanced by other nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B3 and selenium.
In large amounts, vitamin E also acts as a blood thinner, which can lead to blood clotting problems (source).
Food sources with a lot of vitamin E are, for example:
- Vegetable oils
- peanut butter
- Oily fish
- Cod liver oil
A vitamin E deficiency is often the result of a disease that reduces the absorption of fat or vitamin E from food.
Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include muscle weakness, difficulty walking, tremors, poor vision, and numbness.
Vitamin K is actually a group of fat-soluble compounds that is divided into two main groups: vitamin K1 (found in plant foods) and K2 (animal foods and fermented soy products).
Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting. Without this vitamin, you would run the risk of bleeding to death from a minor injury. Vitamin K has other functions, including supporting healthy bones and preventing hardening of the arteries, which reduces the risk of heart problems (source).
Unlike vitamins A and D, vitamin K is not stored in the body in large quantities. This is why a diet that barely absorbs vitamin K can lead to a deficiency after just one week (source).
People who do not digest and absorb fat efficiently are at greatest risk of developing vitamin K deficiency. This affects people with celiac disease, inflammatory skin conditions, and cystic fibrosis.
The best food sources for vitamin K are:
- Green leafy vegetables (spinach, endive salad, etc.)
- Vegetable oils
- whole grain products
One should never forget that multivitamin tablets are not miracle pills to take in place of a healthy balanced diet.
Multivitamin supplements cannot compensate for bad eating habits and neither can other bad habits such as smoking and a lot of alcohol. Multivitamins are supplements that should be taken literally, they are definitely not magical solutions to all sorts of things.
If you are struggling with your health and suspect that you are not getting enough of the nutrients you need, then you should not just rush into multivitamin supplements, but also adjust your eating habits. Unprocessed (whole) foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains are essential to stay healthy.
They offer far more health benefits than supplements:
- Unprocessed natural products contain several micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are much more effective when combined than when taken separately (this process is called synergy designated).
- Unprocessed foods are a rich source of fiber. Eating a healthy diet high in fiber will help lower the risk of many health problems, such as constipation and heart problems (source).
- Whole food also contains phytonutrients. These special substances offer protection against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and other health problems (source, source).
Just like vitamins, minerals are essential for the maintenance of many body functions. A mineral deficiency can lead to chronic health problems or exacerbate existing ones.
There are two types of minerals: the Microminerals (Trace elements) and the Macrominerals. Macrominerals that must be consumed in relatively large quantities include the following:
The body also needs micro-minerals such as:
Molecules found in food can change our ability to absorb minerals. Phytates, for example, which are found in cereals or oxalates, which are found in spinach and rhubarb, can inhibit the absorption of minerals. Even stomach acid and stress can negatively affect the absorption of minerals.
The best vitamins for women
Although most vitamins and minerals are recommended for both women and men, women also need more specific micronutrients.
Many women are deficient in certain nutrients. Whether you are 20, 40 or 50 years old, here are the best vitamins and minerals for women that you should definitely consume in sufficient quantities:
Antioxidant Vitamins (Vitamins A, C and E)
Antioxidants protect the body from free radical damage.
Vitamin D is important for bone health and brain function. It can prevent mood swings and maintain hormonal balance.
Vitamin K is important for strong bones, blood clotting and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. This is also the No. 1 cause of death in women.
B vitamins (including vitamins B12 and folic acid)
A deficiency in folic acid and vitamin B12 can lead to anemia and (extreme) tiredness. Folic acid is also the most important vitamin for pregnant women because it plays an important role in embryonic development.
But you should always choose the folate (Quatrefolic) form and not the folic acid itself. The same applies to B12, here you should take methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin.
Iron deficiency and anemia are the most common deficiency symptoms in the world, especially among young women. Menstruation is the main reason for this.
Women between the ages of 20 and 39 have the lowest iodine concentration in their urine compared to other age groups. Pregnant women also have an increased risk of iodine deficiency.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. Older women in particular are at risk of magnesium deficiency.
Omega-3 fish oil
Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for a healthy hormonal balance. Omega-3 (DHA) is also of crucial importance for pregnant women.
Calcium has been shown to protect against some of the biggest health risks in women: heart problems, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Risk factors that can lead to vitamin or mineral deficiencies in women:
- Poor diet (often eating processed foods)
- Vegetarian and vegan diet
- Eating too little food
- alcohol and drugs
- Use of drugs that block the effectiveness of certain vitamins
- Low prosperity (poverty)
- Food allergies
Are you preparing to have children? Then a healthy diet is extremely important and should not be started after you are pregnant.
You should also eat healthy before and after pregnancy to reduce the risk of complications as much as possible.
Avoiding nutritional deficiencies helps the mother's health and lowers the risk of chronic ailments that can develop later in the child's life.
Pregnant women should be especially careful when choosing supplements.
Too high a vitamin A content can, for example, lead to disabilities in the child. Folic acid, on the other hand, helps the child's development and can prevent damage such as an open back (spina bifida).
The best vitamins for men
One shouldn't get caught up in the misconception that men won't suffer from a vitamin or mineral deficiency so easily.
The typical diet of our western world is partly responsible for numerous diseases of affluence. In addition, heavy alcohol abuse in men means that vitamins are less well absorbed.
Avoiding nutritional deficiencies and eating a healthy diet can improve the overall health of men:
- More muscle strength
- Faster metabolism and more fat loss
- More energy
- Better sleep
- Improved sexual performance
- Less risk of prostate cancer
The best multivitamin supplements for men contain the following vitamins and essential minerals:
Men need vitamin D to make enough testosterone and maintain strong bones. It also protects the health of the brain, prevents mood swings (depression) and helps to control the cholesterol level and high blood pressure.
Studies have also shown that men with a vitamin D deficiency are 80% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those who are not deficient (source).
Many men and women often have low levels of vitamin B12, but for different reasons. Studies have shown that although most men usually consume sufficient amounts of vitamin B12, the absorption of vitamin B12 is hindered by the use of medication. This especially affects older men who need to take multiple medications.
Antioxidant Vitamins (Vitamins A, C and E)
As men get older, antioxidant intake helps protect healthy cells and prevent cell mutations and tumor growth. In addition, the loss of muscle tissue and damage to arteries is counteracted.
Vitamin K is important for building and maintaining strong bones, blood clotting and preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Magnesium plays a role in regulating calcium, potassium and sodium levels, and it helps prevent ailments such as high blood pressure, muscle twitching, headaches and heart disease.
If you are stressed, work a lot, or have a digestive disorder that prevents absorption, you will be at an increased risk of low magnesium levels.
Omega-3 fish oil
The omega-3 fatty acids that fish oil is all about are EPA and DHA. These fatty acids are not essential but are extremely important for health.
A deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids is associated with cardiovascular disease, depression, lower intelligence. Cancer and arthritis linked (source, source).
Low potassium levels increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, especially high blood pressure (which is present in 1 in 3 men). It is also associated with slow metabolism, fatigue, and weak bones and joints.
Zinc is an essential trace element that all cells need. It promotes brain health and supports natural testosterone levels. It helps you to have a healthy libido and also influences the quality of sperm (source).
Risk factors that can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in men:
- Poor diet (often eating processed foods)
- Vegetarian and vegan diet
- Use of drugs that block the effectiveness of certain vitamins
- Low prosperity (poverty)
- alcohol and drugs
- Food allergies
The 3 Best Multivitamin Brands to Buy
Which multivitamin tablets are now the best that one can buy? If you want to make a good, reliable choice, you should always orthomolecular brands choose.
Orthomolecular supplements are composed of natural substances and provide you with substances of the highest quality. This way they are absorbed more effectively by the body.
Good orthomolecular brands include:
Which multivitamin supplements shouldn't you buy?
Do you know the saying 'cheap can cost you dear'? When it comes to dietary supplements, there is definitely something to this saying.
If you go looking for multivitamin pills, you will discover hundreds of varieties available in stores and on the Internet. However, most are not a good choice. Most multivitamin supplements contain either very bad forms or too low doses of the vitamins and minerals they contain, which greatly reduces their effectiveness.
Strong commercial brands in particular often contain only very small doses and numerous additives such as sugar. In addition, many tricks are used in this market segment to lower the price of products.
In the case of vitamin C, for example, ascorbic acid is the most common form in cheap supplements. However, ascorbic acid is only a certain form of vitamin C. Since ascorbic acid is acidic, it is not well suited for many users. The buffered variant of vitamin C or ester-C is much better here.
Since less easily absorbable vitamins and minerals can usually be produced more cheaply, these are also offered more frequently (and cheaply) in shops. But you don't get very much from them if the body can't absorb them well.
This also explains the big price difference to the better brands. The price can be greatly reduced in this way, but actually you buy significantly fewer vitamins as a result.
That's why it's better to choose the best orthomolecular brands.
Signs of vitamin deficiency
How important vitamins and minerals really are often only becomes clear to us when we have already noticed all kinds of symptoms without a clear cause.
How do you know if you have a vitamin deficiency?
Low energy, feeling tired for no reason, looking pale, and getting sick easily; all of these can be signs of nutritional deficiency. A vitamin or mineral deficiency can be very harmful to health in the long term.
I will list and explain the most common symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiency here:
# 1: bleeding gums
Do you often suffer from bleeding gums? A diet low in vitamin C can be the culprit.
Vitamin C plays an important role in wound healing, immunity, and also acts as an antioxidant, which helps prevent cell damage.
We don't produce vitamin C ourselves, which means we need to eat enough fruits and vegetables to get enough vitamin C.
People who only eat a few vegetables and fruits can therefore suffer from a vitamin C deficiency.
Other common symptoms of vitamin C deficiency are: bruises, slow wound healing, dry, flaky skin and frequent nosebleeds (source, source).
# 2: hair loss and brittle nails
Hair loss and brittle fingernails and toenails can have different causes. One of them is a lack of vitamin B7 (biotin). Biotin helps the body convert food into energy. A lack of biotin leads to brittle hair and brittle nails.
Other symptoms of a vitamin B7 deficiency are chronic fatigue, muscle pain, cramps and numbness in the hands and feet (source).
Heavy smokers, pregnant women and people with digestive problems are at greater risk of developing a biotin deficiency.
# 3: blisters and sores in your mouth
Blisters and sores in the mouth can also be the result of a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
Aphthae often indicate a lack of B vitamins.
A smaller study showed that people with a low iron content are twice as likely to suffer from aphthous ulcers (source). In another smaller study, nearly 30% of subjects with mouth ulcers were deficient in vitamins B1, B2, and B6 (source).
Sore corners of the mouth is another sign that there may be a lack of iron and vitamin B2 (source, source).
# 4: eye discomfort and night blindness
Poor diet can also lead to problems with your eyesight.
A deficiency in vitamin A has been linked to a condition known as night blindness.
Night blindness means that you can see worse in poor lighting conditions and at night.
The reason for this is that vitamin A is needed to make a protein called Rodopsin to produce; a pigment found in the retina of the eye that helps you see better at night.
However, unless vitamin A deficiency is found, most people should avoid vitamin A supplements. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored by the body in adipose tissue, where excessive absorption can accumulate and have a toxic effect.
# 5: flaky skin and dander
Skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and dander often cause itchy and flaky skin.
Dandruff (pityriasis capitis) is mostly limited to the scalp, while seborrheic eczema can also affect the face, armpits and groin area.
A great many people suffer from these skin complaints, and even every second adult will come across them at least once in their life (source).
Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis can be triggered by a number of factors, including poor diet. Low zinc, vitamin B2, vitamin B3 and vitamin B6 values can play a role here (source, source). However, the exact relationship between these skin complaints and deficiency symptoms is not yet entirely clear.
# 6: restless legs syndrome (RLS)
The Restless Legs Syndrome is a nerve disorder that causes an uncomfortable feeling in the legs.
You then have the irresistible urge to move your legs.
Women in particular are twice as likely to suffer from this. It also seems that the urge to move your legs increases as soon as they are at rest, e.g. when you are relaxing on the sofa or trying to fall asleep in bed.
The exact cause of RLS is still unknown, but there is evidence that there is a connection between the iron content of the blood and RLS.
Various studies have shown that the symptoms of RLS often occur when the person concerned is pregnant, i.e. during a period when the iron content of the woman is often very low (source, source).
Taking iron supplements often helps to reduce RLS symptoms, especially in those who have also been diagnosed with iron deficiency. The effectiveness of this measure can, however, be very different depending on the person (source, source).
# 7: Low resistance and fatigue
Do you regularly catch a cold or are you in bed with the flu again?
A vitamin deficiency (especially vitamin C and D) can then be the cause. These vitamins play an important role in the body's immune system function.
Various studies have shown a link between vitamin deficiencies and colds and pneumonia (source).
Fatigue, memory loss and depression can also be the result of a vitamin deficiency.
Do you suffer from the symptoms listed here and suspect a vitamin or mineral deficiency? Then you should pay your family doctor a visit.
Can multivitamin tablets help you lose weight?
Multivitamin supplements are certainly not fat-burning magic bullets, but they can still be useful for people who want to go a little leaner through life.
I will explain to you here what this is all about. In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in. You can use a combination of physical activity and a healthy diet and achieve your goal in this way.
Getting enough vitamins and minerals is critical to maintaining good health. This will also have a positive effect on the whole body.
Your body needs nutrients. They give you energy and make you feel better, which makes it easier for you to stick to a diet longer and burn more calories while exercising.
When you are nutritionally deficient, your health is also affected. You just don't feel well and will tend to give up (again) your healthy habits more quickly.
You cannot expect your body to function optimally and burn fat if it is not given the right nutrients. The body needs certain nutrients to be able to burn stored fat.
If the body is inadequately supplied with these specific vitamins and minerals, the scale pointer may drop more slowly than you might have hoped.
For most people, taking multivitamin supplements will be beneficial. But one must never forget that they cannot be a substitute for a healthy diet.
You should therefore first concentrate on a healthy and balanced diet and not just rely on vitamins and supplements. Multivitamin supplements are just, as the name suggests, good additions to a healthy diet.
The first thing you should ask yourself is why you are considering taking multivitamin pills. If you want to do this because your current diet is poor, then you should tackle and improve it first.
Start with a low-carb diet and rebalance your diet with protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of vegetables and fruits.
What kind of food do you eat at the moment? Analyze in detail for yourself what you eat every day. When you become aware of what you put in your mouth every day, you may also discover what you lack.
Do you belong to one of the risk groups mentioned in this article? Then it can be very useful to take multivitamin supplements every day.
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Did you know that 1 in 3 people even gain weight on a diet instead of losing weight? (Source)
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