The consumption of multivitamin supplements and immunity boosters is on the rise in a bid to make up for nutritional deficits. Based on a November 2020 SPINS (Chicago) survey, men’s multivitamin sales were up by 33.7%, women’s by 19.6% and that of children’s by 37.2%.
Sure, vitamins can work wonders for patients suffering from vitamin deficiency, if prescribed by medical professionals. That, however, is not the case for most consumers.
Do Multivitamins Work?
In most cases, yes, but it’s not the ticket to your optimal health.
The problem arises with the commercialization of these supplements. One can easily buy multivitamins off the drug counters even without a prescription. This practice ultimately makes things unregulated. Consequently, during the COVID-19, there was a scarcity of Vitamin-C chewable tablets.
Social media and marketing, too, are trying to upsell these supplements. People end up impulse-buying something they probably don’t even need.
But there’s more to the picture here!
You wouldn’t keep popping paracetamol every day just to avoid fever, right? However, popping a multivitamin even without a deficit seems fine. Unfortunately, consuming them in excess without a deficit can do more harm than good.
The side effects of multivitamins may range from headache, abdominal pain, and nausea to severe constipation.
If you indeed need to take a multivitamin, the best possible approach to go about it is to ask a doctor if you actually need it, i.e., if you have a vitamin deficiency.
Figure out how to meet that deficiency by adding healthier inclusions to your diet and making lifestyle changes.
Remember not to prescribe yourself vitamins! Especially vitamins like A and E can turn out to be harmful if taken in an unregulated manner.
So, who should take multivitamins?
Elderly: Vitamin B12 absorption rate tends to drop with age. There is also a decline in calcium and Vitamin D levels.
Those on restrictive diets: People with restrictive diets medically or by choice (vegetarians and vegans) may suffer from a vitamin deficiency. The lack of Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, and Omega-3 fatty acids is widespread in people who do not consume animal-based food.
P.S. Multivitamins can do you good only if there is room for it.