More than 1/3 of all Americans take multivitamins. Many people take them just as added assurance that they are getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals that their bodies need in order to function properly, which certainly can’t hurt.
However, few people stop to ponder who really needs to take multivitamins, and sometimes it is the people that require the extra vitamins and minerals the most, that neglect to supplement with them. If you fall into one of the following categories, you may want to start taking multivitamins as a sort of insurance policy for your health.
You Are on a Strict Treatment or Diet
Whether you are trying to lose weight or trying to get your cholesterol down, any type of diet that restricts certain foods by volume or by type is likely to result in deficiencies of vitamins and minerals. A broad spectrum multivitamin and mineral supplement should be considered an essential part of almost any diet treatment protocol and the longer the diet is followed, the more pertinent treatment with multivitamins becomes.
You’re a Woman – Take Your Vitamins
Although this seems like an excessively large category of people, it is by no means an over generalization. Women require increased amounts of the minerals magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron. Woman who are on birth control also require an increased intake of vitamins B2, B6, B12 and C. And women who are pregnant or who are planning on getting pregnant should be taking multivitamins with extra folic acid in them.
You Consume the Standard American Diet
The Standard American Diet is aptly referred to as the SAD diet, and as the name would suggest, it is the type of diet that the majority of Americans consume. The SAD diet is very imbalanced and it is high in proteins, fats and sugars and low in raw fruits, vegetables and other whole foods. The SAD diet is also high in refined, processed foods, and low in many essential nutrients. If you are consuming the SAD diet, you are probably deficient in a variety of vitamins and minerals and you should not only alter your diet, you should also start taking multivitamins daily in order to correct the deficiencies.
You are a Smoker or Heavy Drinker – You Need Those Vitamins
There is conclusive evidence that smokers require added vitamins and minerals in order to counteract the damaging effects of the chemicals contained within cigarettes. Alcohol also depletes the body of vitamins and minerals, and overtime, excessive drinking can lead to extreme deficiencies of a variety of vitamins and minerals. Both smokers and heavy drinkers require extra vitamin C and B-complex vitamins, as well as extra, calcium and zinc.
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Your body requires extra nutrients when it is sick, and without them, it will be more difficult for you to get better. So whether you have a cold, or something more chronic such as cancer or diabetes, you will most certainly have an increased need for all of the vitamins and minerals. If you are dealing with a chronic health disorder, it would be wise to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner in order to create a personalized supplement treatment protocol.
You are over 65
If you are over 65, odds are that you are deficient in a variety of vitamins and minerals. The reason for this is that the body becomes less efficient at processing nutrients as it ages. Make sure to choose a multivitamin supplement that provides vitamin D, because vitamin D is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies found amongst the elderly.