Physicians seem to be polarized regarding whether people should take multivitamins. Traditionalists say that there is insufficient evidence to recommend multivitamins for the general population and until evidence shows otherwise, they won’t recommend them. On the other side of the argument are physicians who believe that very few people in developed countries eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Our world is filled with “food deserts”, fast-food restaurants and grocery stores filled with processed foods from factories, not from farms. Most of us don’t live by the rule, “eat most of your foods that come from a plant, not foods made in a plant”. We could also argue that our soil is depleted of nutrients and our produce is genetically modified to grow faster, resulting in nutritionally inferior fruits and vegetables. It is difficult in our high-tech, fast-paced world, to get high quality, nutritionally dense foods.
I will not argue that it is best to get our nutrients from foods. Studies show that people who eat a healthy diet have lower incidence of disease but studies to date have not shown that taking a multivitamin has the same effect. However, we could argue that the studies were done using poor quality, cheap, synthetic vitamins. So the bottom line is that the “jury is still out”.
My approach is to test for nutritional deficiencies and treat based on the findings (see the Micronutrient Test from previous blogs). If I see multiple nutritional deficiencies, I recommend either significant dietary changes or a multivitamin. A very convenient and cost efficient product for those patients is Xymogen Active Essentials which provides a high quality multivitamin, calcium with minerals, fish oil, and antioxidant packaged together in an individual daily pack. These are great for traveling since you can just grab the number of days needed for your trip.
There is not a one-size, fits-all approach to medicine. Each patient has to be evaluated using a holistic approach. My recommendations are based on family history, medical conditions, symptoms, and Micronutrient testing to design personal nutritional recommendations. Read more about multivitamins. Read more about eating a healthy diet.