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If you eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products and meats, you may well get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
However, there are certain times in life, such as during pregnancy, breast-feeding or an illness, that your nutrient requirements may increase. At those times, you may want to take a supplement to ensure you're getting all the nutrients you need. You may also want to take a multi or other supplement as you get older, because people sometimes start to have problems absorbing vitamins from food as they age. And if you're on a restricted diet -- if you avoid animal products, for instance -- you may need a supplement, because your diet may not provide adequate amounts of some nutrients.
More than one-third of Americans take multivitamins, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Ask your doctor whether you could benefit from taking multivitamins and, if so, what type of multivitamin would be best for you.
There are pro's and con's as to whether we really need vitamins. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is a diet consisting of poor nutritional content. But regardless of the nutritional content, approximately 60% of people have Hypochlorhydria-low production of stomach acid. With low stomach acid, it is difficult to digest and absorb vitamins, mineral and amino acids. Thus, taking additional vitamins can help you get additional nutrients.
In contrast, the condition of Hyperchlorhydria results in too much acid production. Once this condition exists, the nutrients in the food will be over exposed to stomach acid and will destroy the nutrients, resulting in malabsorption in the intestines.
The Heidelberg PH test will allow one to distinguish between the 2 conditions and therefore allowing your physician to recommend the proper nutritional and medical recommendations.
In summary, if you are eat the SAD diet, and then you should consider taking additional nutrients in the form of Multivitamins.
Multivitamins can be a good way to help supplement a diet for those who do not consume enough fruit, fresh vegetables and whole grains. But health experts generally agree that a multivitamin is not a good substitute for a healthy, well-balanced diet.
If you do eat a balanced diet, you do not need a multivitamin and actually may be getting too much of a good thing. If you are a healthy eater, it may be wiser to use specific vitamins to supplement areas where your diet falls short.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.