ISABELLE'S OPINION: MULTIVITAMINS
Taking vitamins and minerals has been controversial for years. In theory, when eating optimally, the supplement is unnecessary. If the effect of supplements does not seem to give conclusive results on reducing the risk of mortality or cardiovascular risk, some recent data show that, in specific contexts, taking a supplement could be beneficial. The publication of a study last February reports in particular a significantly reduced risk of hip fractures with the taking of a vitamin and mineral supplement in the elderly. Other studies report positive effects on short-term memory.
Obviously, it is always better to bet on food to meet your vitamin and mineral needs. Besides micronutrients, foods are packed with other phytochemicals that explain their health benefits. For some, especially those who exclude food groups (vegan, vegetarian, followers of paleo or ketogenic diets) or who practice certain forms of intermittent fasting, taking supplements may be suggested. It can also be interesting in the elderly, who eat too little to meet their needs.
However, you must also be careful not to rely solely on the supplement to meet your needs. For example, someone taking this pill might believe that it is not necessary to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, since the needs are met by the supplement. Eating fruits and vegetables has many more benefits than just providing vitamins and minerals. Here are some examples :
- They are rich in dietary fiber
- They reduce the amount of calories consumed during the day
- They allow you to create colorful and tasty dishes
- They improve menu variety
- They contribute to hydration
- They promote regular transit
- They provide a range of antioxidants
- They are associated with reduced risk of CVD and cancer
Finally, it is your choice whether or not to take a vitamin and mineral supplement. Their long-term safety (more than 10 years) has been assessed. On the other hand, avoid at all costs mega-doses of isolated vitamins (A and E in particular) which, instead of protecting, are harmful to overall health.