“Vitamins Don’t Work” This is the headline I read today. I happen to agree. Most multi-vitamins don’t work and they sure don’t prevent aging brains in men, or help those that have had heart attacks. Especially not those big one-a-day tablets sold in big box stores and that are also advertised on television.
Most multi-vitamins are limited in what they can do - mostly by how many nutrients you can pack in just 1 pill. Quality of the ingredients is a factor too. If the vitamin contains synthetic vitamin E - dl-alpha tocopherol - throw it out. It will not work. It is the wrong form. If the maker puts that in their product, there is no telling what other terrible stuff they include. The maker of this kind of pill wants your money and does not have your health in mind.
Also, look at the ingredient list - if the first one is calcium carbonate, absorption is limited to 10%. Is this what you are spending your money for? I hope not.
So - don’t take cheap multi-vitamins. They will not work. Instead, take something made of quality ingredients that will work. There are many that do work and that work well. If you do want it to actually do something - plan on taking more than one per day. Or at least add other supplements that have been proven to help with issues such as aging brains and/or cardiovascular disease. And when you do this, make sure it is a quality supplement that will work, not just the cheapest one you could find.
An example of a multi-vitamin that will work is Vasculosirt. This is a cadillac of multi-vitamins. It is a 5/day supplement that contains lots of antioxidants in the correct amount and form. It is expensive, and it works.
There are less expensive options that also “work”, depending on your goals. I like anything by Pure Essence or Bluebonnet - customers tell us they notice a difference.
New Chapter is another good vitamin company. Their products are all food based, and they will work. Just don’t expect a one-a-day to do too much. Plan on adding Co-Q10, or Alpha Lipoic Acid, or Green Tea, or some major antioxidant that helps with issues you are concerned about.
Also, don’t take a multi-vitamin and expect it to fix everything - vision, memory, cholesterol, etc. Change your diet too. The one thing I find that most people have in common that creates bad health is blood sugar issues. Fasting blood sugar above 90 is bad for your health. One of the most neglected health issues is blood sugar below diabetic range, but above 90. In this range, your brain will age and you will have high cholesterol and high blood pressure and vision problems, etc. No multi-vitamin will overcome a bad diet.
If you want your supplements to work, buy quality. If you want them to work on a particular issue, do your research. If you want help with what to take, talk to someone who is educated in nutrition, and who knows the difference in supplements that will work and supplements that will not.
Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas. www.naturalcowgirl.wordpress.com