Multivitamins and Nutriment

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What is nutriment?

The substance in the food we eat that nourishes the body is called nutriment, consisting of micro-and macro-nutrients. Micro-nutrients include vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, etc.) and elements (calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, iodine, etc.). Macro-nutrients are the carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Are vitamins important for our health?

Yes. The body is like a complex and sophisticated chemical factory, synthesizing, producing, transforming, modifying, degrading, destroying, eliminating, countless chemicals in us to make our vitals organs, our body, in balanced homeostasis and function properly. In order to be able to do all these biological chemistries, the body needs all necessary ingredients to accomplish the proper chemical reactions, and vitamins are some of the essential components in the formula for a normal and healthy physiology.

Does our body contain silver and gold?

Yes, there are traces of silver and gold in our body, but they do not have any known metabolic role in our health.

Are vitamins safe?

Yes, vitamins, in general, are safe, so long as the person is not allergic to any of them, and that they are taken in the normal prescribed dose.

What is the recommended dose for vitamins and minerals?

For adults, taking one tablet of a One-A-Day Multivitamins and Minerals (they come combined in one pill) is sufficient and safe. For children, there are specially formulated multivitamins and minerals designed for them. Anywhere in the world, some manufacturers may produce substandard quality drugs, including vitamins and minerals. So, be careful. Read the labels well and use drugs and vitamins that are manufactured by established companies with a good record and reputation. Your physician can guide you accordingly.

Do vitamins have toxicity?

Yes, some do. Vitamins A, D, E, K and B6 could produce toxicity if taken in excess. Vitamin C and most of the other Vitamin Bs are water-soluble and, if taken in excess of not more than twice, are eliminated by the body, thus averting toxicity. In contrast, Vitamins A, D, E, K are fat-soluble, and are not as easily eliminated by the body when taken in excess, and therefore cause toxicity.

Who should take vitamins and minerals?

In this age of hurried life, stress and fast foods, practically everyone could benefit from taking Multivitamins and Minerals. Since these come in one pill, to be taken one a day, it is so convenient there is practically no excuse for not taken them. And even if one eats "well" multivitamins and minerals could still supply what the body needs, which we may not even know are lacking in the food we consume daily.

What happens if a person takes two tablets of a one-a-day multivitamins?

Unless the person is allergic to any components in the pill, chances are no ill-effects will happen if this is done only once or twice. If done repeatedly, toxicity could occur. But, there is no reason at all for a person to take more than one. The recommended dose of one pill a day gives the maximum benefit to a normal person. Taking double dose will not give any added benefit. It will only be more expensive.

What time should vitamins and minerals be taken?

Unlike some medications, Multiviatmins and Minerals may be taken any time at the person's convenience. However, most people take them with breakfast, in order not to forget taking them.

Should all children take multivitamins?

Yes, especially in this part of the world. Even Pediatricians and the Surgeon General in the United States officially recommend that normal babies and children be given daily multivitamins and minerals especially formulated for them. Parents should discuss this with their physician for advice.

Does taking multivitamins and minerals slow down aging ?

There is no concrete evidence in the medical literature that proves taking Multivitamins and Minerals slow down the aging process in man. However, vitamin/mineral deficiency in us, which is not easy to detect, is a condition that could make the tissue aging process faster than "normal". Some lay publications claim that taking multivitamins/minerals and anti-oxidants (which substance we shall discuss as a separate topic in the future) helps slow down the aging process to a certain extent.

Personally, I believe that the Fountain of Youth (unless genetically engineered in the future) is, at the present time, a complex recipe with various ingredients that include, among others, the adoption of a healthy lifestyle, high fiber-low fat diet, cholesterol and fat lowering medications, daily physical exercise, mild blood thinner, multivitamins and minerals, anti-oxidants, a happy countenance and inner tranquility, and an active and purposeful life.

©2003Raoul R. Diez, M.A.O.D.