The Truth About Multivitamins and The Immune System
Edited and Published by Wellness Monster Stacie
Remember the Flintstones Vitamins?
When I was a kid, I hated my vegetables. My parents gave me the Flint Stone Vitamins. At the time, I had no idea that they were actually making me a little healthier. Even if someone had told me that they were good for me I probably would have fought my parents regardless of how good they tasted. Back then, we took just two types of vitamins. We took Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Nutrition information of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s was not as well-known or widespread as it is today. This is especially true in terms of exactly how important it was to have a really healthy diet or the necessity of all those other vitamins. We didn’t seem to get as sick back then, though that could have just been because when we were sick our parents sent us to our room to sleep it off. I remember only one intense time that was a little touch and go for me, so maybe our parents were right to give us just two types of vitamins back then. Or were they?
The Effect on the Body
Fast forward a few decades and those who are just entering middle age are facing health concerns such as high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, anxiety, bad eye sight, hair loss, multiple allergies and more. Would taking a multivitamin as youngsters have helped? What about eating old fashioned veggies? While it is very important to eat our fruits and vegetables, most of us do not get the necessary dosage from food alone. For instance, a vegetarian or vegan may be lacking sufficient levels of Vitamin A (Food NDTV).
Vitamin A plays an important role in eyesight, protects against infection by helping to create white blood cells, and helps many organs to function properly (including the heart and the kidneys). The body does not create Vitamin A. This vitamin is one that we have to help our bodies obtain through diet. The exact amount of Vitamin A someone receives is critical. A deficiency of Vitamin A could lead to dry skin, while too much can be harmful to reproduction and immune functionality.
When the body has too much Vitamin A, it “forgets” past infections and shuts down the body’s trained immunity. This means our body’s immune system becomes vulnerable and an illness we had several years ago could return, creating later issues. A Vitamin A supplement is good for those that are deficient, but can be very harmful for those that are not deficient. On top of that, age and reproductive status also plays a part in how much Vitamin A an individual needs. Always remember to consult your physician before adding Vitamin A to your diet!
In terms of other vitamins, multivitamins possess many of the revered vitamins from our childhood, including: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B, biotin, zinc, potassium, iodine, iron, calcium, and others. As adults, we generally eat our fruits and vegetables, however, it is rare that even the most diet conscious adults are getting the recommended daily dosage of all vitamins and minerals. This obviously further reinforces the idea that multivitamins were a great idea!
Additionally it is worth mentioning that vegetarians and vegans should absolutely consider taking a multivitamin and speak to their physician about it. This is because the amount of fruits and vegetables one would have to consume to get the same amount of vitamins and minerals from one small piece of meat substantially differs (Home BT).
The Truth: Multivitamins and the Immune System
Multivitamins support immune systems. There are so many ways multivitamins help the average person to receive the right nutrition from an otherwise lacking diet. The calcium one would get from the vitamin is important for healthy bones. If a person has thinning hair, the folic acid, flax-Seed Oil, Zinc, Biotin, Selenium, Vitamins A & C will all help contribute to hair growth and scalp protection. Those who do not spend much time outside will benefit from Vitamin D. Vitamin B12 plays a major role in our nervous system and increases our energy. Iron is incredibly important in creating red blood cells that carry oxygen.
There are extreme situations in which diet and exercise are very likely not enough. One such example is someone that has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is an autoimmune disease where the immune system seems to be attacking the body and causing damage to the Central Nervous System. However, a doctor or specialist should always be consulted on which to take and the dosage. Where one vitamin may seem to be profoundly conducive, another may be extremely harmful. In the case of MS, a multivitamin may not be a good option, or a reasonable option at all (Multiplesclerosis.net).
Regularly taking multivitamins and deciding to quit cold turkey can place a person’s health at risk. Illnesses, exhaustion and a weakened immune system are likely to follow from quitting multivitamins too quickly. The risk of various diseases and depression also come in to play, which can obviously compound problems. In many cases, it has been recommended multivitamins are religiously taken, especially for those who have been taking them a long time.
The pharmaceutical market has the lead on multivitamins. There are so many options to choose from. Women whom are trying to get pregnant should consider taking a multivitamin that is specifically designed for them. There are multivitamins for teen girls and boys, women and men, as well as older women and men. Talk to your doctor to find out what you may be lacking to determine the best option for you or your children depending upon age and state of health.
The Final Verdict On Multivitamins
Skipping ahead a few decades as previously mentioned, I had stopped taking my childhood vitamins as soon as I entered adulthood and began taking a multivitamin. I have found that while my peers may miss days of work or night school, I miss fewer days due to illness. I have never had the ideal diet and exercise is not as high on my priority list as it should be, however, I have rarely missed my vitamins! For these reasons, it is easier for me to attribute my good health and happiness to great genes and my multivitamins!
Taking into consideration the likelihood that we are all missing out on some essential nutrients in our diets, multivitamins become extremely beneficial. Multivitamins improve our immune systems and play an important role in staying healthy. From the common cold to the annual flu, multivitamins help to combat many illnesses. With a few exceptions, a multivitamin can usually promote hair growth, immunity, healthy bones and teeth, white and red blood cell growth, energy, better heart and brain functioning, and more. There is also much more mainstream support for the multivitamin today than ever before!
Food NDTV [https://food.ndtv.com/health/excess-vitamin-a-may-damage-your-immune-system-777114]
Home BT [http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/health/healthy-eating/this-is-what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-stop-taking-vitamins-and-supplements-11364260529581]
Multiple Sclerosis [https://multiplesclerosis.net/natural-remedies/vitamins-supplements/]