All Adults Should Take a
Daily Multivitamin, Recommends AMA Journal
Health Notes Newswire
(June 27, 2002)
adults should take a multivitamin every day, according to a report
published by two Harvard doctors in the Journal of the
American Medical Association (2002;287:3127–9). This
recommendation is based on research demonstrating that taking a
multivitamin may help prevent a number of chronic diseases including
heart disease, some cancers, and osteoporosis.
In a recent
issue of The Journal of the
American Medical Association,
two Harvard researchers report on which vitamins work and which ones
don't in the fight against heart disease and cancer.
Eating right keeps you healthy and
gives you the complex vitamins
your body needs to fight off
cellular changes that lead to cancer, heart disease, and
osteoporosis, according to Robert H. Fletcher, MD, MSC, and Kathleen
M. Fairfield, MD, Dr PH, both with the Harvard Medical School.
Virtually everyone in the
general population is at risk, because we don't eat right, Fletcher
and Fairfield say. The elderly, vegans, and alcoholics are at
even higher risk. Multivitamin supplements play an important role in
shoring up this deficiency.
"We recommend that all adults take one
multivitamin daily," writes Fletcher. "This practice is justified
mainly by the known and suspected benefits of supplemental Folate
and vitamins B-12, B-6, and D in preventing [heart disease and
stroke], cancer, and osteoporosis, and because multivitamins at that
dose are safe and inexpensive."
reviewing almost 40 years of research, the Harvard doctors found the
following associations between certain diseases and vitamins:
Heart disease -- Low folic acid levels
in the blood increase the risk of heart disease. Taking folic acid
supplements or eating more in the diet has been shown to help
decrease this risk. Research on vitamin E has been conflicting --
with some studies showing a benefit and others not. Beta carotene
supplements have not been shown to help prevent heart disease -- and
may even increase the risk in smokers.
Cancer -- Studies have shown a decrease
in colon cancer in men and women taking folic acid supplements.
Folic acid has also been shown to decrease breast cancer in women
who drink alcohol regularly but not in nondrinkers. Vitamin E may be
able to help decrease prostate cancer in men and deaths from this
cancer. Lycopene from tomatoes has been shown to help prevent
prostate cancer as well
Osteoporosis -- Vitamin D along with
calcium decreases bone loss and fractures in elderly people.
Birth defects -- Folic acid decreases
the risk of birth defects of the spinal cord. Doctors recommend that
women begin taking folic acid supplements before getting pregnant.
researchers recommend a daily multivitamin for all adults.
Eating right is always the best choice. However, in today’s busy
world, that’s easier said than done.
sources for some of the important vitamins:
Folate -- dark-green leafy vegetables
(like spinach), whole-grain cereals, fortified grain products (like
bread and cereal), and lean meat
Vitamin B-6 -- poultry, fish, legumes,
nuts, potatoes, and whole grains
Vitamin B-12 -- poultry, fish, eggs,
Vitamin E -- salad oils, margarine,
Vitamin C—fruits and vegetables
Can we get all of the vitamins
and minerals that we need from our food today?
Predominant use of inorganic salt
fertilizers—These are fertilizers used for crop nutrients especially
phosphates from left over explosives and ammunitions from W W II.
Discontinuation of using animal
fertilizers—Animal fertilizers replenish the trace minerals back into
Soil tilling practices--Many farmers
today are not tilling the crop residuals back into the soil.
Destruction of the normal
microorganisms--Due to synthetic chemicals use for killing weeds and
pest control there has been adverse effects on healthy humus formation
in the topsoil. These same chemicals have also altered the
Ph of the topsoil affecting the availability of nutrients.
Burning techniques used on crop
residuals instead of plowing the organic residuals back into the earth.
To prevent spoilage fruits and
vegetables have to be picked before they are ripe. A good example would
be tomatoes, oranges and bananas. When fruits and vegetables are picked
before they’re ripe, the powerful antioxidants that are contained in the
skin and the pulp are not allowed to express themselves completely. It’s
the ripening on the vine and the branch that allows this process to
Most produce and perishable items have
to be shipped and stored for months. Various methods that prevent the
oxidation or rotting of food now include radiation. When you eat
your apple today think about when those apples were picked?
The idea that you can eat 5 to 7 fruits
and vegetables a day may sound like a great idea, but unless the fruits
and vegetables are FRESH, picked ripe, and delivered to your table
within hours, you are not getting full nutritional value. Those
fruits and vegetables lack the protection from the antioxidants that you
think you are getting It’s been reported that only 4% of the
American public eat 5 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Even if you are eating right, many people have digestive problems that
prohibit the absorption of the nutrients from the gut into the blood
In today’s society the population base
is no longer rural and the food that you are eating is no longer grown
locally like it was fifty or one hundred years ago. One hundred years
ago people died from infectious diseases, today they are plagued with
chronic degenerative diseases that modern medicine has little effect on.
There are so many people that have been ill for so long that they don’t
know what it is like to feel good. Today diabetes is an epidemic.
How are they attempting to solve the problem? With a more
efficient method of administering insulin? Doesn’t it make more
sense to focus on the diet and prevent it? Diabetes is not an infection.
Type II diabetes is not an insulin problem.
A good example would be processed
white flour, processed wheat or (bleached flour) loses the
Magnesium loss 85%
Over cooking of food destroys
minerals and enzymes.
Temperatures over 120 degrees destroy minerals and enzymes. Did
our early ancestors charbroil all of the meat they ate? Did
they steam their vegetables? Did the Eskimos and the Japanese
eat their fish deep fat fried in transfatty acids to a crisp?
Or, did they eat it raw? Microwaving also destroys many of the
Prescription drugs will affect the
absorption of vitamins and minerals.
The difference between a vitamin and
mineral vs. a prescription drug is that vitamins and minerals are
tolerated over a very wide dosage range. Vitamins and minerals are
involved in a wide variety of activities in the body and they are
constantly being used up. Minerals are ESSENTIAL to good health. The
body does not make them. They have to be obtained from the food you eat
Prescription medications do not have
biochemical roles in the body the way vitamins and minerals do. Drugs
are foreign to the body, when their job is done they are usually
Efficacy of Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect normal cells and other tissues by fighting free
radicals and the oxidative reaction that free radicals cause.
Antioxidant nutrients include beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, selenuim,
copper, zinc and bioflavonoids. There are now more than 200
studies that show antioxidants can help decrease the risk of developing
One of the
most recent investigations took place in Linxian, China.
Researchers from the Cancer Institute of the Chinese Academy of Medical
Sciences teamed up with researchers at the United States National Cancer
Institute. They studied nearly 30,000 adults, randomized over a
five-year period in four group receiving different nutrients during that
period. Here are the results of the studies:
It was the first large-scale intervention
trial in a prospective randomized fashion to demonstrate that three
antioxidant nutrients together-beta-carotene, vitamin E, and
selenium—significantly reduced total mortality, and especially from
all cancers and particularly stomach cancer.
Antioxidant nutrients decreased the risk
of cancer in humans.
Antioxidant nutrients substantially
reduced the prevalence of cataracts in the older patients (aged 65
to 74 years).
Antioxidant nutrients reduced mortality
Study Shows Benefit of Multi-vitamins
at Tufts University in Boston say taking a daily multivitamin is a good
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled
study, researchers found healthy men and women who took one
multivitamin a day experienced a rise in blood levels of several
vitamins and minerals -- an increase high enough to reduce the risk
of some long-term problems like heart disease and osteoporosis.
- Would you like more information on attention deficit
- Would you like to know more about natural alternatives for
asthma and allergies?
- Would you like to know more about lowering your risk for
- Would you like to attend a free online health seminar?
- Would you like to subscribe to our free health newsletter?
Disclaimer: The information provided by this
service is intended to serve as a recommendation for people who desire
to learn more about health, fitness, nutrition, and taking care of their
bodies. Before beginning any vitamin program, always consult your
doctor. Certain conditions may restrict some individuals from
taking vitamins, so be sure to clear yourself with your doctor.