Why bother taking vitamins at all? Our forefathers survived just fine without multi vitamin packs, why can't we? The answer to that question is easy, go look in your cupboards. Our forefathers ate a lot better than we do. High processed, homogenized, pasteurized, canned and prepackaged fast food means less chance of natural occurring vitamins surviving for any length of time.
While some of us pick our own fruit and grow our own vegetables, most of the country chooses to rely on packaged, store bought fruits and veggies. These aren't as healthy as they look, either. The longer the apples and tomatoes are off the vine, the faster they begin to lose their nutritional value, losing vitamins during processing and shipping.
Your body needs vitamins to boost your immune system, ward off colds and other viruses, and even keep you even tempered, so to speak. Did you know with a vitamin deficiency that you are less likely to clot when you cut yourself? Vitamins play a much bigger part then we think, and the average diet does not include all the vitamins necessary to keep the body in top shape.
A good multi-vitamin is your best choice, but here again you can be misled into believing that 100% of the USDA recommended dosage is good enough. They mean 100% total, not 100% of each vitamin necessary. Think about it, they can't possibly pack the right amount of every kind of vitamin that you need into one pill a day, and most multi vitamins sold in your local grocery store are cut with fillers and preservatives. Nope, you'll have to visit your local food co op and get some natural, all inclusive vitamin supplements. Along with eating well, these supplements contain everything you need for balanced vitamin intake, with none of the fillers and preservatives that I, for one, resent paying for.
So let's talk B vitamins as an example. You need several different kinds of B vitamins alone. B6 and B12 are just two, but the most commonly talked about. Vitamin B6 promotes the development of red blood cells, and 12 helps promote energy and fights Alzheimer's disease. You need these and other vitamins to be in the purest form possible in order to be the most beneficial. Let's skip back for a moment, the history of vitamins, if you will. Vitamins began being "discovered" by scientists and surgeons around 1914, and the word "vitamin " comes from the word "vital" as in vital energy for life, but as far back as the 1600's sailors knew to eat citrus fruits to prevent scurvy. It wasn't until later that they knew it as vitamin C.
Now we will skip forward to the future. Many vitamins are now available as liquids. Remember cod liver oil? Well now most vitamins can be taken from a spoon rather than choked down (although if you were one of the kids forced to down cod liver oil, you were choking anyway), what's more, they taste good now as well.
Now before you get all excited and run out to stock up on each vitamin that you are deficient in, let me remind you that you can, in fact, 'overdose' on vitamins, kind of. The water soluble vitamins such as B's and C's will simply be expressed through your urine if you've taken in more than your body needs, but fat soluble vitamins such as D and E can accumulate and cause problems such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and rash.
I recommend contacting a homeopath to test for vitamin deficiencies before you run out and spend a lot on vitamins. Knowing exactly what you need the most and in what daily dosage will save you some money, because again, you really need to purchase each vitamin separately, rather than in a multi-vitamin pill.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. Since natural and/or dietary supplements are not FDA approved they must be accompanied by a two-part disclaimer on the product label: that the statement has not been evaluated by FDA and that the product is not intended to "diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."