Multivitamins: Yay or Nay?

For years people have been taking daily multivitamins to acquire nutrients that they might otherwise be missing in a low fruit and veggie diet. Multivitamins are said to even help prevent cancer and heart disease, although the long term health benefits are inconclusive. As of late, supplement industry watchdogs have even gone as far as to call multivitamins dangerous - which although their statements and studies weren't entirely true, it is important to always do a little research before grabbing any old colorful bottle off the shelf.

The Basics

The majority of multivitamins will include a mix of essential vitamins and minerals that feature stuff you’ll recognize like vitamin C, potassium, zinc and calcium. There’ll be others you probably don’t know such as B1(thiamin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and molybdenum. Studies show most of these vitamins and minerals are harmless if not beneficial to the body, but there are some ingredients you’ll want to stay away from.

Steer Clear

There are three potential reasons for why you’ll find nasty ingredients in multivitamins. The first is they make for easier and faster production. Second they’re used to make multivitamins more colorful and appealing. Thirdly the coatings on pills that helps you swallow them can be harmful. Here are the top four unhealthy ingredients you’ll find in multivitamins.

  1. Magnesium Stearate: The jury is still out on just how harmful this is to humans, but many consider it to be quite toxic. It’s sole use is to keep the multivitamins from sticking together or to the manufacturing equipment.
  2. Hydrogenated Oils: The same harmful oils that you’ll find in fried foods, baked goods and elsewhere can be found in vitamins too. Partially hydrated soy bean oil is one of the most common fillers you’ll see out there.
  3. Artificial Colors: These coloring agents, meant to entice shoppers, are linked to cancer and are sometimes derived from coal tar. Moral of the story, you don’t want to ingest anything even related to coal tar.
  4. Titanium Dioxide:  This naturally occurring oxide derived from the element titanium is used as a pigment in multivitamins and has been linked to immune problems. So now you know, eating metal bad.

While multivitamins do have potential health benefits they are no substitute for eating a healthy diet and staying physically active. If you are so inclined to take a daily multivitamin, Nature's Way has some very clean options.


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September 20, 2016 — The Wise Ape