Multivitamin - Can It Replace Fruits & Vegetables?
According to NHMS 2017 in Malaysia, 1 out of 3 adolescents consumes MV supplements, main reason being parental advice. Due to changes of modern lifestyle, MV supplement helps to increase intake of vitamin & minerals in fulfilling daily requirements. It must be safer & better for me to take more than less right? Not really. Studies show toxicity in excessive amounts for certain fat-soluble vitamins. Moreover, statistics show rate of non-communicable diseases (NCD) like diabetes & heart disease are increasing every year. This data tells us that MV supplements do not solve your problem of not eating enough nutrients from your diet. Not entirely at least.
Proven benefits of important MV supplements
- Calcium & Vitamin D in bone health especially for older women
- Folic acid in preventing congenital defects in newborn baby
- Vitamin B12 in diabetic patients taking metformin
Unsupported marketing claims
X Reduce risk of chronic diseases like cancer
Who can benefit from MV supplements?
- Pregnant mother
- Older adults struggling to get enough calcium, vitamin D
- People with certain medical conditions such as food allergy (seek advice from physician)
Can I substitute a diet lack in vegetables & fruits with multivitamin supplement? The answer is no. Various phytonutrients, antioxidants present in whole plant foods are not readily available in supplemental forms. So, for instance, it is two different thing to take a calcium pill versus having a good diet with dairy product for bone health. Having a good diet always gives you better health.