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Multivitamins – Why should we take them?

Multivitamins – Why should we take them?


By Awesome Supplements, Read time: 7 minutes

When you come to our online store you may be wondering “which
supplements should I take?” for which the answer is always,
unfortunately, “It depends”

It depends because supplements may or may not benefit you based on
your current goals, and so the best strategy is to ask what supplements
do and then match your needs to that. Whenever we’re looking to find
the benefit of a supplement (or do anything related to our health, really)
it’s important to look to the evidence. We use creatine – why? – well,
because it’s one of the most well supported supplements in existence,
and has been demonstrated to improve power, hypertrophy, strength, and
a host of other things.

The problem is, however, that not all things that are highly effective are
so easy to study.

When it comes to multivitamins, for example, there are a few issues:

  • There is no consensus on what constitutes a multivitamin (does it need everything? Most things? Do they have minerals or are multiminerals a different thing? What dosage counts?) meaning thatstudies aren’t always easy to compare
  • People who use multis are more likely to be health conscious, meaning they already do a bunch of healthy things including eating well and exercising, which could mask how useful these supplements are

And then there’s the big one – in order to ask if multivitamins are effective
or not, we need to outline what exactly it is that multivitamins are
supposed to ‘do’.

This is easy when looking at something like creatine because what it’s
supposed to do, is to increase levels of phosphocreatine in your muscles
and so enable you to train harder, resulting in more progress. This could
be considered to be a positive benefit in that the good thing it does
provides a boost.

Multivitamins, on the other hand, aren’t there to increase your health.
They’re there to prevent your health from deteriorating due to an
inadequate intake of the micronutrients that are provided. This could be
considered to be a negative benefit in that the benefit is in avoiding harm,
rather than improving something that already exists.

And it turns out that this is hard to really measure in randomised
controlled trials, because the negative thing you’re avoiding won’t happen
for DECADES. This means we have to rely on observational research if we
want empirical evidence but the issues there are explained above already.
In instances such as this, it can be useful to look at evidence that is one-
step removed from the direct effect of multivitamins themselves on health
outcomes. One simple way to do this is to ask the question: If we
supplement with individual micronutrients can this be demonstrated to
correct deficiencies? And the answer here is overwhelmingly yes. When
we consider this alongside the fact that ensuring micronutrient sufficiency
is good for health (that’s pretty self-evident, it’s what micronutrient
sufficiency means!), then multivitamin supplementation starts to make a
ton of sense!

Using this line of logic as a response to the issues raised above, a Delphi
Panel report was published in 2018 to look at the efficacy of multivitamins
or, more specifically, whether people should take them. A Delphi Panel is
a panel comprised of a number of relevant experts in a given field who
vote on various propositions anonymously – A consensus on any given
proposition is considered to be representative of a consensus across that
field and so, an evidence-based position to take.

In this report, a consensus was achieved on all propositions and
researchers concluded that while far more evidence needs to be
discovered before hard claims can be made about specific benefits (for
example it’s not possible to say that a multi will reduce your risk of x
outcome by y percent), “Despite certain limitations associated with
various research approaches in several of the studies described here,
there is a clear indication that, within the general population,
appropriately formulated [Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements]
can safely provide essential micronutrients to help individuals achieve
recommended intake levels....This consensus panel has indicated that
[Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements] can improve the
micronutrient intake and, hence, the nutritional status of individuals
presenting with deficiencies and inadequacies, including those with
[Chronic Medical Conditions]”.

In our view (and as mentioned in the paper itself!) one way to consider
Multivitamin/Mineral supplements is as an insurance policy. It’s not there
to replace a good diet, or create additional benefit much like house
insurance doesn’t increase the value of your belongings or render them
unstealable, but they exist to give you piece of mind. Simply take your
multi alongside eating a healthy diet, sleeping well, and living an active
lifestyle, and you never have to worry about ensuring you’re giving your
body absolutely everything it needs to run optimally. Protecting your
health and wellbeing is important, but multivitamin/minerals like
Awesome Defence give you the peace of mind to not worry about whether
or not you’re doing all you can.

And in our opinion, the ability to not worry about a really important part of
your health is pretty damn AWESOME.
Blumberg, J., Cena, H., Barr, S., Biesalski, H., Dagach, R., Delaney, B., Frei, B., Moreno González, M., Hwalla, N., Lategan-Potgieter, R., McNulty, H., van der Pols, J., Winichagoon, P. and Li, D., 2018. The Use of Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplements: A Modified Delphi Consensus Panel Report. Clinical Therapeutics, [online] 40(4), pp.640-657. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 February 2022].
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