You have car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, life insurance, and perhaps even pet insurance. Isn’t it time for affordable, proven, and sensible nutrition insurance.
Now your children and grandchildren are fine taking those Flintstones Vitamins. But what about you?
Maybe you think you don’t need it. Or you’re already taking a bunch of pricey, super-duper high-end supplements. Or you have a single dusty bottle of something hidden somewhere in the medicine cabinet. In all these cases, it’s time for a sensible new approach. Experts say that after age 50, your best “nutrition insurance” is taking an inexpensive multivitamin plus a calcium supplement every day, with a few fish-oil capsules thrown in if you don’t eat fish at least twice a week. These experts say that a multivitamin and a calcium supplement are all most people will ever need to cover any shortfalls. You don’t need high doses or fancy supplements or overpriced pills. Just the basics.
Unless your doctor has a good reason to prescribe additional supplements you don’t need high-dose supplements for everyday good health. In recent years, study after study has shown that big doses of vitamins like A, E, and even C don’t provide any health advantages and could actually be dangerous. In the largest-ever analysis of antioxidants – a look at 68 studies involving 232,606 people conducted by researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark – people who regularly took beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E supplements had a 4 to 16 percent increase risk of death. Some experts have criticized the study’s design, but everyone agrees that getting disease-fighting antioxidants from fruit, vegetables and whole grains is a smarter move.
Even if you’re among the 2 percent of us who never, ever indulges in fast food or junk-food, your diet may no longer completely cover all the special vitamin and mineral needs that crop up in your fifties, sixties, and beyond.
Our definition of supplement magic? Not crazy, pie-in-the sky claims or extra ingredients – such as added minerals, herbs, or antioxidant extracts – that sound promising but that, research shows, probably don’t deliver any discernible health benefits. Multivitamin Magic means finding the right multivitamin at the right price – and not letting the vast array of nutritional supplements crammed on drugstore shelves confuse you or tempt you to spend extra money for stuff you simply don’t need.
Here are a few tips when choosing and taking a multivitamin:
Spend like a cheapskate
A moderately priced name brand or store brand is usually just fine.
Look for 100 percent of Daily Value (DV) for the “big nine” nutrients
These big nine are Thiamin (B1); riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), vitamins B6, B12, C, D, and E; and folic acid. Avoid megadoses. Just getting recommended daily levels is enough to fill your nutritional gaps.
Go easy on Iron
You really normally don’t need extra Iron. Increased iron is associated with higher risk of heart disease.
Don’t exceed 100 percent of other minerals
You just don’t need more than the Daily Value for chromium, copper, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc.
Consider getting more vitamin D from a separate supplement
Researchers have warned that not getting enough vitamin D – from food, supplements, or sunlight – could raise risk of a wide variety of cancers, including breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate. Unfortunately food sources alone can’t raise the amount of vitamin D in your bloodstream to protective levels, so your best bet is to look for D supplements. The safe upper limit for adults is 1,000 IU per day experts say.
Don’t be swayed by marketing ploys
Your body doesn’t care if the vitamin C comes from rose hips or was produced from something else. Also, unless you’ve got an allergy or sensitivity to ingredients such as wheat, lactose, or rice, you shouldn’t pay extra for allergen-free types.
If you are not taking vitamins already, pick up yourself a Multivitamin pronto. If your medicine cabinet is full of every bottle you can think of, get them tossed out and only spend your money on what you really need, not all the other hype supplements you have been talked into over the years.
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