Multi-Vitamins vs. Individual Nutrients: Which is Better?
You see them covering the shelves at your local supermarket: vitamin supplements have become as commonplace in the average household as the television set. Despite all of the big claims from the manufacturer, are there benefits to taking multi-vitamins or individual nutrient supplements? More importantly, which is better for your health?
What is a Multi-Vitamin?
A multi-vitamin is an all-inclusive supplement that features all of your recommended vitamins and minerals. You can also find specific multi-vitamins for different lifestyle categories such as pregnancy, sports recovery, and veganism.
Benefits of a Multi-Vitamin
Fill in the Gaps: Even in the best diets, some nutrients can run low. Experts agree that when you supplement with a properly balanced multi-vitamin, you can support what your diet lacks.
Boost Your Brain: Maintaining a youthful brain is one of the keys to a long and productive life. Some studies have demonstrated that taking a multi-vitamin can support cognitive health, particularly in the area of memory recall and accuracy.
Lower Disease Risk: Nutrition doesn’t just make up 70% of the results we see in the mirror when we’re trying to lose weight or build muscle. Your diet also plays a key role in preventing or opening the floodgates for disease, especially cardiovascular disease. Experts agree that supplementing with a multi-vitamin can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.
What are Individual Nutrients?
As the name implies, individual vitamins and minerals are extracts of important single nutrients. Three examples of important nutrients that are commonly low in the average person are Vitamin D, K, and several B-vitamins.
Benefits of Individual Nutrients
Vitamin B-Complex: Getting your recommended daily intake of all your B-vitamins has been shown to promote cellular growth and regeneration. B-vitamins can support healthy cell aging through the elimination of disease-causing free radicals.
Vitamin D: A nutrient that is vital for your hormones, vitamin D plays an important role in dozens of bodily processes. One of which is bone health. When it’s paired with calcium, vitamin D has been shown to promote healthy and strong bone development.
Vitamin K: Important for your cardiovascular health, vitamin K is now being recommended as a way to improve your vascular system. Vitamin K has been shown to clear calcification blockages, preventing cardiovascular complications.
Which One is Better?
Make no mistake about it: a healthy diet will always be more important than a supplement. A multi-vitamin or single nutrient supplement is there to complement your diet, not be your only source of good nutrition.
Multi-vitamins aren’t necessarily better than individual vitamin or mineral nutrients. It depends on your current lifestyle. If you are busy and constantly skipping meals, then a multi-vitamin will be better for you.
If you have a well-balanced diet, but you notice that you’re running low on a single nutrient such as vitamin D during the winter, then an individual vitamin or mineral supplement will be best.
Do You Supplement with a Multi-Vitamin or Single Nutrient?
Do you take a multi-vitamin every day? Which single nutrient do you take? Have you noticed any improvements in your health? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by David Sautter
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.