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Should You Take a Multivitamin?

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Should You Take a Multivitamin?

Recent news reports question whether or not taking a multivitamin is worth while. In December 2013, a strongly worded editorial was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine arguing that supplements do not prevent chronic disease and simply do not work to enhance one’s overall wellness. The article states that supplements consequently should be avoided, however this month, a new report was posted presenting a very different message. Researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (OSU) and three other institutions are challenging the claims and stating that there should be no discussion on whether or not a multivitamin and mineral supplement should be taken to obtain micronutrients.

Servings of Vegetables Consumed
While most nutrition experts agree that a balanced, nutritious diet is the best way to obtain needed nutrients, it doesn’t take long to realize that most American diets fall short of this mark. The recommended amount of fruits and vegetables per day is five to nine servings. The average American adult eats 3.1 servings and the average teenager only 1.6 servings. It may be common knowledge that fruits and vegetables are “good for you”, but we often fail to understand the true importance of the nutrients these foods provide. A recent report from the University College London stated that eating seven or more portions of fruits and vegetables a day reduces your risk of death at any point in time by 42 percent compared to eating less than one portion! The vast majority of people are not maintaining a consistently nutritious diet and therefore are not getting enough of several important vitamins and minerals. Supplements are not intended to replace a healthy diet and lifestyle, but if you eat moderately well, taking a multivitamin can provide a convenient and economical way to “bridge the nutritional gap” and address micronutrient inadequacies.

American Diet Deficiencies
As the researchers from the OSU study point out, more than 93 percent of the adults in the U.S. do not get the estimated average requirement of vitamins D and E from their diet, 61 percent do not get enough magnesium and 50 percent do not get enough vitamin A and calcium. Also, many subpopulations have even more need for micronutrients, including older adults, pregnant women, African Americans and obese people. Cooper Complete Original and Cooper Complete Basic One multivitamins both contain 2000 IU of vitamin D3, 200IU of vitamin E as well as high levels of vitamins A, B and C to  address these statistics and promote optimal health. Developed by Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, and based on the latest scientific research, each Cooper Complete® formulation contains the precise amount of vitamins and minerals listed on the labels. That's the Cooper Complete guarantee—they're pure and potent.

The new research questions the scientific methods used come to conclude that supplements are not working. In response to the controversial study, Dr. Cooper agreed that studies such as these mentioned do not promote the objective science that is foundational at The Cooper Institute. Dr. Cooper stated that, “in nearly all these studies researchers do not measure the blood level of vitamins to determine whether a person needs a vitamin or not.” In other words, you can’t definitively know that supplementation is not working without first finding out which nutrients the subjects are deficient in, if any. 

In the end, we can never replace a good diet even with a good multivitamin. But Dr. Cooper continues to recommend vitamins as insurance for people who do not have a strictly balanced diet and follow the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

Article provided by Karen Perkins, Cooper Concepts Account Executive.