Multivitamins and minerals (MVMs) are a combination of many vitamins that are normally found in food and other natural sources. They are available as capsules, tablets, gel caps, powders, or liquids and used to provide substances that are not absorbed from food.
Definitions of MVMs vary according to researchers, professional organizations, and manufacturers. For example, various studies from the National Health and Nutrition Review Survey (NHANES) have included mineral multivitamin products (MVM) containing 3 vitamins, 3 vitamins plus 1 mineral, and 9 or 10 total micronutrients. The Older Americans Act Amendment of 2006 proposed that an MVMS should contain at least two-thirds of the essential vitamins and minerals and provide 100% of the daily value (DV) for the intended life stage.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Vitamin and Mineral Improvement Act of 2017, defines a multivitamin-mineral dietary supplement as a substance that:
“(1) provides at least half of the vitamins and minerals for which the National Academy of Medicine establishes dietary reference intakes, at 50 percent or more of the daily value for the intended life stage per daily serving as determined by the Food and Drug Administration; and
“(2) does not exceed the tolerable upper intake levels for those nutrients for which an established tolerable upper intake level is determined by the National Academy of Medicine.
Who needs multivitamins and minerals supplements?
Multivitamin supplements are an economical and safe way to meet the needs of people whose diet does not provide the optimal amount of vitamins and minerals necessary for the maintenance of good health. The people who need multivitamins and minerals the most are the elderly because, with age, the body synthesizes much less the elements it needs, people who suffer from depression or who are stressed, people with allergies or vegetarians, and vegans. Multivitamins and minerals are also used to treat vitamin or mineral deficiencies caused by illness, pregnancy, digestive disorders, certain medications, and many other conditions.
Essentials ingredients of Multivitamins and Minerals (MVMs)
According to the National Institutes of Health(NIH), Vitamin A is the name of a group of fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin A is involved in immune function; vision, reproduction, and cellular communication support cell growth and differentiation playing a critical role in the normal formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs.
vitamin B is involved in many roles, such as energy production and the proper functioning of the nervous system. Most B vitamins are not stored by the body in sufficient quantities. Adequate intake of B vitamins is important for optimal energy production. The B-complex vitamins have two main functions, directly related to physical and mental performance. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B8 are involved in energy production. Vitamins B9 and B12 are necessary for the production of red blood cells, for protein synthesis, for cell regeneration, and for maintaining the functioning of the central nervous system (CNS).
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient (because the body has no way of making it on its own without eating foods or supplements), is good for boosting the blood vessels and enhancing iron absorption and anti-oxidant function. The daily recommended amount per day is 65 to 90 mg, with an upper limit of 2,000 mg. Going beyond the usual dose could cause nausea and diarrhea.
What differentiates vitamin D from other vitamins is that vitamins are normally micro-nutrients that the body cannot produce, and therefore a person must consume them in their diet. However, the body can produce vitamin D in response to exposure to the sun. It can be considered as a prohormone or a precursor of a hormone.
Vitamin D has several roles in the body. It helps to:
- Promote healthy bones and teeth
- Support immune, brain, and nerve health
- Regulate insulin levels and support diabetes management
- Support lung function and cardiovascular health
- Influence the expression of genes involved in the development of cancer
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that children 1-13 years of age and adults 19-70, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, get 600 IU of vitamin D per day. Older adults should get 800 IU.1
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant whose main function is to protect the body from cell damage. Vitamin E can also help keep the immune system healthy and protect against chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that our bodies can store vitamin E in our liver in order to make up for future vitamin E deficiencies. People who may have difficulty consuming enough vitamin E are those on a diet. Very low in fat or suffering from medical conditions making it more difficult to absorb fat.
Many multivitamin products also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc
Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for the development of strong teeth and bones. Women, in particular, start losing bone density earlier than men and should be consuming foods rich in calcium or taking supplements at an early age. According to NIH the recommended amount of calcium per day is 1,000 mg for most adults.
Magnesium is a mineral recognized as essential for the proper functioning of the body. It acts in particular on mood, fatigue, concentration, and has many other health benefits. However, the human body does not naturally produce this mineral. It is, therefore, necessary to go and get it from the diet or take a magnesium cure thanks to the intake of food supplements or drugs in order to avoid deficiency. According to NIH, your body needs at least 350 mg Magnesium, and most multivitamins offer 300 to 320 mg.
Zinc is an essential trace element for the proper functioning of the body. Zinc participates in the metabolism of proteins and fats (carbohydrates and lipids), thanks to which cells produce energy. It contributes to normal fertility and reproduction, it contributes to the health of the hair, by promoting the synthesis of amino acids such as cysteine and methionine. It can thus be a real ally in the event of hair loss. The NIH suggests you get approximately 8-11 mg of zinc daily.
Iron is an essential multivitamin ingredient for better brain function, healthy red blood cells, and increased energy. Not everybody has the same iron requirement. Those who eat red meats typically get enough iron, but certain circumstances like the menstrual cycle, going through puberty, and being pregnant may increase the amount of iron you need. This is because iron is essential during times of rapid growth and development. Vegetarians and vegans may also want to make sure their multivitamin has iron.
Vitamin B9 (Folate)
Vitamin B9, like all group B vitamins, is water-soluble. Vitamin B9 is also called folic acid for the synthesized form serving as a supplement, and folate for that present naturally in food. Vitamin B9 plays an essential role in the production of genetic material (DNA, RNA) and amino acids necessary for cell growth. It plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells, the functioning of the nervous system and the immune system, as well as in the healing of wounds and wounds. It is necessary for the production of new cells, which makes it particularly important during periods of rapid growth such as childhood, adolescence, pregnancy (development of the fetus). According to NIH, you should consume around 400 mg of folate on a daily basis, 600 mg for pregnant women.
How many vitamins and minerals do you need daily?
Many MVMs contain all or most of the recognized vitamins and minerals. There are different varieties of MVMs for children, adults, men, women, pregnant women, and seniors typically provide different amounts of the same vitamins and minerals based on the specific needs of these populations. Certain vitamins and minerals supplements provide substantially higher than our daily needs. The amounts recommended applying to the “average citizen”, not to the sick – especially when they are taking certain drugs – nor too heavy smokers, nor to very competitive athletes. These people indeed need an above-average intake, at least vitamins. Pregnant and lactating women also have an increased need for almost all vitamins.
The following definitions relate to the intake of vitamins and minerals to promote optimal health, in other words, to prevent deficiency and avoid the consequences of excess.
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs)
The average amount of a nutrient a healthy person should get each day is known as Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs). RDAs vary according to age, sex, and whether a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding.
Adequate Intakes (AIs).
Adequate Intake (AI) represents the average daily ratio of a nutrient in a healthy population.
The Daily Value (DV)
The Daily Value (DV) is one value for each nutrient. The supplement label normally show the percentage DV that a serving of the product provides to you.
Tolerable upper intake (TUL)
Which is the highest daily amount of a vitamin or mineral that can be taken continuously without the likely risk of experiencing side effects, whether mild or severe.
Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)
f Represents the optimal intake of a nutrient and refers to a set of nutrient-based reference values that represent the approach to provide quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes. According to Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, in the mid-1990, the DRIs replaced the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) in the United States and the Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) in Canada.
The DRIs are actually a set of several reference values that include values related to both adequate intakes and upper levels of intakes.