Have you ever wondered, “Which one is more effective? Is it better to take a multivitamin or separate ones?” This article intends to answer your questions. As a senior, nothing is more important than taking care of yourself. So, it would be best to learn more about trending diets for seniors and how to include all the essential vitamins and other ingredients in those diets to stay healthy. Continue reading to learn how multivitamins differ from single vitamins and supplements and how knowing the differences can affect your health.
So far, we know vitamins are organic nutrients our body needs to function properly. They are essential substances to us, and the ways they help protect our body and keep it healthy are countless.
Usually, you can get a variety of vitamins from natural sources and a healthy diet. But in case you need something more or witness any of the signs of vitamin deficiency in seniors, you can take supplements directly to make up for the lack of vitamins in natural sources.
It is a good idea to know what vitamins your body lacks. You should be aware of what you need to do to take proper care of your health in different conditions. For example, you need to know the best vitamins for the elderly during the winter since it is more challenging to stay healthy in cold winters.
Vitamins don’t only come in single supplements. There are other kinds of supplements called multivitamins with multiple vitamins alongside other necessary nutrients for the human body.
Multivitamins contain many of the necessary vitamins and minerals in just one supplement. Sometimes, even other necessary substances are present in a multivitamin compound. Depending on the brand, multivitamin supplements contain different vitamins and minerals.
Normally, it would be best if you do not take multivitamins more than once a day. But for more exact use, we should always follow the brand’s instructions. The brands that produce such products as multivitamins recommend the dosage that fulfills our needs without causing any problems in our health.
Multivitamins are not only produced in the form of pills. You can find powders, gums, and liquids that contain the same ingredients. The choice depends on your condition, although tablets and pills are the most commonly used form of multivitamins.
The Difference Between Multivitamins and Supplements
Using the terms supplements and vitamins interchangeably is a common mistake. But these two are not the same. Supplement means “something added to something else to complete it.” So, supplements are any product we use to add the missing nutrients and essential substances to our diet. They are products that, to some extent, prevent possible health problems. Vitamins, and consequently multivitamins, are a kind of supplement. Supplements also include minerals, herbs, and other forms of organic substances our body needs. So, you see how multivitamins and supplements are not the same.
So put in better words, all vitamins are always supplements, but not all supplements are vitamins. Rather, types of dietary supplements that contain vitamins are called vitamins. If they contain multiple vitamins at the same time, they are called multivitamins.
Choosing Between Single Vitamins or Multivitamins
To take single vitamins or multivitamins, that is the question.
Yet luckily, there is an answer for that, although not definite. Some researchers believe that you cannot make the perfect multivitamin. So it is better to focus on the single vitamins your body craves and take them individually. They hope instead of taking multivitamins daily, as many people do these days, we start taking the exact single vitamins our body needs.
Dr. Irwin Rosenberg, University Professor of Nutrition and Medicine at Tufts University’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging of the United States Department of Agriculture, agrees with researchers on this matter. He clearly states that there is no logical basis behind devising one single supplement that contains a combination of various vitamins. He insists that it is better to take the vitamins we know we cannot easily get from our diets as single supplements instead of a daily dosage of multivitamins.
This opinion may come from the doubts about how effective multivitamins are. Since many believe that there is no fixed algorithm that helps make a multivitamin that gives your body all it needs, some argue that daily multivitamins might not be as beneficial as we thought them to be.
The Real Benefits of Multivitamins
Almost all ideas like best foods to prevent cancer in old age revolve around getting the essential vitamins and nutrients to stay as healthy as possible. But the undeniable fact is, taking multivitamins, or single vitamins, cannot help you if you do not have a healthy diet, and it cannot reduce the chance of any severe illness. Vitamins fill in the gaps of nutrients and substances you need. They improve your health, but they do not make you illness-proof. That is why you need to take care of your diet and have a healthy lifestyle alongside vitamins.
The fact is that taking multivitamins does not necessarily prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease or cancer. However, research shows that taking multivitamins makes people’s overall health 30 percent better than not taking them.
So, while not many researchers can confidently claim what types of vitamins and supplements improve our health, we cannot deny the positive effects we see either.
Vitamins have many benefits for older adults. As an example, they help in overcoming fatigue in seniors. So, taking multivitamins daily to improve seniors’ health status seems beneficial despite the debates on which supplements are healthy and which are not.
It is essential not to neglect the benefits of vitamins for seniors.
The bottom line is
It is best for seniors to take the necessary vitamins through diets or supplements. Sometimes, seniors are aware of the lack of a particular vitamin in their body because they can’t get enough of it in their diet (like B12, which our body finds harder to absorb as we age). We recommend taking those vitamins individually in these cases since multivitamins contain them in different amounts that may not be enough.
Which one do you think is better? Do you prefer taking multivitamins or single vitamins? Let us know in the comments.