Written by Alex Simpson
When people talk about healthy eating, often they will talk about the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. There is a very good reason for this, and that is down to the fact that fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded full of nutrients, including vitamins! Vitamins play a role in so many different physiological processes within the human body that listing each one would take an age.
Whilst you probably don’t have time to sit around and grow a beard as we relay the countless reasons why vitamins are so good for you, take it from us – they are very important! Whilst vitamins are found in various healthy foods, as there are so many different vitamins currently available, getting enough of each one can be tricky. Vitamin C, for example, is very well known as it boosts immunity, whereas vitamin K, which is also important, is far less recognised and is, therefore, harder to come by in supplement form.
To ensure we don’t suffer from vitamin deficiencies, and that we get as many nutrients into our bodies as possible, many of us supplement with handy vitamin supplements. Some people choose to consume individual vitamins, whilst others opt for a handy multivitamin. But is it better to take individual vitamins, or one multivitamin supplement each day? Well, let’s find out, as we weigh up the pros and cons associated with individual vitamins and multivitamins.
Why take multivitamins?
Multivitamins, as if you didn’t already know, are supplements that are basically made up of numerous vitamins, all rolled into one. Generally, a multivitamin tablet will contain vitamins: A, B, C, D, and K, though different blends may also contain slightly more, including vitamin E, and different B complex vitamins. Alpha Men multivitamins, for example, contain the aforementioned vitamins, along with minerals and other natural extracts as well. Generally, however, all vitamins required by the human body will be found in a multivitamin supplement. Some of the main reasons to take them include the below.
A multivitamin supplement contains multiple vitamins all rolled into one, so you can get a large concentration of essential vitamins, in one handy pill.
Another benefit of multivitamins is that they are cost-effective. If you purchased the vitamins and minerals commonly found in multivitamins, individually, it would cost you a lot more than buying a multivitamin supplement.
Cover all bases
With a multivitamin, you know you are covering all bases because there are so many different vitamins contained inside it. With one pill you can address multiple issues at once.
Different vitamins have different uses, and with a multivitamin, you get each individual benefit at once. Vitamin C, for example, boosts the immune system, whilst B complex vitamins regulate the metabolism, and vitamin A promotes healthy vision, and so on. With one tablet you get to enjoy multiple benefits in one.
Why take individual vitamins?
Though the general consensus is that multivitamins are better, sometimes it is better to take individual vitamins, either alongside multivitamins or in place of. Here’s a look at the potential advantages of supplementing with individual vitamins.
Address vitamin deficiencies
If you suffer from a specific vitamin deficiency, i.e. a vitamin D deficiency, the dosages of vitamin D found in a multivitamin may not necessarily be enough. With individual vitamin D supplements, however, you know exactly how much of the vitamin you are getting, so you can increase the dosage as required. If using a multivitamin as well, make sure you factor in the vitamin D found in there, along with the individual supplement as well.
Great for specific medical conditions
If you suffer from a medical condition that requires a certain dosage of a specific vitamin, again, individual supp’s may be your best bet. This is because you can increase just one type of vitamin, whilst be keeping dosages of other vitamins stable.
So which is better?
In truth, neither is better than the other, as it all depends on you as an individual and your personal circumstances. If for example, you are on a budget and are taking vitamins purely to maintain optimal health and well-being, a multivitamin may be better.
If however, you suffer from a vitamin deficiency, taking individual vitamins may help you address a specific deficiency whilst regulating levels of other vitamins. Both have their own pros and cons, so weigh them up, consider your own personal situation, and take things from there. One thing you must remember, however, is that supplements are not a substitute for real food, so the first thing you must do is make sure you are eating plenty of fresh, healthy, and nutritious foods each day.