You're doing everything right…
…diet, rest, reducing toxins…
…and yet you still have vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
So, should you take a multi-vitamin OR individual vitamins/minerals?
Well, the answer depends… (doesn't it always??)
Yet, I do have some general guidelines to help you, plus I'm sharing what I do.
Check out the particulars below in print, podcast, or video.
The Question: Should You Take A Multi-Vitamin Or Individual Vitamins & Supplements To Meet Nutritional Deficiencies?
Danielle T. asked:
Is it sufficient to take a multivitamin or is it better dial in on specific nutrients that you need and take multiple, individual supplements?
First, I have to say…
We are what we eat. If we eat healthy, we increase our health. If we eat poorly, our health suffers. If we do everything else right (sleep and exercise and reduce stress) yet still eat poorly, we won’t attain the health we could have. Food is utterly redemptive and healing!
So, it's important to begin my answer today by saying this: Supplements are not the same as food. You can't out-supplement a poor diet.
Sure, there is a time and place for supplements — like when we have an elevated need for a certain nutrient (such as iron or magnesium).
However, the more we can meet our nutrition needs through real, whole foods, the better off we’ll be.
Whole foods contain much more than any single nutrient we’re after. Often, whole foods contain hundreds more nutrients (some we haven’t even identified!) that all work together to help us better assimilate their nutrition. When we isolate to make supplements, we lose that synergy.
I always prefer to seek out whole foods first, and then supplement where a deficit exists. And we do Traditional Cooking here, which takes extra care (but not with extra time if you're already cooking with whole foods) to prepare foods so they are as nutritious and digestible as possible… If you'd like an intro to Traditional Cooking, make sure to sign up for our FREE Traditional Cooking Video Series.
Having said that… our soils are so depleted and our foods are not as nutrient-dense as they used to be. It's actually hard to get all our nutrients from foods.
Many of us reach the point where we find that we have vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
I don't see anything wrong with choosing a good multi-vitamin and taking it to cover all the bases. (We do.)
However, if you have a severe deficiency, a multi-vitamin usually won't give you enough of what you need. That's where the individual supplements come in. I take magnesium and iron. As well as cod liver oil for Vitamin D3.
It's hard for me to give a “do this” answer for everyone because every situation is a little different. You really can't make a confident decision about what you should do without knowing what your specific deficiencies are.
Start with that and work up.
Here are two possible scenarios and what you might consider doing:
- You have severe deficiencies and don't feel well — Eat well, rest well, drink pure water and consider taking a multi-vitamin to cover the bases as well as individual supplements to work on more extreme deficiencies.
- You feel generally well but maybe not as well as you could — Eat well, rest well, drink pure water and consider taking a multi-vitamin to cover the bases, and then see how you feel. If further deficiencies are uncovered in the future, add supplementation (or foods) for those.
Some people have food intolerance(s) that rule out certain formulations. So then they're having to take a special formula but it's missing something another one has, so they have to take something else in addition to fill the gap.
- Seeking Health Optimal Multi-Vitamin
- Life Extensions Iron Protein Plus
- Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate
- Free Traditional Cooking Video Series
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I share tips and resources, plus answer your questions about Traditional Cooking!
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Do you prefer a multi-vitamin or individual vitamin supplements or both? Why?
Disclaimer: Healthcare begins and ends with you. As your needs for healthcare and healthcare information change, you must evaluate not only the source but also also what is provided. It is your right to be thoroughly informed. Just as importantly, it is your responsibility to participate actively in your own care and to participate in the decision-making process. The information provided on this site is not intended to replace consultation, evaluation, services, or establishment of a licensed practitioner-patient relationship. Furthermore, it is not diagnostic and does not replace an in-person examination and agreed upon course of action. The material is meant for information and possible supplementation of what is provided by your specific healthcare provider and is not intended to replace medical care.
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