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The Doctor's Corner
Should I Take A Daily Multivitamin?
Is it necessary to take a multivitamin every day?
Is it necessary? No. Should you? Yes. Let me explain. Late Paleolithic humans inhabiting various regions of the earth 50-100 thousand years ago survived by eating largely nothing but marine and terrestrial animal flesh. Early contact anthropologists and physicians did not record vitamin deficiency diseases (e.g., scurvy) in these populations. Clearly the concentration of these substances in the tissues of these food sources was sufficient to circumvent overt pathology.
Contemporary humans living in Western culture can do the same. Although, overall nutrient density of the dietary intake of ancestral humans was vastly superior to ours today. Certain RDAs are increasingly found to be too low with respect to the levels required to leverage their ability to provide chronic disease prevention. Certain vitamins like D and A have metabolic effects that are more like hormones and have been shown to be constitutively active in the prevention of several aspects of metabolic syndrome pathology. Others, like E, C, and K, most likely impart significant benefits above current RDA levels.
Macro minerals such as potassium and magnesium participate in energy balance. Since even individuals who practice consistent personal nutritional surveillance cannot have control over or knowledge of the circumstances of the growth, storage, and preparation of their food intake 100% of the time, supplementation would certainly seem to be a sensible practice for the purpose of optimization of these intake metrics.