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2011-04-26

Do You Really Need a Multivitamin?

My first post since the Easter long weekend. Hope you all enjoyed the extra time with friends and family.

So, we all know we need to eat healthy -- ideally organic, but at least natural. For me, I'll eat anything that's healthy, even if it tastes bad. Then again, you can get away with the occassional great-tasting food that's unhealthy. But unhealthy AND gross?! That should be illegal.

...ok, I don't know where that was headed...so pulling myself back to the topic at hand...let's look at the newest evidence of whether even a "healthy" diet is adequate in delivering nutrients.

A new study demonstrates the need for (at minimum) a multivitamin nutritional supplement. This newly published ten-year study found that 50% of healthy Italian senior participants (aged between 70 and 75) were deficient in vitamins A and B2. This was despite no decline in caloric intake over the ten-year period.

The researchers also report that -- at the start of the study -- the seniors' intake of all vitamins exceeded the lowest European RDI (recommended daily intake). The only exception being vitamin B1, for which 44% of the men and 60% of the women were already deficient.

In summary, the researchers conclude, “despite an adequate nutritional/functional status and a total energy intake that could be expected to cover the recommendations for micronutrients too, a considerable proportion of our successfully aging elderly were already deficient in, or at high risk of becoming deficient in several essential vitamins. Multivitamin supplementation may be necessary, even in healthy individuals, to ensure an adequate micronutrient intake in the elderly.”

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Source: Ten-year trends in vitamin intake in free-living healthy elderly people: The risk of subclinical malnutrition

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