Do I need to take Vitamins?

Many people ask us this question every week, and the research and advertising you hear can be very confusing. Sometimes we're told "you must take them daily" and other times they say "vitamins don't do anything except make expensive pee". How are you to know what to do??

First of all, like any health advice, you can't take a stock answer. Everyone has different needs and health concerns and what is right for one may not be right for another. To start making your decision, you may need to decide what your goals are. Here are the reasons we do recommend a multi-vitamin: 1) taking a multi-vitamin sets up a daily, healthy habit. From here it becomes easier to begin/add other healthy habits (drinking more water, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly etc.) 2) We often don't eat enough (of the right things). Busy lives often leave us eating out, quickly grabbing food and not thinking about the balance and variety. Weeks and months can go by with us missing certain groups of foods and important vitamins and minerals as well. 3) the food we have access to is less nutritionally dense than it was years ago. Cooking decreases the nutrient value, as well as the soil it is grown in often contains less of the "good stuff". 4) boosting our bodies with vitamins and minerals greatly improves our immune system. When our immune system is working better, we have less sickness, less allergies, better digestion and better healing time. Your chiropractor is a champion of helping you boost your immune system, both with things you can do from the outside and things from the inside.

Does it matter what kind of MultiVitamin you take? They can get expensive, and are often something we will go without if trying to cut costs. The quality of products will definitely range from high to low. There are guides that can help you decide if the vitamin you use is worth the money. There are books, like the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, McWilliam 2003 and others that gather evidence not based on marketing but on product testing. You can ask your Naturopathic Doctor, your Chiropractor or your Physician if they have products or brands they recommend. Here at the ProActive Centre, we recommend and use the Progressive Nutritional multi-vitamin line. These products are of good quality and are at an excellent price point as well. They are formulated with the assistance of a Naturopathic Doctor, and are manufactured in Canada. They offer different multivitamins for men and women, for active persons and for those 50+. And the company donates a portion of their proceeds to the David Suzuki Foundation to help combat climate change. What is not to love?!

Taking a good quality multi-vitamin is definitely something to consider as part of your health routine. It ensures you will be stocked up on the minerals and vitamins you may be missing in your diet, it will keep your immune system working optimally, and replenishes stores that quickly deplete if you're an athlete or active person. Ask Dr Scott or Dr Taia about a multi-vitamin supplement if you have more questions, and you can review the Progressive Multi-Vitamin products on their site www.progressivenutritional.com

Taia Spencer-Yap