I consider myself to be pretty health-educated. I understand what the three macronutrients are (protein, fat and carbohydrate) and where to find them. I have an interest in glycaemic index (GI) and prefer to choose low GI foods. I avoid trans fats – those synthetically twisted, heat-treated fat molecules with the unnatural DNA structures.
I avoid sugar and excess fat. I know antioxidants are important and most people don’t get enough through their everyday food choices; same with “good” oils and fats, such as omega 3, 6 and 9.
Fibre is another need-to-have (both soluble and insoluble) and I also know supermarket bread is unlikely to help this situation much at all; that processed wheat flour can be drying and clog up your gut; while rice is moistening and helps clean you out, though some varieties have a high GI, so you need to be careful which ones you choose to eat.
So, yes, I think I am reasonably informed about health and diet, but there is always more to learn.
I thought other people might benefit from some recent investigation I did into multivitamins – and vitamins pills in general. Here’s a little something you may not already know about your multivitamin.
Some things you may not know about multivitamins
Multivitamins were considered “alternative” – the domain of food fanatics and hippies – until the 1990s. Now they are extremely mainstream.
When grey water waste and sewerage is processed by the water treatment plants in most industrial countries there is an extensive filtration process to capture and strain out the undigested vitamins people have evacuated. Vitamins are so densely compacted during manufacturing that our bodies struggle to process some of them.
Your multivitamin is not made to contain the phytonutrients some of the nutrients are paired with in nature. There are two schools of thought on this: 1) it doesn’t matter, the vitamins still have a benefit; 2) it does matter and our ability to utilise the vitamins is enhanced by “companion” eating (eating foods with the multivitamin to help our bodies maximise its’ benefit).
Not all multivitamins are the same! I know it sounds obvious, but did you know that these days you can buy a basic multivitamin (with you A, E, Bs, with the standard cyanocobalamin Vitamin B12 and so forth) or one that also has antioxidants (such as Vitamin C) or even Chinese herbs? It may not be just a gimic, either.
These “new” generation multivitamins may actually be more effective, as the formulations are more sophisticated and, perhaps, getting closer to nature.
Some multivitamin products do not use standardised active ingredients, meaning 50mg of ingredient X in Product Y may not be the same as 50mg of ingredient X in Product Z. Try a few different types of multivitamin till you find one that works for you – and cost has nothing to do with it.
The more expensive brands are not necessarily the most effective ones. Trial and error is the best way to work it out, or choose a standardised formulation that contains a consistent dose of the active ingredient (not herb). These are hard to find but there are some reliable, standardised brands of vitamin supplements out there.
I hope you found that interesting. I love learning new things about health and had fun looking into it, but if you can tell me something I don’t know about my multivitamin, then please share!
About the Author:
Joanne Lemke is a final year creative writing student at UOW, who is looking to break into the corporate copywriting space once she graduates and hopefully go on to eventually some day write a book around her other passions, namely beauty, cooking and travel.
The information written here is not meant as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to following what is written on the article or taking herbal supplements of any kind.