I used to take a multivitamin every day, but when I had coffee this week with my good friend Mike, I realized that I had stopped. Over coffee, Mike and I were comparing the supplements we take. I noted that the multivitamin wasn’t on his list, so I asked him. Indeed, he was not taking one.
It's when I was mentioning the benefits of taking a multivitamin to him that I realized that the boys and I were only sporadically taking ours! You see, multivitamins are important because they contain micronutrients which are nutrients your body needs in small amounts but without them, bad things happen.
Our diets require both macronutrients like protein, fat, and carbohydrates that provide calories, and micronutrients, the 40 vitamins and minerals required for energy production. These micronutrients aren’t naturally produced in our bodies, so we need to consume them in our food. While the modern diet is macronutrient rich, it is poor in micronutrient, and this can cause issues.
For example, children who are even mildly deficient in vitamin A have an increased mortality rate and can become blind. Giving large doses of vitamin A twice a year to these children dropped their mortality rate by 34% and reversed their blindness.
The person who discovered this was Alfred Sommers, who was a rock star and the dean of the school when I was studying at Hopkins. As a funny aside, I actually met him in a student meet-and-greet and, not knowing who he was, asked him what he did. Everyone in the conversation was horrified!
Bruce Ames, the emeritus professor of biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California Berkeley studied the importance of micronutrients and has more science paper publications than any other scientist.
Ames is famous for his Triage Theory which states: when micronutrients are limited, functions requiring short-term survival take precedence over functions whose loss can be better tolerated. Ames proposes that this triage can result in an increased risk of chronic diseases of aging. Click here to learn more about this theory.
As far as multivitamin brands, I’ve started to retake Pure Encapsulations O.N.E Daily, which is recommended by the biohacker Rhonda Patrick.
I’ve also taken New Chapter’s Multivitamin, which is composed from whole foods. Garden of Life’s multivitamin is composed of organic whole foods. Both have a men’s and women’s version. Both can be found on Amazon
A good bang for the buck is Rainbow Light, which also has a men’s and women’s version and contains 150 capsules (5 month's supply) for $43.
There are many others to choose from. The main thing is to start taking one today!