Jul 14

B-12 Vitamins

B-12 Vitamins

Nutritional Support for Optimal Wellness
By Brazos Minshew, TriVita Chief Science Officer

Common Nutritional Deficiencies
Severe deficiencies of vitamins or minerals are rare in the developed world. However, evidence suggests that slight deficiencies in certain nutrients may be relatively common. These include calcium, chromium, folate, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin B12 (primarily in the elderly), vitamin D, vitamin E, and zinc.

While few people are so deficient in these nutrients to show symptoms of outright malnutrition, subtle deficiencies may increase the risk of a number of diseases. For example, insufficient intake of calcium and vitamin D may increase your chances of developing osteoporosis, and inadequate folate and vitamin B 6 may speed the development of heart disease. Thus, taking supplements to supply these important vitamins and minerals as a form of insurance may be a good idea.

Besides vitamins and minerals, intake of essential fatty acids may be commonly inadequate.

Multivitamin and Mineral Supplements
The simplest way to support your nutrition is to take a general multivitamin and mineral supplement providing a broad range of nutrients at standard nutritional levels. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind.

Some supplements include very high doses of certain nutrients, such as antioxidants. When you take nutrients in this fashion, you are using them as drugs rather than nutrients; you are no longer in the world of nutritional supplementation and have passed into the riskier world of megadose treatment.
We recommend that you use an iron-free multivitamin and mineral supplement unless you have been tested and found to be deficient in iron.
The minerals calcium and magnesium are very bulky, and few multivitamin and mineral supplements provide the daily requirement. These minerals generally must be taken in the form of additional pills.

Note: It is not possible for your body to absorb a days worth of calcium in a single dose. At least two doses are necessary.

Finally, note that food may contain many nonessential substances, such as carotenoids and bioflavonoids, that nonetheless enhance health. For this reason, no nutrient supplement should be regarded as a substitute for a healthy and varied diet.

Therapeutic Uses
Under certain conditions, the need for many nutrients may increase. These include illnesses such as diabetes, Crohns disease, HIV and ulcerative colitis. Furthermore, individuals who smoke cigarettes or overuse alcohol may need additional nutrients. Medications may also increase the need for certain nutrients.

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2. Reynolds MA, London RS. Efficacy of a multivitamin/mineral supplement in the treatment of the premenstrual syndrome [abstract]. J Am Coll Nutr. 1988;7:416.
3. Stewart A. Clinical and biochemical effects of nutritional supplementation on the premenstrual syndrome. J Reprod Med. 1987;32:435-441.
4. Chakmakjian ZH, Higgins CE, Abraham GE. The effect of a nutritional supplement, OptiviteW for women, on premenstrual tension syndromes: II. Effect on symptomatology, using a double-blind, cross-over design. J Appl Nutr. 1985;37:12-17.
5. Schlebusch L, Bosch BA, Polglase G, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, double-centre study of the effects of an oral multivitamin-mineral combination on stress. S Afr Med J. 2000;90:1216-1223.

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