As a busy professional, should you be taking supplements? It turns out that there are at least seven statistically-backed reasons you should make sure you get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals with a multivitamin.
- Avoid deficiencies by taking 100% of your RDA of each essential vitamin and mineral
- Supplementation is even more important for vegetarians and vegans
- Take supplements to protect your reproductive health and avoid birth defects
- Choose your supplements wisely to avoid over supplementation-related hospital visits
- Join the over ¾ of Americans who take daily dietary supplements
You know that getting optimum nutrition is the best way to stay healthy and live a long, productive life. However, the contemporary lifestyle that busy professionals lead often makes enjoying a good diet all-but impossible. Check out our top seven statistics supporting the position that taking a daily multivitamin like Feel can keep you healthy and active even when you don’t have time to sit down to three wholesome meals per day.
1. Most Women Don’t Get Enough Nutrients
Every few years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to learn more about the nutritional habits of United States citizens. One of the most recent NHANES surveys found that Americans are significantly deficient in practically every essential vitamin and mineral. A study by Oregon State University lays out the statistics clear as day:
“94.3% of the US population do not meet the daily requirement for vitamin D, 88.5% for vitamin E, 52.2% for magnesium, 44.1% for calcium, 43.0% for vitamin A, and 38.9% for vitamin C. For the nutrients in which a requirement has not been set, 100% of the population had intakes lower than the AI for potassium, 91.7% for choline, and 66.9% for vitamin K. The prevalence of inadequacies was low for all of the B vitamins and several minerals, including copper, iron, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc. Moreover, more than 97% of the population had excessive intakes of sodium, defined as daily intakes greater than the age-specific UL.”
These results are from 2007-2010, and more recent NHANES surveys have shown some dietary improvements in American adults. However, these statistics clearly show that even the most health-conscious individuals probably have serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
THE TAKEAWAY: Buck the trend and take supplements to be one of the healthiest people in the country.
2. 25% of the World Population is Anemic
Your body uses iron to make a constituent of your red blood cells called hemoglobin. While iron is present in several plant-based sources, the only type of iron that can make hemoglobin is called heme iron, which is only present in animal sources. If you don’t treat anemia with heme iron supplementation, you could develop serious symptoms like reduced energy, trouble thinking, or even breathing problems.
25% of the people in the world are anemic, and to make sure you aren’t counted in this statistic, you should supplement with heme iron every day. Omnivores can suffer from anemia if they don’t eat well, and people who abstain from eating meat are even more likely to develop this condition.
THE TAKEAWAY: Anemia is more widespread than it should be, but taking heme iron can reduce your risk of developing this condition.
3. 85% of Vegetarians and Vegans are B12-Deficient
It’s understandable to want to pursue a vegetarian lifestyle. The way that animals are usually treated is abhorrent, and some people can’t handle any animal products. However, you’ll need to be especially responsible with your health if you want to avoid meat since animal products like beef and chicken are the only known significant sources of vitamin B12.
Research has shown that at least 85% of vegans and vegetarians are deficient in vitamin B12. When you don’t get enough of this essential vitamin in your diet, your body won’t be able to synthesize energy properly, and you could develop a condition called megaloblastic anemia that causes your red blood cells to bloat. Plus, vitamin B12 deficiency can also reduce your mental clarity or even cause psychiatric diseases.
THE TAKEAWAY: If you’ve decided not to eat meat, you’ll need to take vitamin B12 to keep your energy levels up.
4. Over Two Billion People Are Iodine Deficient
Iodine is an essential mineral you need to have in your diet. Too much iodine can cause hyperthyroidism, which is marked by hyperactivity and rapid weight loss. If you don’t consume enough iodine, however, you could get hypothyroidism, which results in depression, weight gain, and a variety of other conditions.
Since most salt in the Western world contains iodine, deficiency in this essential mineral isn’t very common in developed countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) however, over two billion people are deficiency in iodine. If iodine deficiency isn’t properly treated, it could result in serious conditions like goiter. While you shouldn’t oversupplement with iodine, you need to get your recommended daily dose of this mineral to avoid developing dangerous diseases.
THE TAKEAWAY: Don’t overdo it when it comes to iodine, but make sure to get your RDA of this essential mineral every day to keep hypothyroidism away.
5. 70% of Americans Are Vitamin D-Deficient
Since the publication of the 2007-2010 NHANES survey, Americans have cleaned up their acts slightly when it comes to vitamin D deficiency. While over 90% of the people in the United States used to be deficient in vitamin D, more recent estimates suggest that this number has dropped to around 70%.
Vitamin D contributes to your bone health, and going without this essential vitamin for too long can decrease your bone density and cause osteoporosis. Since most busy professionals spend a lot of their time indoors, it’s hard for these office workers to get the sunshine they need to promote vitamin D production, which is why supplementing with this vitamin is so important for people who don’t have enough time for proper nutrition.
THE TAKEAWAY: Vitamin D deficiency makes it harder to get the job done. Supplement to keep your bones healthy.
6. Taking Folate Before Conception Reduces Spinal Bifida Risk by 83%
If you’re planning to have children any time soon, you should know that you can reduce your risk of giving birth to babies with spinal bifida by up to 83% if you start taking folate (vitamin B9) supplements prior to conception. A study showed that women who supplemented with vitamin B9 after learning they were pregnant reduced their risk of giving birth to children with this debilitating condition by 72%, but you’re an additional 11% less likely to bring a child into the world with this defect if you start supplementing now.
THE TAKEAWAY: Folate supplementation can reduce your risk of giving birth to children with crippling birth defects.
7. Taking Multivitamins Reduces Your Risk of Giving Birth to Autistic Children
Research scientists recently conducted a study focusing on 241 pregnant women who had previously given birth to autistic children. Women who didn’t take prenatal supplements had a 32.7 percent chance of giving birth to another autistic child, but those who took supplements reduced their risk to a mere 14.1 percent. Autism is on the rise worldwide, and supplementation might reduce the spread of this disease.
THE TAKEAWAY: Mothers of autistic children were almost 20% less likely to give birth to further autistic babies if they took prenatal supplements.