The use of multivitamins is under fire due to recent observational studies such as that conducted by Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Washington State. The nutritional supplements market is a huge growth industry and though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements, there are name brands the public has come to trust.

Such brands as Centrum and One A Day are household names, and offer different kinds of multivitamins to suit particular needs, such as Silver Centrum for those over age 50 and One A Day Weight Smart Advanced for those watching their waistlines.

Can it all be snake oil?

It’s an unlikely scenario that all multivitamins are useless. The problem with the emerging reputation of multivitamins and their use as merely resulting in expensive urine may be due to manufacturers’ marketing plans.

Selling the public on the idea that ingesting their products may prevent conditions such as cancer or heart disease may be the catalyst for such studies.

The aforementioned study focused on just that aspect, how many of the subjects developed cancers or heart disease while taking, and not taking, multivitamins. Because the results showed that about an equal number of multivitamin users and non-users developed cancers and heart disease, the consensus was that the vitamins provided little or no benefit. While making the purchase, there should be proper consideration over the charges of the product. The consumption should be as per the advice given through the experts, The vitamins will be excellent for the consumption of the megasporebiotic products. The chronic pains will be reduced from the body of the person. There will be reduction in the development of cancer and diabetes. 

What the study didn’t include was how the multivitamins performed as supplements to the participants’ diets, and the lifestyle of the participants. If those users and non-users were eating junk food and knocking back six packs of beer while smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes a day, well then, the vitamins hardly stood a chance, did they?

Manufacturers would do well to reconsider their marketing plans. Rather than pitch the pills as preventatives, which can so easily be proven erroneous, why not sell them as what they are, supplements.

Meant to complete, to strengthen that which exists, a nutritional supplement is designed to boost a diet that consists of healthy foods but may fall short of daily requirements. If everyone could get their full nutritional daily requirements every day, there would be no need for multivitamins or other nutritional supplements.

But even the healthiest of eaters may not meet the minimum daily requirements set forth by the FDA. And in difficult economic times, meeting those requirements becomes more challenging.

Eating two servings of dairy, two servings of protein, six servings of grains, three servings of vegetables and six servings of fruit each day may be a bit much for many people.

The cost of such a well-rounded diet may be out of reach for many folks, not to mention the time it takes to prepare and eat that much food each day. Would not a multivitamin supplement the body when the sum of whole foods ingested fails to meet the daily requirement?

If so, would detractors then argue that people will use multivitamins as a substitute for whole foods; that instead of engaging in healthy eating practices, people will merely pop a pill and go on about their day?

Can a One A Day be lunch?

Substituting a pill for a meal may be a favored literary trick of science fiction writers, but it’s an unlikely scenario. The human body feels hunger, and food is the only way to appease the body. It is unlikely humans will transcend beyond a good meal anytime soon.

The study conducted by Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and others like it, seem to rely on the hype of manufacturers’ marketing. Researchers latch onto the word “prevention” and set out to prove supplements cannot meet those expectations. And manufacturers seem to rely on the public’s fear of disease to sell their products.

Perhaps manufacturers should try selling the truth. A multivitamin, like any other nutritional supplement, is effective when used properly. It cannot act as a substitute for good nutrition, nor can it stop a disease brought about by overwhelming external factors, such as cigarette smoking or excessive intake of fatty foods.

Perhaps they should just say, “Our multivitamin will make you feel better today. It will help you meet your nutritional needs. And if you take care of yourself, you’re less likely to get sick.”

Now wouldn’t that be a novel concept?