4 Nov 2021 Do You Need A Multivitamin?

There have been many studies showing both the benefits and dangers of multivitamins. This is very confusing and I find that I spend a lot of time each week answering this very basic question from my patients:

Do I need a multivitamin?

My answer is 2 words: Personalized Medicine

Personalized medicine means that because everyone is different, there cannot possibly be one answer that applies to everyone. You are different genetically; your life stressors are not the same as the person next to you, and your diet for the past 5 years, and longer, is uniquely yours.  All these factors determine whether or not you need a multivitamin right now.  All of these differences between us explain why all medical and health programs need to be tailored to each unique individual. To better understand how to use personalized medicine to decide about the multi-question, let’s first talk about what vitamins actually do.   Vitamins and minerals play an important role in your health. They help to activate all the enzymes that make your cells and organs function optimally. Vitamins and minerals also provide antioxidants necessary for a healthy immune system; they protect your tissues from damage and provide nutrients for efficient liver detoxification.

How do you know if you don’t have enough?

Here are some indications you might be low on what your body needs:

If you:

  • Have been diagnosed with an illness of any kind.
  • Are having symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, losing hair, peeling nails, bumpy skin on the back of your arms, to name just a few. Or any symptoms your doctor can’t figure out.
  • Are a vegan or vegetarian for many years; you might be low in B12 and zinc.
  • Don’t eat many fruit and vegetables.
  • Have had lots of stress for a long time, your body needs more B’s and minerals than usual.
  • Have digestive issues, or if you’re taking an antacid or proton pump inhibitor, you might not be absorbing your vitamins very well, and therefore need to supplement with higher amounts.
  • Are hypothyroid, you have a higher need for the minerals zinc, selenium, and potentially iodine.

Of course, it is impossible to list all the conditions that indicate you may need more vitamins, but to help us figure this out we can look more scientifically by doing advanced Functional Medicine testing.  At Synergy Health Associates we practice personalized medicine, which means we can actually test how your cells are functioning and whether you are low in any particular vitamin, helping us to customize your treatment plan.

Interested in learning more?

Ask about our urine test. You can do this simple urine test at home and come in to review the results with Dr. Friedman

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