Friday, July 24, 2009


Wondering whether those mulitvitamins actually do anything for you? There's been many discussions amongst clinicians, nutritionists, and athletes regarding the use of multivitamins and their benefits. My theory: if you cannot ingest them with healthy eating habits, then take the multivitamin.
Here's an excerpt from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that may offer you another way of thinking about multivitamins:

1. Multivitamins May Tap Fountain of Youth
Taking multivitamins might make your cells biologically younger, according to a study appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The study compared the length of DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes, called “telomeres,” of those who took multivitamins and those who did not. The length of the telomeres of those who took multivitamins was longer, which is thought to mean they were biologically younger than those of non-users.
The lifespan of cells is linked directly to telomeres, which act to limit the number of times a cell can divide. The telomeres ensure that cells keep their programmed arrangement and do not vary — any such variation can lead to cancer. Every time a cell replicates itself, the telomeres shorten, and once the telomeres are used up, the cell destroys itself.
Researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found that the telomeres of those who take multivitamins every day seem to be about 5 percent longer than those who do not.
As their database, the researchers used telomere and vitamin statistics of 586 participants in the Sister Study, which is a national, long-term tracking study of women ages 35-74 who have never had breast cancer but who have a biological sister with the disease.
“Regular multivitamin users tend to follow a healthy lifestyle and have a higher intake of micronutrients, which sometimes makes it difficult to interpret epidemiologic observations on multivitamin use," research leader Dr. Honglei Chen wrote in the study report. "Further investigations would be needed to understand the role of multivitamin use and telomere length and its implication in the etiology of chronic diseases.”
About 35 percent of all adults in the United States take multivitamins regularly, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


  1. Is this study really showing that multivitamins make your cells biologically younger, or that the nutrients that come from it do? I mean I'm just thinking that most people in America today probably don't eat healthy enough where they get all the nutrients and trace-vitamins they need so most of them need multivitamins.. however, isn't it BETTER to get those nutrients from food sources than from dietary supplements?

  2. It's always (in my opinion) to get the needed nutrients from food sources because you're also getting the proteins, carbohydrates, and essential fats that your body needs to function as well. But like you said, most people in America today don't eat well enough to get all those elements from their food (think fast foods). Here's an experiement for you: go in to your local food store (Safeway, Lucky's, etc.) and notice how the foods are placed. Try to find a healthy food source in the front of the store. Most of the items placed before your eyes are those that stimulate your hunger senses -the sweet, or simple carb foods. Vegetables and fruit? They're at the far end of the store. Lean chicken and beef, far corner of the meat section.
    Never go food shopping when you're hungry.