There are many factors that cause nutrient depletion, such as poor diet, stress, exercise, use of prescription drugs, environmental toxicity, and excessive alcohol intake. For many micronutrients, deficiency, inadequate intake or nutrient depletion is common relative to the RDA. This is why a women’s multi vitamin is so important in making up for short- comings in the diet and preventing deficiencies.
There are 13 essential vitamins that our bodies need for proper growth, function, and maintenance of healthy tissues. The vitamins are either water-soluble or fat-soluble. The B-vitamins and vitamin C dissolve in water and are easily eliminated from the body. Adverse reactions, even with high-dose supplements, are rare with these vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, and E) are not readily excreted from the body and have the potential to accumulate in the tissues and cause adverse effects at high doses. These vitamins should be found in efficacious amounts in a quality women’s multi vitamin.
Minerals are elements that originate in the earth. The body cannot make minerals so they must be obtained through the diet and/or supplements. Both plant and animal foods provide minerals. Plants obtain minerals from the soil they are grown in. Animals get minerals from the plants they eat, and then we get these minerals indirectly by eating the animal products. There are also some minerals present in drinking water, but this varies with geographic location, as does the mineral content of plants. A complete women’s multi vitamin (despite the name) should also contain the key minerals for optimal health.
Minerals are categorized according to our daily requirements. Calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus are considered major minerals since we require a substantial amount of these for health and wellness. The trace minerals, which are required in smaller amounts, are chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc. The minerals potassium and sodium are known as electrolytes, substances that dissociate into ions (charged particles) in solution, making them capable of conducting electricity.
When choosing a women’s multi vitamin look for one from a reputable manufacturer that contains a complete array of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in one formula. And male sure to read the label carefully to ensure you are not paying for unnecessary additives or fillers, which can be harmful to your health.