Nutrition & Dieting/Re: Multivitamins and Dietary Supplements
I am a 24 year old male and have a couple questions/concerns regarding multivitamins. Recently I've been taking "Centrum Specialist Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplement with Phytosterols," Cod Liver Oil, and "Spring Valley Calcium with Vitamin D" tablets at night. I take one of each every night immediately after or during a meal. In the day I don't usually get fruits/vegetables in my system. I will have a bagel in the morning sometimes, or an apple, some tea, and then a bigger meal around 4 to 5 pm. This bigger meal usually has meat like chicken or lamb. At night I may have a smaller serving of the leftovers, or some cereal. So I don't really get that many calories in the day, definitely under 2000, probably around 1500. I am working on gaining some weight by lifting weights.
I have been reading that these Centrum multivitamins are not actually good for the body, and I run across all sorts of different reviews on these things so I don't know who/what to trust. Could you guide me in the right direction? I obviously don't want to be harming my health, I just want to get all the essential vitamins and minerals everyday I can because before I started taking these, I was likely not getting the daily recommendations of all of them.
Before we get to the vitamin issue, I really recommend you try to get more food in during the day. If anything try making breakfast your biggest meal of the day. Especially if you are lifting weights, you need the calories to help go towards muscle repair.
Just making a very loose estimation based on what you say you eat, it looks like you're getting 30-50 grams of protein per day, give or take. If you are actively lifting it is recommended you get at minimum .75 grams protein per pound bodyweight. Protein is what repairs and builds muscle tissue.
Ok to your main concern. Centrum vitamins are not bad. It all depends on your needs and goals, but everyone should take a multi.
The research you read is part of a big trend of "experts" (I use that term loosely) who say we don't need to supplement with a multivitamin. I don't pretend to be a doctor, but from a fitness standpoint their claims are questionable. These same people who claim multivitamins and even protein powder are dangerous, are the same ones who say take this pill for this, that pill for that. Have you ever watched the ads on TV for these prescription pills? The list of side effects belong in a horror movie. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever died from taking multivitamins. However prescription meds go on TV and blatantly tell you the pill can cause strokes, heart attacks, liver failure, etc.
Here is the deal, they say you can get the necessary vitamins and minerals from food. This in theory is correct. How many American's eat that way though? Even if you eat good, it is a proven fact that the nutritional value of food is far less than it was 30 years ago. Industrialization of farming has caused compromises in the way produce is harvested and planted.
Then add in environmental factors, lack of sleep, over active life style, air pollution, etc. All of these things compromise your health.
If you have no underlying health issues, you should feel fine taking the Centrum multivitamin. Be sure to take it with a meal that contains fat, preferably at breakfast. And at least try to get in a good source of protein for breakfast.