How Multivitamins Benefit Your Body
Updated: Apr 26
Optimally, we get enough of these micronutrients in our food and water when we eat a well-balanced, nourishing diet, but many people don't eat enough fruits and veggies in today's world.
We can help to boost our intake with multivitamin supplements. It's important to note that too much of some vitamins or minerals can also be harmful.
A multivitamin typically contains vitamins and minerals. Without vitamins and minerals, our bodies don't have adequate team support for hundreds of vital functions
Vitamins work together with minerals to perform their various operations, such as when our bodies use vitamin D to snag calcium from the food we eat as it travels through the digestive system instead of taking it from our bones.
Our bodies don't create these nutrients on their own in the amounts needed but rely on food to provide the energy and materials to build tissue, heal injuries, and protect us through immunity.
If our bodies lack a particular vital substance required for a chain of events to work, the pathway will be interrupted. This glitch can cause a system to break down, just like a train missing a coupling will leave the following cars sitting on the tracks while it speeds to its destination.
Interactions and Benefits
There are over thirty vitamins, minerals, and compounds our bodies need. The amounts and varied effects are complex and can seem confusing. But there are facts that we can learn and use to make sense of them and benefit our health.
Our bodies use nutrients to build skin, muscle, bone, and blood cells and provide messaging between organs every minute of every day and night. These tasks require combinations of interactions to successfully create outcomes for our seven major systems.
Circulation, including respiration and blood transport
Digestion and excretion
Endocrine glands – metabolism, growth, reproduction, sexual function, and sleep
Integument – skin
Immunity and lymph system
Renal and Urinary system
Vitamins are organic, meaning they come from living things like plants. They are affected by heat, air, and water and can become inactivated by cooking, storage, and exposure.
Minerals are inorganic (not from living organisms, although they are essential for the growth of living things) and don't lose their structure or value as they make their way from soil and water into plants and animals that become food (6).
Our bodies need minerals in varying amounts, but they're all vital to similar degrees. Some are called major or macrominerals because they're present in relatively large quantities, while others are trace (microminerals) because our bodies only need a little.
The major minerals are
Sodium and Potassium help maintain fluid balance, support nerve transmission, and are essential in muscle contraction.
Chloride helps with fluid balance and provides stomach acid.
Calcium supports bones and teeth, helps muscles contract and relax, and plays roles in nerve function, blood pressure and clotting, and immunity.
Phosphorus supports bones and teeth, is in every cell, and helps with acid balance.
Magnesium is in bones, protein, muscles, nerves, and immunity.
Sulfur is also in protein molecules.
The trace minerals are
Iron is part of hemoglobin in red blood cells needed for oxygen delivery and energy metabolism.
Zinc is in enzymes, protein, genes, taste, healing, reproduction, and immunity.
Iodine is in the thyroid responsible for growth, development, and metabolism.
Selenium is an antioxidant.
Copper makes up parts of enzymes and used to metabolize iron
Manganese and Molybdenum are also in enzymes.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and boosts teeth and bone formation.
Chromium is needed to help insulin regulate blood glucose levels.
Nickel, silicon, vanadium, and cobalt are essential but only needed in tiny amounts
While it's possible to have a healthy, balanced diet and not require a multivitamin supplement, many people don't. We need all the vitamins and minerals to ensure our bodies have the tools to perform countless functions.
Become acquainted with the recommended amounts of each nutrient and consult with your healthcare or nutrition specialist as you select the best multivitamin supplement for your body.