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Multivitamins: Contribution to Diet vs. Toxicity

Multivitamins are a formulation consisting of micronutrients such as elements and vitamins aimed at compensating for normal diet deficiencies. The target group for the multivitamins is people who face dietary imbalances. The human body requires vitamins and minerals on a daily basis for optimal functionality. Deficiency in vitamins and minerals manifests in various symptoms. These nutrients are abundant in nature but, at times, may call for supplementation if there is an indication of not meeting the daily requirements.

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Classification of vitamins is centered on their solubility in water or oil. This solubility determines their storage in the body as well as their absorption and excretion. The pathways determine the effect excess of vitamins will cause. The B complex and C vitamins are soluble in water. Vitamins A, D, E, and K, on the other hand, require an oil medium for extraction and absorption (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2006).

The multivitamins provide enough of the nutrients per tablet, meeting the daily recommendation for some while exceeding in others. The multivitamin complex supplies Vitamins D, E, B6, B12, and pantothenic acid to meet the Daily Recommended Intake and exceed. The recommended intake for vitamin C is 160mg. The supplement succeeds in providing 78% of the daily requirement. Vitamin C is abundant in a normal, balanced diet that includes citrus fruits such as oranges and pineapple.

If such are taken daily, the consumption is higher than the recommended intake level. Vitamin C and B complex vitamins form a solution in water and cannot be stored in the body. Amounts exceeding the recommended allowance leave the body through the excretory system. They require daily replenishment in the body through the requirement is minute. The supplement supplies 70% of recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, 150% of vitamin D, 150% vitamin E and 75% of Vitamin K. These vitamins are oil soluble.

The excess is stored inside the body in the liver fat. For this reason, the four vitamins are not required on a daily basis and take time before deficiency systems manifest. The supplement has minerals such as selenium manganese in excess of recommended daily allowance while it meets the demand for Iodine.

The pill, however, provides the trace elements that are hard to obtain in a normal, healthy diet. These include Boron, Tin, and Nickel. Other benefits include compensation for vitamins lost during food storage and preparation. Vitamins such as B complex and Ascorbic acid are lost largely during food preparation (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2006).

For people taking a healthy diet, the daily requirements for minerals and vitamins are reached. Supplements should only be admitted under prescription. The green leafy vegetables might be supplying enough Calcium regardless of not taking milk. Whole grains are rich in Thiamin and may not require supplementing. The upper limit for vitamins and minerals forms the optimal position that, when exceeded, intoxication may manifest. Taking the multivitamin with organ meats may cause Copper toxicity. The daily allowance for Copper is 0.9mg, which the supplement supplies in full.

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The tolerable upper limit for Copper is 2mg. This may lead to liver damage. One pill also satisfies the daily requirement for Iodine. The pill may elevate Iodine to toxic levels if taking iodized salt. Excess Iodine has long-term repercussions as it causes the development of goiter. The upper allowable limit for Iodine is 1.1mg. Vitamin A exceeding 14000mcg causes adverse effects affecting the liver, nervous system, and bones. Excess of Vitamin D causes calcification of soft tissues and renal disorders.

Vitamin E causes elevated chances of hemorrhage. Iron levels above 45mg can cause liver damage, while manganese can cause neurotoxicity at levels above 11mg. Multivitamins have absolute benefits, but they should be taken under prescription following a medical evaluation (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2006).


Grosvenor, M. B. & Smolin, L. A. (2006). Nutrition: Everyday choices. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

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