Did you know multivitamins were created during World War II, in order to help Americans address food shortages during the war? And multivitamins have been popular ever since, helping people make up for nutritional and dietary deficiencies. Not everyone is successful at getting all the nutrients they need from the food they eat, so multivitamins seem like a reasonable catch-all to stay healthier.
But the science of nutrition has changed a lot since the 1940s, and the fact is, multivitamins are a one-size-fits-all approach to an extremely individualized issue — your body and its unique needs. What you may require to best support your personal well-being is unlikely to be the same as what your neighbor needs.
A new survey for Persona Nutrition by Wakefield Research reveals that almost half (47%) of Americans say it’s even more important to take a daily multivitamin now than last year. Most people look to multivitamins for specific health challenges, including:
- 53% for supporting their immune system
- 44% to have more energy
- 26% to maintain a healthy weight
- 24% to support a good night’s sleep
- 24% to maintain a healthy stress level
However, a multivitamin might not contain the exact nutrients to help all people with those health concerns. In addition, vitamin supplements can also have a potentially negative effect on — or interaction with — other medications you may be taking.
How to determine your vitamin and supplement needs
Answering simple questions about your health history, lifestyle and medications in the online assessment at PersonaNutrition.com will reveal your personalized plan for recommended vitamins and supplements in 3-5 minutes.
“At 50, I’ve learned that I need more than a multivitamin to tackle my sleep and digestion challenges, so I love having all of my vitamins and supplements — like melatonin, peppermint, vitamin D, ginger, omega-3 and probiotic — organized with my multivitamin in daily packs,” said Kelly Ripa, award-winning host and executive producer of LIVE with Kelly and Ryan. “It’s reassuring to connect with Persona’s nutritionists whenever I have a question or want to try a new combination of vitamins — they really take the guesswork out of my vitamin routine.”
The company’s proprietary algorithm used for the assessment is based on scientific research reviewed by a team of doctors and nutritionists, factoring in your lifestyle, individual needs and current prescription medications to provide doctor-formulated vitamin and supplement recommendations that are as unique as you are.
“Especially for those with specific health concerns, whether stress and sleep problems, energy levels or immunity concerns, a multivitamin alone is not going to supply sufficient or targeted nutrition,” said Courtney Jackson, MPH, CN, director of nutrition research at Persona Nutrition. “We feature daily nutrition coaching from on-staff nutritionists, a robust database to scan for potential drug-nutrient side effects — and we complement our high-quality multivitamin with specific nutritional supplements that are aimed at supporting each person’s health issues and diets.”
Top health concerns
Jackson points out the company’s approaches to address three of the primary health concerns of Americans right now.
- Your immune system. Health-conscious consumers today are looking for ways to support their immunity. “It’s important to remember that the immune system is just that — a system,” says Jackson. “Your multivitamin should be paired with good lifestyle habits and complemented by immune-supporting supplements like quercetin, garlic or even additional vitamin D, when needed.”
- Fatigue. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to fatigue. If you are already regularly taking a multivitamin, you might consider having bloodwork done at your next wellness visit to look for other issues. If you have done so and still experience low energy levels, it may be a good time to complement your multivitamin with natural nutrients, including fermented ginseng or adaptogenic cordyceps.
- Sleep problems. During challenging times, getting enough sleep is even more important than ever. While vitamins and minerals can play a role in your ability to fall asleep and sleep soundly, taking a multivitamin alone likely isn’t doing the trick. Consider supplementing your vitamin with sleep-inducing ingredients such as L-Theanine, hops extract and melatonin to support sleep quality and reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
It’s time to swap your one-size-fits-all multivitamin for a more scientific, personalized approach to your nutrition, so you can give your body what it truly needs, not what your neighbor needs.