Vitamins and minerals are naturally occurring substances found in foods.  They play an essential role in ensuring healthy functioning, including contributing to normal growth, proper digestion, and improved immune system response.   Some vitamins, referred to as antioxidant vitamins (i.e., Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and carotenoids) that protect the body against excessive oxidation reactions, may prevent chronic diseases like osteoporosis, cancer, and heart disease.  While eating a well-balanced diet increases one's chances of consuming the proper amounts of these substances, many people don't receive all the nutrients that they need from their diets either because they can't or don't eat the right foods.  Obstacles that can stand in the way of healthy nutrition include being on low calorie weight loss programs and the hectic pace of modern living, which can lead to fast food consumption and poor nutritional intake.  Multivitamin and mineral supplementation can ensure that individuals get the vitamins and minerals that they need to promote good health. 

            Routine use of multivitamins and minerals has been implicated in playing a role in several positive health outcomes.  For example, in women of childbearing age, the use of multivitamins with folic acid (one of the B vitamins) before and during pregnancy reduces the incidence of neural tube birth defects like Spina Bifida by approximately 60% (Werler, 1993).  There are also implications for the use of vitamins in the prevention of heart disease, especially in women.  According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease, takes more women's lives than the next seven causes of death combined - nearly 500,000 a year. This is nearly twice as many as all forms of cancer.   In a long-term study of approximately 85,000 women who were followed for 16 years, vitamin C supplementation resulted in a reduced risk of coronary heart disease of approximately 28% (Osganian, et al., 2003). 

          Vitamin supplementation can benefit both men and women. Osteoporosis is a disease associated with thinning of the bones that affects men and women.  Osteoporosis develops when calcium levels in the blood are low, and as a result, the body responds by taking calcium from the bones, a condition that can lead to bone fractures, stooped posture, and loss of height.  This serious medical condition can potentially be prevented with the supplementation of calcium and Vitamin D, which aids in the intestinal absorption of calcium (Dawson-Hughes, et al., 1990).  For those with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, the taking of multivitamins and minerals can be especially important.  For example, the results of one study showed that the daily use of multivitamins and minerals substantially reduced infections and related work absenteeism in individuals with Type 2 diabetes (Barringer, et al., 2003).  

      The elderly is another group who may benefit from multivitamin and mineral supplementation.  Unfortunately, many older people do not get the nutrients that they need either because of generally poor appetite due to decreased sense of taste and smell, the presence of various medical conditions that require restrictive diets, or because of difficulty in absorbing certain nutrients.  In general, for the elderly as well as for others, poor nutritional intake can lead to impaired immune system functioning, which is the ability of the body to fight infection.  Older adults who supplement their diets with multivitamins and minerals experience improved immune system functioning (i.e., lower rates of infection).

            In summary, the health benefits associated with multivitamin and mineral supplementation strongly suggest that their use should be seriously considered by:

  •  people on low calorie weight loss diets
  •  women of childbearing
  •  people with chronic diseases (i.e., diabetes)
  •  older adults
  •  anyone who wants to ensure adequate levels of nutrients for good health    

            Currently, at the Women's Wellness Place, we offer for sale "VITARAYS", a specially formulated multivitamin that contains recommended levels of nutrients necessary for optimal health. Men as well as women can benefit from the use of "VITARAYS".  It is prepared in a capsule, which is gentler on the stomach. For better absorption, we recommend taking one in the morning with breakfast and one in the evening with dinner. Our special formulation reduces the likelihood of reflux, which can be associated with the consumption of some vitamin products.  For more information, either visit our website at www.thewomenswellnessplace.com or contact our distributor directly at 1-800-873-9850.


Osganian, SK, et al. Vitamin C and risk of coronary heart disease in women. J AM Coll Cardiol 2003; 42: 246-252.

Barringer, TA, et al. Effect of a multivitamin and mineral supplement on infection and quality of life: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine 2003; 138: 365-371.

Dawson-Hughes B, Dallal GE, Krall EA et al. A controlled trial of the effect of calcium supplementation on bone density in postmenopausal women. N Engl J Med. 1990; 323:878-83.

 Werler, MM, Shapiro, S., and Mitchell, AA. Periconceptual folic acid exposure and risk of occurrent neural tube defects.  J Am Med Assn 1993; 269: 1257-1261.

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