We were interested to see a short Q and A today in our hometown newspaper, The New York Times. The subject was “micronutrients,” and the question was specifically about multivitamins:
Q. A doctor told me that you don’t need daily vitamin supplements if you eat right, and that they don’t dissolve anyway. Is he correct?
The NYT answer: The doctor is probably not correct. The reality is, very many people do not have the varied smorgasbord of optimum nutrients in their diet that represents the nutritional ideal. One example cited in the reply: carotenoids, important in preventing vision-destroying macular degeneration, are found in sufficient quantities only in a few leafy green vegetables like spinach and collards that most Americans do not consume with sufficient regularity.
As for whether multivitamins dissolve: current standards of quality control testing for multivitamins do generally insure that micronutrients reach the small intestine, where they can be effectively absorbed.
We would add that factors like age and health status may also affect the absorption of nutrients. See our blog posts about gastrointestinal health for tips on subjects such as additional B vitamin requirements as you get older; or use of supplements like glutamine for poor absorption of nutrients in the gut.
Read the NYT Q and A at:
See the NYBC website for an extensive set of high quality multivitamins, including SuperNutrition, Douglas Labs, and Jarrow products:
NYBC also stocks the Jarrow carotenoid supplement: