Vitamins and Multivitamins play a very important role in ones general health, wellbeing and fitness, both physical and mental. A vitamin is an organic compound required as a nutrient in tiny amounts by an organism, they have been widely available since the mid 20th century. Multivitamins have been available in pharmacies and general stores since the mid 1930’s and are intended to supplement a human diet with vitamins, dietary minerals, and other nutritional elements.
Vitamins are classified by their biological and chemical activity, not their structure. Thus, each “vitamin” refers to a number of vitamer compounds that all show the biological activity associated with a particular vitamin. Such a set of chemicals is grouped under an alphabetized vitamin “generic descriptor” title, such as “vitamin A”, which includes the compounds retinal, retinol, and four known carotenoids. Vitamers by definition are convertible to the active form of the vitamin in the body, and are sometimes inter-convertible to one another, as well.
The term vitamin was derived from “vitamine,” a combination word made up by Polish scientist Casimir Funk from vital and amine, meaning amine of life, because it was suggested in 1912 that the organic micronutrient food factors that prevent beriberi and perhaps other similar dietary-deficiency diseases might be chemical amines. This proved incorrect for the micronutrient class, and the word was shortened to vitamin.
The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements by Lyle MacWilliam 2009 Australia & New Zealand Edition has been written to help people sort through the maze of nutritional supplements available in the market.
Mr MacWilliam is a biochemist, educator, author and President of NutriSearch Corp of Canada.
He is passionate about natural health and fitness and consults with governments and industry on standards and regulations for natural health products.
The Comparative Guide ranks every brand of multivitamin by awarding it a score out of 5. First a Blended Standard is established using the published recommendations of 12 independent, leading authorities in nutritional science.
These are the recommended daily intakes deemed essential for optimal health. Against this ideal formula, each product is evaluated against 18 health support criteria:
3. Mineral Forms
4. Bioactivity of Vitamin E
5. Gamma Tocopherol – the mix of Vitamin E as found in nature.
6. Antioxidant Support
7. Bone Health
8. Heart Health
9. Liver Health
10. Metabolic Health (glucose control)
11. Ocular Health
12. Methylation Support
13. Lipotropic Factors
14. Inflammation Control
15. Glycation Control
16. Bioflavonoid Profile
17. Phenolic Compounds Profile
18. Potential Toxicities