Multivitamins are far and away the number one selling nutritional supplement in the U.S.
They are well ahead of the number two seller, vitamin D, and number three, vitamin C.i
With so many people taking multis, maybe you’ve wondered if you should, too.
If nothing else, they are convenient. You can get a wide range of crucial vitamins and minerals in a single pill.
But a major study shows that multivitamins provide something far more important than convenience.
Multivitamins Help You Live Longer
A new study provides strong evidence that if you choose the right supplement formula, it not only prolongs your life, but makes your senior years healthier.
The discovery was announced in an article by Dr. Bruce Ames. He’s a senior scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute.ii
Dr. Ames reviewed dozens of high-quality studies. Some were from his own laboratory. Others came from different institutions.
He concluded that some vitamins and other nutrients can be categorized as “longevity vitamins.” That’s because proteins required for good health can be classified as either “survival proteins” or “longevity proteins.”
Dr. Ames said “survival proteins” support basic biological functions.
“Longevity proteins” are involved in protecting against damage to the body. When we’re deficient in nutrients, the body favors producing survival proteins over longevity proteins. That leads to a higher risk of illness.
Longevity vitamins are the specific nutrients that support longevity proteins.
These 5 Nutrients Are Crucial for Long Life
Dr. Ames says there are five nutrients that support proteins that contribute to healthy aging and a longer lifespan. They are:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 fatty acids
If you take a multivitamin, make sure it has vitamins K and D, magnesium, and selenium.
Omega-3s are not included in most multivitamins. So you’ll likely have to get them separately in a fish oil supplement.
One of Dr. Ames’s most important discoveries involved deficiencies of vitamin K and selenium. People lacking these nutrients have a higher risk of dying earlier, especially from cardiovascular problems.
Although not technically “vitamins,” he also adds another 11 compounds to his “longevity vitamins” list:
All are available in supplement form.
In addition to supplements, Dr. Ames also stresses the importance of diet. He recommends that you should “try to do what your mother told you”… Eat fruits and vegetables and “give up sugary soft drinks and empty carbohydrates.”
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