A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health says that although over 70 percent of adults in America takemultivitamins on a regular basis, only about one quarter of young adults do so. The good news is those young adults who do take multivitamins are healthier, and have healthier diets and lifestyles, than youngadults who do not use multivitamins.
This study was part of a larger overall study called the “Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health” (CATCH). It involved 2761 young adults in thetwelfth grade from schools in California, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas. The researchers had the study participants answer a health questionnaire about their lifestyle habits such as do they usemultivitamins, how physically active they are, how many hours of television do they watch, and whether or not they smoke.
The study found that while only about a quarter of the young adults tookmultivitamins regularly, they were more likely to follow a healthy lifestyle. The researchers specifically said the young adults who took multivitamins were more likely to have a healthy diet (by including intheir diet foods such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy, and fish, and consuming less of food items such as meat, fried food, and soft drinks). Young adults taking multivitamins were also morelikely to be physically active and watch less TV, and less likely to be overweight.
Who should take multivitamins? Pretty much every person in the United States. According to the 2005 USDA DietaryGuidelines for Americans, American adults have very low intakes of the vitamins A, C, and E, as well as the minerals calcium and magnesium. In 2002, the Journal of the American Medical Associationbegan recommending that all adults take a daily multivitamin. This recommendation was based on comparisons of many long term studies which showed that a wide range of illnesses and diseases, such as...