The ABCs of Multi-Vitamins and the Fight to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Copyright 2006 Frank Mangano

The body and mind become diseased when one of two basic needs is not met. One, toxins or foreign substances enter the body, and two, the body does not have the right nutrients or reserves to fight the invasion. The first line of defense against disease of the body or mind, including the predator known as Alzheimer’s disease, is to give it a daily source of pure vitamins and minerals. The easiest way to do this is through a good multivitamin and mineral supplement.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has studied how many Americans really do get all of the nutrients they need each day. The numbers indicated that merely 40% of the population is getting only about 60% of the nutrients they need. More than half of the population is deficient in at least one important nutrient. If that includes a deficiency in Vitamin B12 or zinc, then they could be at an even higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease since these are both important to good cognitive function.

There are some basic facts to look for on the vitamin bottle label when selecting a multivitamin. A quick check will ensure that the brand you choose is providing you with at least the minimum nutrients for preventing Alzheimer’s disease and boosting the immune system. Labeling laws require the manufacturer to list the percent of the recommended daily value (%DV) on the label. This will help you see where additional supplements for specific vitamins and minerals may be needed. For example, rarely will you see a single multi-vitamin contain 100% of the DV for Vitamin C. That is because Vitamin C is water-soluble and quickly used by the body so several smaller doses throughout the day are the only way to keep a consistent level in the body.

Look for these indicators that your brand of single or multivitamin supplement is a good choice: 1. Synergistic Combinations: Some vitamins and minerals when taken together have a stronger impact. For example, calcium supplements usually have Vitamin D added to help with absorption.

2. Balance: Balance is especially important with B-complex vitamins. Single forms of vitamin B in supplement form may be used for short-term therapeutic reasons, but balance is important on a long-term basis.

3. Proper Dosage: You can have too much of a good thing. Zinc which helps keep the mind sharp at daily doses of 100 mg starts to reverse the effect when it goes over the recommended dosage.

4. Completeness: Vitamin manufacturers have worked long and hard to blend the right combinations and provide a complete spectrum of antioxidants and nutrients through the right combination of vitamins and minerals. Choose a reputable brand from a trusted retailer.

5. The Extras: Daily Values have not been established for all minerals. For example, many multivitamins will contain CoQ10, Boron, and Lycopene which all help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Most commercially sold multivitamins are sufficient for picking up the slack where food choices don’t provide enough nutrition. Ideally, most of the nutrients you need should come from whole, fresh foods. When this doesn’t happen consistently, then taking a multivitamin every day is an essential part of the plan to stay physically fit and mentally sharp.