A Tufts University study concludes that most Americans don’t get the key vitamins and micronutrients they need through diet alone; that daily multivitamins should be recommended to help close this nutritional gap; and that multivitamins are safe, affordable, cost-effective and accessible. Entitled "A Study of the Cost Effects of Daily Multivitamins for Older Adults" (DaVanzo, J. et al., October 2, 2003), it included a systematic review of the most rigorous research available. The study was presented at “Multivitamins and Public Health: Exploring the Evidence,” a meeting of leading experts from government agencies, top research universities and health advocacy organizations. "The current research indicates that multivitamins can help protect against the cell damage that makes us vulnerable to the development of many diseases common among older adults," said meeting co-chair Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D.

This study reinforces the need for taking daily multiple vitamins with solid, scientific evidence. The only question left then is how to choose from the wide variety of multis on the market, especially after media coverage of quality control issues of supplements. Research and common sense would suggest buying from a company with a long-standing reputation for making safe and scientifically corroborated supplements based on the most current research.

A leading manufacturer of nutritional supplements, including a thoroughly researched multivitamin, is the Phoenix-based Naturally Vitamins. Their line of multivitamins, Super Vit-A-Boost®, set the industry standard over 30 years ago, and continues to be a popular choice even today. They credit this success to their practice of routinely revisiting the formulations to further strengthen its benefits. “We strive to anticipate the healthcare needs of our clients and customers,” says Joe Lehmann, Naturally Vitamins CEO, “so we include clinically corroborated ingredients to optimize the health benefits of our products.”

As an example, based on the most current research, Naturally Vitamins improved Super Vit-A-Boost by adding N-acetylcysteine (NAC). NAC is an extremely beneficial naturally occurring substance with anti-aging effects. In contrast to other so-called “energy boosters,” NAC provides a boost in cellular energy by working in the mitochondria (where energy is naturally produced by cellular respiration). The way these cellular powerhouses produce energy for all the bodily demands gives Super Vit-A-Boost an added advantage over other multis. NAC is also a precursor of glutathione, the most abundant natural antioxidant. But while glutathione is not effectively absorbed, NAC as its precursor is efficiently, rapidly and almost completely absorbed. The addition of NAC makes the already popular Super Vit-A-Boost an excellent source of glutathione.

Glutathione also eliminates toxins from the liver, which is particularly vulnerable, not just from metabolism but also from residues left from prescription and over-the-counter medications. For example, acetaminophen differs from other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because it leaves residues in the liver. These acetaminophen metabolites also destroy glutathione, and can cause acute liver toxicity, which is best replenished by NAC.

While all multiple vitamin products appear to offer similar benefits with varying amounts of the same nutrients, choosing between the typical product on the shelf and one that continues to evolve with new research can make a significant difference. When it comes to making multivitamins based on cutting-edge science, the makers of Super Vit-A-Boost lead the way.

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