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A New Year...With More Energy!

January 3, 2013

A New Year…With More Energy!

It’s a New Year—a time of promise and possibilities. But to make the most of it you need energy. My suggestion is to consider adding a multivitamin to your daily routine. It will increase your vitality and telomere length. Telo-what? Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

Telomeres – Increasing Life Span

Each year we age and our cells divide to create newer, more efficient versions. When a cell divides, it copies its DNA. The ends of DNA strands have specific sequences called telomeres. These help prevent mistakes. With each cell division, telomeres shorten. Eventually, telomeres shorten enough that the cell stops being able to divide. In addition, telomeres can be damaged by free radicals and inflammation. Preliminary studies have linked longer telomeres to healthy aging and overall wellness. It’s possible that healthy telomeres may be the key to healthy aging.

More Multi Uses

A multivitamin is already known to help prevent nutrient deficiencies, increase energy levels, reduce wrinkle formation and potentially prevent certain diseases. But multivitamins may also play a role in healthy aging. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported in 2009 that taking a multivitamin was associated with telomere length in women. An ongoing study, called the Sister Study, noted that women (35-74 years of age) who use multivitamins daily had on average 5.1% longer telomere length compared to nonusers. The researchers theorize that increased intake of antioxidants in multivitamins has a protective effect on telomeres, which, in turn, may lead to healthier, longer lived cells.

“But I Eat Well”

Eating a healthy diet provides you with enough nutrients, right? According to researchers in the Sister Study, the women who were taking a multivitamin were getting more than 50% of their daily intake of key antioxidants (including vitamin C, D, B6 and B12, as well as iron and zinc) from their supplements.

Poorly Functioning Foods

Why is our diet not providing enough antioxidants? The reality of our current agricultural situation has us consuming produce with very little nutrient value. In 2003, Nutrition Health published a British study that compared vegetables and fruits available fifty years ago to those available today. The results showed that the produce we’re eating today has as little as half the nutrients of the food we ate fifty years ago. Studies here in Canada show a similar decline of nutrients in our foods. Research suggests that you’d need to eat about 26 peaches today to get the same nutrients you would have gotten from eating one in the 1950s.

Shaking Off Sluggishness

The future offers exciting adventures and opportunities. Will you have the energy to embrace them all? Based on the lineups of people looking for a caffeine energy boost at their local coffee shops, many of us are feeling a little sluggish. A healthy and effective way to shake off that sluggish feeling is to include more energy promoting nutrients in your diet. Energy promoting nutrients include B vitamins and minerals such as iron. Whole grains, nuts, seeds and animal meats are sources of these energizing nutrients. But studies suggest the food we’re harvesting and eating today may not contain enough nutrients. Multivitamins are a great way to ensure you’re getting enough of the nutrients that keep your energy levels up.

Choosing a Multivitamin

Today, Canada’s best multivitamin brands offer specific formulas designed for the unique needs of women and men. There are even formulas specifically designed based on your activity level. If you’re someone who likes to dig a little deeper into a multivitamin’s attributes, look for features that optimize absorption—added nutrients like enzymes and prebiotics, minerals in citrate form and divided dosages.

There are many healthy reasons for you to start taking a multivitamin in the New Year, but the best one is simply to be able to fully enjoy all the year has to offer.

Reference:

Today’s fruits and vegetables lack yesterday’s nutrition, by Andre Picard. Globe and Mail, (July 6, 2003)

Thomas D. A study on the mineral depletion of the foods available to us as a nation over the period1940 to 1991. Nutr Health 2003; 17(2): 85-115.

Xu, Q. et al. Multivitamin use and telomere length in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2009 89:1857-63.

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