Do you need the mineral replacements found in your daily multivitamin?
Check out your daily multivitamin label – you just may be getting 120% of your allotted daily Molybdenum and just 30% of your allotted calcium. Say what? You might be wondering, “What the heck is Molybdenum anyway? And why am I taking that every day without even noticing?” I was wondering the same thing.
We have become accustomed to seeing items and terms we don’t recognize on the products we buy and consume. But, every once in awhile, we stop and look at those labels. And that is important with vitamins. You are getting much more than the simple vitamins themselves in the pills you consume daily. Do you need all of that extra stuff? Good thing you have me…
As a family physician and health advocate, I have become extra curious as to what we are and what we should be consuming. If you haven’t seen my post on taking a daily multivitamin (https://doctormome.com/post/should-you-take-a-multivitamin/) check it out and then head back here for the minerals update.
What Minerals Are In Your Multivitamin?
Let’s start by looking at what minerals you are taking in your daily multivitamin.
I have chosen a women’s daily vitamin as they are popular and not overly expensive.
Most vitamins do contain similar levels of mineral replacements with some slight variations (see molybdenum!).
Here’s an interesting fact: American children consume more iron from cereal and bread than from beef or chicken. Iron is in just about everything we eat today.
Low iron levels are commonly found in patients with anemia. Levels that are too high are associated with a form of liver cancer. And the levels of intake needed are different from males to females. Males only require 8mg daily while women of child-bearing age are at 18mg daily. Women, who lose blood monthly through their cycle, are more likely to develop deficiencies.
This vitamin contains 18mg of iron replacement, although I have found forms that contain 0mg and still report it. Weird, huh. Iron replacement is typically not a bad thing as low levels are a much more common issue than high. We will take this one.
When you think iodine, think thyroid. It binds to thyroid hormone and is important for thyroid production. Low levels were common in the US in the 1920’s until the introduction of … iodized salt. Cool fact, huh.
Low levels of iodine can cause low thyroid hormone, thyroid enlargement (or goiter), and mental retardation. Too much iodine usually only becomes a problem in people with low thyroid levels as it can induce too much thyroid hormone.
The recommended daily allowance for iodine is 150mcg for adolescents and adults. You should get that much from your daily dietary intake if you eat iodized salt, fish, vegetables, and drink water. This vitamin contains the 150mcg of iodine, your total daily allowance. With the status of our diet today, we probably don’t need this replacement.
Where does your daily dose of zinc come from? Bet you haven’t thought about that one this week. I know I hadn’t. Zinc is also fortified in cereals these days. It is in meats, nuts, and lentils. 45% of adults across the world may have diets deficient in zinc, though.
More serious complications in individuals with diarrhea and colds have been found in people with a zinc deficiency. The majority of the complications relate to growth and maturation in children. Getting too much zinc is very rare and generally not considered a problem.
The recommended amount of zinc replacement varies from 8mg in women to 11 mg in men. This vitamin contains 8mg – the daily dose for women. This one we will take.
Selenium is a different story. There are a few rare disorders (Keshan disease in China) that are very responsive to selenium replacement. It used to affect people with feedings through a tube before it was replaced in their feedings as well. Studies have been done looking at connections with selenium deficiency and cancer, thyroid disease, and HIV.
The bigger concern for the majority of us is getting too much of it. Symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, hair and vision loss are common with too much selenium. This is seen in people taking megadoses of the vitamin, though.
The daily recommended dose of selenium is 55mg for adults. This vitamin contains 27.5mg – a little more than half that amount. Not enough to cause toxicity but we probably still don’t need the replacement.
When most Doctor’s hear copper, they think of Wilson’s Disease. This is an inherited disease that causes high copper levels to build up resulting in heart, liver, pancreas, and neurological complications. There is also Menkes Disease associated with low copper levels.
For the rest of us, copper typically is not much of a problem. We do know that too much zinc competes with copper intake in your body. Taking super high doses of zinc to avoid a cold for some time may cause you to have low copper levels. And it is possible but rare for people who have had bariatric surgery or with Crohn’s disease to develop a copper deficiency.
The daily recommended dosing is 900 mcg daily for adults. This vitamin contains 500mcg but I have seen others containing over 2200mcg. This is one we probably don’t need.
I’m not exactly sure how this one got included in multivitamins. Studies on low levels nearly all come from animals and deficiencies in humans are extremely rare.
The bigger problem seen in humans is too much manganese through aerosols or dust in welding or steel industries. The tolerable limit is considered 11mg in adults. You really don’t need this replacement.
Chromium deficiency occurs nearly only in people who are hospitalized and have high replacement needs due to malnutrition. Large studies have been done to look at chromium supplementation improving body muscle mass and lean muscle building and have shown no benefit.
It is nearly impossible to get too much chromium. Recommended daily doses are 20-35mcg daily. This mineral is one you do not need to supplement, though.
So, what about the molybdenum anyway? It actually wasn’t even in the vitamin I used as an example above. And, frankly, I didn’t even know what it was. Guess I should have gone back to basic chemistry.
Molybdenum is actually a trace element – like element 42 on that old chemistry chart. I actually can’t find much of a reason to take it at all. There is no reported deficiency or treatment in humans. I don’t think I would want to take it daily, especially above the “reported” daily limit.
Simple Solution: I actually learned a ton from this review of minerals myself. Looks like zinc and iron may be worth the replacement. The rest, not so much. And we need to consider what we are taking into our bodies especially on a daily basis.
For More Blog Posts on Natural Elements, check out: https://doctormome.com/post/should-you-take-a-multivitamin/ https://doctormome.com/post/stop-those-sugar-cravings/ https://doctormome.com/post/cbd-oil-a-doctors-experiment/
For More Molybdenum Info, check out: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Molybdenum-HealthProfessional/