Multivitamins could lengthen lives

Taking a multivitamin could prevent cancer, genetic mutations and rapid aging.

Bruce Ames, professor of molecular biology at the University of California-Berkeley and senior scientist at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research, says that multivitamins are a “relatively cheap solution” to preventing long-term diseases.

According to Ames, the human diet requires 40 micronutrients which include iron, calcium, fiber, essential fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals. Low intakes may lead to acute diseases.

“Not enough of these micronutrients or deficiencies act as radiation and break the chromosomes,” he said. “Cells die and also cause neurons in the brain to die.”

According to Ames, damage to the mitochondria in the brain causes the body to age faster and the dead cells will lead to cancer.

“More than half, or maybe even most, of the U.S. population is deficient in something,” he said. “Taking a multivitamin will solve that.”

According to Ames, multivitamins will take care of the majority of the micronutrients necessary for a healthy life.

“More than half of the population that lives in the northern United States are deficient in vitamin D because they’re not receiving enough exposure to sunlight,” he said. “They need to take multivitamins.”

There are somethings that a multivitamin won’t cover, according to Ames, such as fiber and essential fatty acids.

“Fruits, vegetables and grains will give you fiber, and foods like salmon and deep-sea fish have essential fatty acids,” Ames said.

According to Ames, one-third of the country is taking multivitamins. However, he says that he feels the United States needs a program to teach people about eating healthy diets.

“If you have a healthy diet and you don’t smoke, you’re way ahead of the game,” he said. “Good eating habits and taking multivitamins are your best insurance.”

[email protected]