Designing a Maintenance Plan for your Personalized Vitamin Routine
Personalized vitamins can work when you stick with your routine. Reaching a goal can be thrilling and invigorating. But stopping our actions at that point can defeat the entire purpose.
This is perhaps most typically seen in those who have a goal weight they want to achieve. They get to the goal and then stop all the great habits that got them there in the first place. This will not be you if you have a maintenance plan in place, before you reach your goal.
Your changes are part of a lifestyle that you will continue to maintain moving forward. You must build that new lifestyle into a long-term plan.
Establish means to check in on your habits, either with continued weigh-ins or set plans. For example, after you run the half-marathon, make sure you are signed up for another race, or have some alternative form of exercise already scheduled so you keep up the momentum.
The key here is having these plans made before you reach your goal, so the future becomes part of the process. As you look toward bettering your health, questions about vitamins often arise. When you are considering diet, nutrition, and exercise, vitamins can and often should play into the equation. Next we will start to delve into their important role.
Patients often come in and ask whether they should be taking vitamins. Many are already taking something; many are not. The answer is never simple, because this is NOT a yes-or-no question.
It comes down to analyzing their exact circumstances to determine what they should be taking. One of the reasons that this question comes up so often is that there has been a great deal in the press recently regarding multivitamins and their effects or possible lack thereof. And there is good reason for this concern. The large studies that have been done have failed to demonstrate that people they assigned to take multivitamins actually lived longer.
But these studies are flawed for many reasons. Firstly, the groups that were allegedly taking the vitamins often were not really taking them. This is one of the greatest difficulties in studying vitamin use. People often stop taking them.
Sometimes it is for valid reasons such as side effects, or cost. Sometimes they just stop. They often do so because they lose faith that the pill is “doing anything,” largely because the effects of vitamins take many months to see or feel, and some effects you may never actually feel (such as stronger bones or not getting a condition you might have otherwise developed). Therefore, to accurately say that this group of “vitamin takers” did not have longer lives is rather inaccurate. We don’t know what would have happened if they did not take the pills—their health could have been even worse.
A more recent 2015 study in the Journal of Nutrition did show a mortality benefit. Women who took a multivitamin for more than three years did have a lower death rate from cardiac causes. So we may have more to learn about exactly who benefits from vitamins
and under what circumstances.
Interestingly, the outcomes these studies measured can also be questioned. Just looking at “all-cause mortality,” i.e., death rates, is not terribly helpful. There is something to be said for quality of life, disease prevention, treatment of symptoms, and other possible effects of vitamin use.
Perhaps the most major flaw is to assume that thousands and thousands of people would all be served by taking any generic off-the-shelf combination of vitamins. How could every one of these people have the same needs? For that reason, we will begin by delving into different issues and the role of vitamins in health.
We will then discuss individual vitamins, who may benefit from taking them, and why. As for our original question, “Should I be taking vitamins personalized?” The answer is likely “yes” and “no.” Yes you should, but perhaps not the typical concoctions you find at your corner pharmacy. You likely need more of certain things and less of others, and this largely depends on who exactly you are. So read on to find out what you do and don’t need.