Multivitamins Protect Against Age-Related Diseases

Selenium and vitamin K deficiencies can increase your risk of cancer, heart disease

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Multi-vitamins can be a pain to keep up with; especially with all the rules that accompany them, but taking a good multi-vitamin each day can lower the risks of many age-related diseases.

Severe deficiencies of vitamins and minerals are rarely seen in America, but even modest deficiencies in selenium and vitamin K can increase your risk of age-related diseases like cancer, heart disease and loss of immune or brain function, according to Joyce C. McCann and Bruce Ames from the Nutrition and Metabolism Center at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute.

"Take a multi-vitamin with selenium and vitamin K each day to live a healthy life."

The researchers measured the effects of vitamin and mineral deficiencies on different pathways that are important in overall health. McCann and Ames focused specifically on selenium and vitamin K.

They found that when there is not enough selenium, the body protects the short-term health pathways required for survival and reproduction rather than long-term pathways that are not essential for maintaining current health. This defense mechanism has been linked to age-related diseases.

McCann says if the principles of this theory can be extended to other vitamins and minerals, these findings may lead to treatments associated with vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FAESB Journal says taking a multivitamin that contains selenium is a good way to prevent vitamin deficiencies that can cause harm over time – long term damage that’s just now beginning to be understood.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 1, 2011
Last Updated:
June 2, 2011