Multi Vitamins are considered by many to be little more than colourful contributors to urine flow that reflect a gullible individuals need to add capital to the water course. I have addressed the major complications with this facile comment in a previous commentary.
A paper out in the March 2010 International Journal of Obesity throws added weight to the triage theory of Prof Bruce Ames, when additional nutrients were added to the dietary intake of obese Chinese females. It is already understood that obesity contributes to reduced bioavailability of minerals and vitamins and certainly contributes to reduced blood concentrations.
The team of researchers based at Harbin Medical University in China recruited 96 Chinese women with an average body mass index of 28kg/m2 and aged between 18-55 for the 6 month study.
Three groups were randomly set up, with one getting a multivimin, the next calcium only (162mg) and the last placebo. The results were compelling; the multivimin group had reduced body weight, body mass index, fat mass, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. On the positive side, they had an increased level of resting energy expenditure and HDL levels also increased. They also found reduced waist size and better breathing.
The inclusion of the supplements, as proposed by Prof Ames allows scarce micronutrients to be replaced allowing cellular respiration, repair and oxidation to function more effectively. Whilst these were healthy overweight individuals, their dietary intake did not change during the study and offers some reflective thoughts on the gains from a simple inclusion. The added incentive for regular exercise and dietary improvements may be significantly improved if these additional benefits can be included.
If a pharmaceutical product had been found to produce this wide range of benefits, we would be learning about the role of drugs in providing lifestyle benefits without the effort. This is a remarkable indictment of the benefits a human may derive when adequately supplied with access to suitable micronutrients, in excess of their immediate nutrient needs. Dr Alex Vasquez discusses this further in the video posted on you tube, and he provided much of the technical background to the professional multivitamin and mineral supplement manufactured by Biotic Research.
See the video below:
 Y Li1, C Wang, K Zhu, R N Feng and C H Sun. Effects of multivitamin and mineral supplementation on adiposity, energy expenditure and lipid profiles in obese Chinese women. International Journal of Obesity advance online publication 9 February 2010; doi: 10.1038/ijo.2010.14 View Abstract
 Ames BN. Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases of aging through allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Nov 21;103(47):17589-94. Epub 2006 Nov 13. Review. View Paper