'Have you taken your multivitamin today?"' association asks.

TORONTO, ON – September 1, 2006 – Have you taken your multivitamin today? It’s a question we should all be asking ourselves, says Valerie Bell, President of the Canadian Health Food Association, citing a recent Canadian study that concludes women taking a daily multivitamin can significantly reduce the risks of having a child with birth defects.
The study, published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Canada, indicates all women of childbearing age should be taking a prenatal multivitamin every day. Doing so dramatically reduces the incidence of risk of birth defects, such as neural-tube defects, cardiovascular defects, limb deformities, cleft palate, and urinary-tract defects. The research is an analysis of the best studies on the topic from 1996 to 2005.

The research follows a second meta-analysis in the U.S. that concluded diabetics who took dietary supplements significantly reported better health than the previous year without supplements. In addition, the study showed promising evidence that specific supplements, such as magnesium, reduced the relative risk of Type 2 diabetes. Commissioned by the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA), the study was a review of research literature and the International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements database, with an analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

“Research continues to show that multivitamins are a simple, cost-effective way to support improved immune functioning and help prevent chronic disease,” says Bell.

“It’s a simple but significant way for Canadians to reduce our health care costs,” she says. A growing body of economic studies in Canada and the U.S. proves that increased use of natural health products and other OTC self-care products can result in billions of dollars in savings in health care costs.

The recent data is welcoming news as retailers and suppliers of the natural health gather next week for the largest conference and trade show for the industry. Expo East will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre September 7-10, 2006.

“Our challenge to Canadians of all ages to take a multivitamin could result in significant health care savings and improvements in individual health for just pennies a day,” Bell concludes.


The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) is Canada’s largest national trade association representing the natural products industry. Its 1,300 members include retailers, suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers that are involved in a variety of industry sub-sectors such as vitamin and mineral supplements, herbals, homeopathics, sports nutrition products, natural foods and organic products. We believe that Canadians deserve access to safe and efficacious natural health products.

The CHFA exists to empower and support our members by acting on their behalf to secure a fair regulatory environment, hosting forums that showcase innovative products, delivering ongoing vital and relevant education, and providing valuable member services. This ensures that our industry is sustainable and stronger both culturally and financially.

For further information on the Canadian Health Food Association, contact Natalie Cajic, Communications Coordinator at 416-497-6939 ext. 234 or [email protected].

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