Are Multivitamins Worth It?
As far as supplements go, multivitamins are the most commonly used in the world. Recent decades show a rapid increase of use. Getting all of your vitamins and minerals is important, but can multivitamins provide all of the benefits you need?
Your body needs 13 vitamins and at least 15 minerals to function. These nutrients help with reproduction, maintenance and regulation of bodily processes.
Multivitamins are supplements that come in different forms. Some are tablets, others are capsules, chewable gummies, powders or liquids. They are supplements that contain multiple vitamins and minerals. You can get them over the counter at pharmacies, supermarkets and online. The nutrients in multivitamins can be derived from real foods or they can be created synthetically in laboratories. Keep in mind that dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
The evidence regarding multivitamin use and certain health conditions is mixed. Some studies indicate that people who take multivitamins have a lower risk of things like cancer and heart disease. However, other studies find no benefit. Sometimes they even show an increased risk.
Multivitamins aren’t right for everyone, but there are certain populations that can benefit like:
- Older adults
- Vegans and vegetarians
- People who don’t get enough nutrients from food alone
Pregnant women should be particularly careful. Excess amounts of vitamin A can be linked to birth defects.
All in all, multivitamins are not the solution to perfect health. If you’re worried that you might have a nutrient deficiency, it’s best to find that specific nutrient. If you don’t get enough B12 in your diet, try a B12 supplement. Multivitamins pack multiple nutrients into one form; you may not need all the extras. Multivitamins are also not a cure for a poor diet. Eating a balanced diet is more likely to ensure you get all the nutrients and minerals you need.
Always talk to your doctor before starting a new health regimen or taking a vitamin.
If you’re looking to eat better, you can use telehealth services to speak with a registered dietician. They can evaluate your nutritional needs. You can also get resources like personalized diet plans and shopping guides.