Should I take daily multivitamins?



Should I take daily multivitamins?

The pharmacy aisles are flooded with multivitamins, and this makes a lot of us wonder, “Should

I be taking daily multivitamins?” Keep reading to learn some facts and fallacies about these

vitamins…

True vitamin or mineral deficiency is extremely uncommon in United States and other

developed countries because of easy access to wide range of food, some of which are fortified

with vitamins. So, for those eating a healthful diet, multivitamins actually have little or no

benefit. To add to that, there have been several studies done on multivitamins, and they do not

show any benefit in preventing heart disease, cancer, or cognitive deficits. To top it off, taking a

daily multivitamin will NOT help you live longer!


Who is at risk for nutritional deficiency?

These are some of the high-risk groups who may benefit from taking a multivitamin-

- Elderly: Variety of factors can affect nutrition in elderly people. Common ones are lack

of teeth, lack of access to food due to disability or isolation, unpleasant taste changes

from medications, etc.

- Pregnancy

- Certain malabsorption disorders such as celiac disease, bypass surgery for weight loss

- Alcoholism

Which multivitamin should I choose?


Supplements are a multi-billion-dollar industry with endless brands in the market. Supplements

including multivitamins, are not reviewed or approved by FDA and may contain harmful or

incorrect ingredients. So, do not take a multivitamin unless it is recommended by your doctor.

How can I make sure I am getting essential multivitamins and minerals from my diet?

Eat a balanced diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and low-fat

dairy. I suggest incorporating various colored foods in your daily diet – for example; celery sticks,

mandarin oranges, kale, carrots and yellow bell peppers will give you different vitamins and

minerals.

Calcium from food is easily digested than calcium supplements (commonly causes

constipation). The major source of Vitamin D is the sun (not food) so if you live in an area that

does not get enough sunlight, then taking a daily supplement may be necessary.

Bottomline - Invest in good food and not in multivitamin!

-Dr. Bhogal