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Do you really need to take a multivitamin?

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on August 1, 2016

multivitamins

Most people are under the impression that taking a multivitamin everyday is a great idea for your health, but whether or not you need one is going to be completely individual depending on your lifestyle, diet, genetics as well as if you fall under one of the categories listed below.

A Multivitamin is usually referred to as a supplement that provides you with all the essential vitamins and minerals through a tablet or pill. Different brands may have some vitamins or minerals missing and each have different dosages to one another with some being more expensive and some being much cheaper. The idea is that they will cover all nutritional bases for you by adding it into your daily routine.

For the majority of people out there, they are not needed and all your vitamins and minerals should be quite easily attained from a balanced and healthy diet. If you are consuming a good amount of fruits and vegetables you are very likely covered already. If you are a health and fitness enthusiast than you are probably following a generally healthy and balanced diet already.

However, for a select amount, a multivitamin may be useful for people;

  • Who are over 65 and are at higher risk for deficiencies
  • Who are pregnant and may have increased nutritional needs
  • Who are at high risk for nutrient deficiencies where your diet cannot be altered due to for example medical reasons
  • Who may not be financially able to buy a variety of healthy foods
  • Who have a very poor diet

There are exceptions to the above where a person may have individual nutrients that they are deficient in, where supplementation may be useful. In some cases these deficiencies can be genetic. Examples of these types of supplements would be Vitamin D, Iron or even Magnesium. If you already know you are deficient in a certain vitamin or mineral than supplementing with the correct dose directly is your best bet. For most people a general blood test will be a great source of information that can show you if you have any deficiencies and make it easy to go from there if any particular supplement may be useful for you. You may find one specific thing you need so it’s best to get that directly instead of taking a general multivitamin.

In summary, just taking a multivitamin if you do not fall into one of the above select groups is likely going to provide you with no benefits and be unnecessary unless you have identified that you have a deficiency through something such as a blood test. For the majority of readers who are into health and fitness and living a healthy lifestyle, save your money as you very likely do not need one.

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