Nutrition

Do You Need Your Multivitamin?

Do you take a multivitamin? Or maybe you don’t take one yourself, but you’ve considered them before or you know someone who is a religious vitamin taker.

Taking a multivitamin is all up to personal feelings and preference. I remember when I was younger and went to the doctor’s every year for my checkup, she would always reassure me to take my multivitamin.

I would ask my doctor why she thought it was necessary to take them and she’d say that they are simply an extra form of protection to keep you healthy and make sure you get all your required daily vitamins. However, my question was always: What if I eat a really balanced diet already? Why is there a need to supplement? Isn’t there a possibility of getting too much of some vitamins then? This is why I feel taking a vitamin very much depends on who you are and how you live your life and choose to eat.

I’ve done a lot of research on the topic of vitamin supplementation myself because it interests me. I feel that some people need to supplement their diets with certain vitamins they may not be getting; for example, a vegetarian or vegan may not get the required iron needed daily or calcium since these nutrients are found in meats and dairy products. Hence, supplementation may be needed.

I feel if you eat healthy most of the time, and are physically active as well, your daily required nutrients should come from your diet. Natural sources of nutrients are always smarter and safer.

In a major review of 31 vitamins and minerals, experts discovered that high levels of beta-carotene and zinc may have irreversible harmful effects when taken over a long period. There were also concerns that high doses of vitamin C, calcium and iron could harm health but long-term damage could be avoided if people stop taking them, according to the BBC.

So I say reevaluate your diet and lifestyle. If you think you eat relatively healthy, chances are you likely don’t need a multi. However, if you’re a vegan or iron deficient, a multi might be just what you need.

By Sarah Richheimer

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