Multivitamins are one of the most heavily used supplements in the United States. Since their beginnings in the 1940’s until now, multivitamins have been used from kids to older adults. From gummies to liquids and tablets to capsules, multivitamins come in different forms, flavors, and prices. Multivitamins provide many vitamins and minerals in one easy to take tablet or gummy. The intended use for a multivitamin is to provide proper nutrition for your body if you are not consuming adequate food with vitamins and minerals.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, American diets often lack vitamin D. This is a vitamin you should look for on your multivitamin label. Other common vitamins that can be found in multivitamins are: vitamin C, B1-12, A, E, and K. Minerals generally include iodine, calcium, potassium, selenium, iron, borate, zinc, and magnesium. It is important to note that anyone taking a multivitamin should follow the instructions carefully for the serving size in order to not over consume a vitamin or mineral.
There are many instances where you either should or shouldn’t be taking a multivitamin. If you are eating a limited diet or have a poor appetite, taking a multivitamin would be a good step to fill in the blanks in your diet. Restricted diets for pre-surgery preparation or a weight loss diet are other good examples in which a multivitamin is recommended. The other reasons can be as complicated as having a medical condition like celiac disease to simply having a busy life that doesn’t provide opportunities for eating balanced meals every day. You may not need a multivitamin if you are eating balanced and nutritious meals every day and just want to improve your health. In this circumstance, overconsuming vitamins could lead to unintended side effects like abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, and nausea. If you have an iron deficiency or osteoporosis, taking iron or calcium supplements individually would be the best option.