You may think taking a daily multivitamin is a simple recipe for staying healthy. But do you really need it? According to Healthline, multivitamins are not for everyone, and there are conflicting studies about their effectiveness. Today, we share some details about who should (and shouldn’t) take multivitamins. So let’s get started!
What Is a Multivitamin?
A multivitamin is a pill or capsule that contains a combination of minerals and vitamins that the body needs to function. Many people can see a multivitamin as something that fills the gaps where they lack nutrients in their diet. This way, they are getting the right amount of nutrients your body needs.
However, studies show that a multivitamin may not benefit you as much as you think. If you are healthy and follow a balanced diet, your body should automatically get the nutrients it needs to be healthy. But sadly, not everyone follows a healthy diet. Studies have shown that over 90% of Americans get less than the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) or Adequate Intake (AI) for one or more vitamins or minerals in their diets.
Benefits of a Daily Multivitamin
- Energy: You may be better able to perform tasks, partake in activities, and not feel tired.
- Improved Mood: Your brain is responsible for your mood. And if the multivitamin improves how your brain functions, it will have a more positive effect on your mood.
- Reduced Anxiety and Stress: The nervous system needs vitamin B to function properly and produce stress hormones.
- Support Muscle Strength: A multivitamin can help maintain muscle strength by keeping free radicals under control.
- Improved Memory: Some studies show that vitamin B12 can boost your memory.
Who Should Take Multivitamins?
The following reasons may put individuals at a higher risk for nutrient deficiency, meaning they may benefit from taking a multivitamin.
- The Elderly: They may have eating problems like struggling to chew or swallow.
- Certain Medicines: Some medicines might prevent the body from absorbing certain vitamins or minerals.
- Pregnancy: Getting enough vitamins and minerals when pregnant is important for the baby’s health and for the body to produce healthy red blood cells. Folate (folic acid) is particularly important during pregnancy.
- Malabsorption Conditions: This includes any condition that interferes with the digestive system and prevents the body from absorbing nutrients.
- Vegans and Vegetarians: Certain vitamins and minerals come from eating meat. Those who follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle are at higher risk for nutrient deficiency.
- If you have a poor appetite and eat less than you are supposed to.
- If you have a busy schedule and don’t have time to eat a balanced meal every day.
Who Should Not Take Multivitamins
- If you eat a balanced diet but feel tired constantly, consult with your doctor so that they can have a look into your situation.
- If you have an iron or calcium deficiency, in many cases, you can take individual vitamins and don’t need a multivitamin.
- If you eat a balanced diet but think a multivitamin will improve your health even more. In this case, a multivitamin can feel less effective.
As with all medical topics, we advise you to speak with your doctor directly to determine if they believe you will benefit from taking a daily multivitamin. What are your thoughts about multivitamins? Let us know in the comments below!