Have you always thought that taking a daily multivitamin was benefiting your health and preventing illnesses? If so, do not worry, so many people think that they are a holy grail including myself before I started studying nutrition. 44% of men and 53% of women reported that they take a daily multivitamin, however the only groups of people who need to be worried about taking a multivitamin or supplement in general are pregnant women, people with certain illnesses, or people who need to be on a very low calorie/ nutrient restricted diets. Other than that studies show that multivitamins do not make a significant difference in the present or future health of someone who is healthy and can eat normally. All the vitamins and minerals that you get from a multivitamin can be easily consumed with a balanced diet.
Vitamin D supplements however, are safe to use especially if you live somewhere where there are drastic seasons (like Connecticut) and have the winter where not many people stay outside for long periods of time. Then I would suggest taking a Vitamin D supplement during the winter months. It is also good to take a Vitamin D supplement if you are a person who tends to stay away from the sun. Yes the sun’s UV rays can cause damage to our skin if we over do it and do not take precautions such as sun screen but a small amount daily is so beneficial for your Vitamin D levels. Some younger adults reading this may not be worried yet about illnesses such as osteoporosis, where the bones in the body become extremely weak and brittle, but you should. Calcium stores stop at age 30, so if you are reading this and thinking “I am not really sure if I have enough calcium in my diet” you probably do not and should start taking precautions. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium in the body and phosphorus levels in the blood which are both vital roles for bone health.
SUPPLEMENTS TO STAY AWAY FROM:
Stay away from supplements that have claims that sound too good to be true. “Fast and easy weight loss”, any claims to cure an illness or symptom (mood disorders, depressed moods). There is no magic product that will melt fat away while you are watching TV or sleeping. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but any ad that claims you can lose weight without adding in any exercise is a lie.
**DISCLAIMER, I am speaking about people who are relatively healthy with no chronic diseases/illnesses. If your doctor has prescribed you to take a certain supplement, listen to your doctor or have a conversation with your doctor about alternative options. **