What are multivitamins?

When looking for a good multivitamin for your family, consider one that has the following nutrients: vitamin D, Folate, Vitamin B-12Calcium, Iron, Zinc, and Magnesium.
When looking for a good multivitamin for your family, consider one that has the following nutrients: vitamin D, Folate, Vitamin B-12Calcium, Iron, Zinc, and Magnesium.

Vitamins and minerals are vital components of a healthy food plan. Though they have many uses in the body, they are only required in small amounts. When it is not possible to get all the necessary nutrients from your diet, multivitamins can be used as a supplement. These should, however, be used with caution, following a medical practitioner’s advice to avoid overdosing.

Vitamins and minerals play an essential role in the body. They produce enzymes and hormones which boost your immunity and ensure the proper functioning of nerves and body organs. Human beings obtain most of the vitamins and minerals they need from the food they eat. However, it may not always be possible to hit your daily target. In this case, multivitamins are used to help meet the daily target.

Multivitamins are supplementary products. They are made up of different minerals and vitamins as well as additional ingredients. There are many multivitamin products in the market. The composition of these varies depending on the brand producing them. 

They are available in many forms:

  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • Chewable gummies
  • Powders
  • Liquids

Who should take multivitamins?

Multivitamins are packed with many nutrients. You may not require many of them. If you get all your necessary vitamins from your diet, you do not need to take supplementary products. 

Vitamin deficiencies are linked to chronic diseases. If you suffer from a vitamin deficiency and cannot get the required nutrients from your diet, your healthcare provider may recommend multivitamins to supplement your diet.

There are certain people as well as certain conditions that may necessitate the use of multivitamins. These may include:

  • People who eat less than 1600 calories per day
  • Vegans and vegetarians
  • Those who don’t eat two-three servings of fish per week
  • Women experiencing menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause
  • Those who have undergone weight-loss surgery and are unable to digest food properly
  • People who have a medical condition that affects how the body absorbs nutrients
  • Adults over the age of 50

Although multivitamins provide your body with the nutrients you do not receive from your diet, they should not compensate for poor dietary habits. Supplements are unable to provide you with all the health benefits that whole foods give.

SLIDESHOW

Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

How often are multivitamins taken?

If you take multivitamins, ensure you follow the recommended dose from the manufacturer or from your healthcare provider. There are two crucial factors to consider:

Daily value (DV). This refers to the specific daily nutrient requirement which prevents deficiency in healthy people. 

Serving size. This refers to the number of tablets required to meet the stated nutrient requirements.

Your doctor or medical professional may recommend multivitamins based on your unique condition, age, and gender. It is essential to stick to the recommended dosage. Taking too much of a vitamin supplement can result in bad health outcomes.

How to choose a good family multivitamin

When looking for a good multivitamin for your family, consider one that has the following nutrients:

Vitamin D. Useful for the absorption of calcium which promotes bone strength.

Folate. Aids in fetal development. It is also helpful for those wanting to grow out their nails and in combating inflammation.

Vitamin B-12. Helps keep the nerve and blood cells healthy.

Calcium. Strengthens bone and teeth, and is a major contributor to many metabolic functions

Iron. Necessary for women experiencing menstruation or menopause. Iron can be essential for those on restricted diets such as vegetarian or vegan.

Zinc. Supports the immune system and helps the body use carbohydrates, protein, and fat for energy.

Magnesium. Used in the development of strong bones and in energy production.

Vitamins and minerals are only required by the body in small doses. If you experience a nutritional deficiency, you may consider taking supplements for the specific nutrient you lack. 

Vitamins and minerals play an essential role in the body but are only required in small doses. You should aim to get all your nutritional requirements from your diet. If this is not possible, multivitamins may be used to provide your body with those nutrients that it lacks. Although these supplements can be bought from your local pharmacy, it is important to seek medical advice to prevent overdosing, which can result in further complications.

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Medically Reviewed on 10/1/2021
References

Better Health Channel: "Vitamins and minerals."

Consumer Reports: "Choosing the right multivitamin supplement for you"

Flushing Hospital Medical Center: "Can You Overdose on Vitamins?"

JAMA Network: "Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults."

National Health Service: "Do I Need Vitamin Supplements?"

Office of Dietary Supplements: "Multivitamin/mineral supplements."