There is a long-standing belief that all people must take a multivitamin. But is it really necessary? According to the American Dietetic Association it is not necessary to take a daily multivitamin if you are eating a balanced diet. To see what a balanced diet would be for you, visit MyPyramid.gov to get a personalized plan.
The federal government has developed Recommended Daily Allowance (RDAs) that tell us how much we need of each nutrient. A standard multivitamin contains 100% of all of these nutrients. Most vitamins are water soluble, which means that our bodies don’t store up extra – they absorb what they need and then the rest is excreted in the urine. Some vitamins (A, E, D) are fat-soluble. This means that your body requires fat to absorb them and they can be stored in your body for use later on. It is important that excess isn’t consumed because it could result in toxicity.
A basic multivitamin shouldn’t do you any harm (unless your physician says otherwise because of a specific medical condition). Basic multivitamins should not contain mega doses of any vitamins, so you should not have to worry about toxicity. Some people with sensitive GI tracts may find multivitamins to upset their stomach, so be sure to take it with food.
So, do you need a multivitamin? Well, if you eat a balanced diet, then no. If you’re diet is “hit-or-miss” you may want to consider adding a basic multivitamin daily.