Do Vitamins Really Make a Difference?

Vitamins are essential for the body to function properly, but do they really make a difference in our health? Researchers have concluded that multivitamins do not reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, or cognitive impairment. However, if you follow the Dietary Guidelines, you will get enough of most of these vitamins from food. Dietary supplements include vitamins, fish oil, herbs, minerals such as calcium, and more. Taking a multivitamin can be a safe way to increase your nutrients.

Prenatal vitamins are especially important for pregnant women and those trying to conceive. If you think your diet lacks certain vitamins or minerals, your doctor may recommend a blood test to confirm this. The roles of vitamins C and E in the prevention and treatment of cancer are still being studied. While taking a general “broad-spectrum” vitamin and mineral supplement “just in case” poses little health risk and may benefit a person whose diet is restricted and lacks variety, taking vitamin and mineral supplements instead of following a nutritious diet is not recommended.

Most people don't need to take vitamin supplements and can get all the vitamins and minerals they need if they eat a healthy, balanced diet. Research shows that most of the vitamins you get from the foods you eat are better than those contained in pills. During fall and winter, you need to get vitamin D from your diet because the sun isn't strong enough for your body to produce vitamin D. Finally, consumers can search for information on specific vitamins, minerals and botanicals on trusted websites, including those managed by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the National Institutes of Health.

And in people who don't have a deficiency, very high doses of vitamin D can increase the risk of all-cause mortality and cancer. Vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants found in abundance in many fruits (especially berries) and vegetables, and have been touted for their purported ability to protect against cancer. If you are advised to take vitamin supplements, it's a good idea to consult a dietitian who can work with your doctor or other health professionals to provide dietary advice related to your situation. In conclusion, while multivitamins may not reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer or cognitive impairment, they can be beneficial if taken correctly. Eating a healthy balanced diet is still the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. However, if you think your diet lacks certain vitamins or minerals, it may be worth considering taking a multivitamin.

Ben Liebhardt
Ben Liebhardt

Amateur travel fanatic. General web buff. Certified travel junkie. Twitter nerd. Infuriatingly humble web practitioner. Certified beer nerd.

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