If you're looking to improve your health and protect yourself from potential deficiencies, taking a daily multivitamin may be a good option. While research has not found any significant benefits of multivitamins in reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, cognitive impairment, or premature death, there are still some potential benefits to taking a daily multivitamin. Most people don't need to take vitamin supplements and can get all the vitamins and minerals they need if they follow a healthy, balanced diet. However, if you're worried about consuming too much of something good, data shows that frequent multivitamin use virtually eliminates many micronutrient deficiencies and rarely causes excessive intakes.
A study found that taking antioxidant vitamins and minerals can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and help prevent it. Over an average of 11 years, the study also found that the use of multivitamins reduced the risk of cancer by 8% and cataracts by 9%. Multivitamins don't contain the full daily value of all the micronutrients, such as calcium, magnesium and choline, because you'd end up with a pill that's too big to swallow. Some people, including older adults, vegetarians and vegans, may need higher amounts of certain vitamins or minerals.
It's important to note that vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements appear to be harmful, especially at high doses. Smokers should avoid multivitamins with large amounts of beta-carotene or vitamin A, as these nutrients may increase the risk of lung cancer. Be sure to read the label and follow the recommended dosing instructions when taking a multivitamin supplement. Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that the body needs in small amounts to function properly.
Taking a daily multivitamin is a cost-effective way to protect against hidden micronutrient deficiencies that can weaken immunity, health and vitality in the long term. If you take a multivitamin supplement, it's probably because you want to do everything you can to protect your health.