If you're looking to protect your health, you may be considering taking a multivitamin. But is it really worth it? Researchers have concluded that multivitamins do not reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, cognitive impairment, or premature death. In fact, some studies have found that vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements can be harmful at high doses. 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.
However, for those with medical conditions or taking prescription medications, consulting your doctor for personalized advice is important as illnesses and medications can alter the use of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D, known as the sun vitamin, has been recognized for its role in bone health but may also have other health benefits. So is a multivitamin worth considering as part of a healthy lifestyle? Start by asking yourself why you would consider taking a multivitamin. Your doctor will help you determine your nutritional needs and guide you in the direction of the right vitamin.
Most studies have found no significant benefit from taking a daily multivitamin to protect the brain or heart or prevent cancer. However, there are potential benefits and there are no risks of a standard daily multivitamin. Ultimately, taking a multivitamin is a personal choice that you should make in collaboration with your doctor based on your unique health and nutritional needs. If you decide to take a multivitamin, it's important to remember what it can do and what it can't.
A multivitamin won't help you live to 120 but it can help you live better if your diet is less than stellar. If you're struggling with memory loss or slow thinking, a multivitamin could be beneficial. The first step is to have a blood test to determine your vitamin D level, and then your doctor will recommend the right dose based on your age and general health. Multivitamins are available in pharmacies, large discount stores and supermarkets, as well as online. Lauren McAlister, nutritional therapy practitioner and wellness specialist for Mindbody, believes in a “food first” philosophy but is realistic about everyone's daily routines.