Taking a general “broad-spectrum” vitamin and mineral supplement can be beneficial for those whose diet does not provide enough nutrients.
Multivitaminscan fill nutritional gaps and provide a sample of the wide range of nutrients and healthy chemicals found naturally in foods. However, it is important to remember that a multivitamin complex cannot replace a healthy and balanced diet. It cannot offer fiber or the taste and enjoyment of foods that are so key to an optimal diet.
When nutritional needs are not met by diet alone, multivitamins can play an important role. Look for one that contains the recommended daily amounts and that has the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) seal of approval on the label. It is also important to remember that changes in people's lifestyles, such as the increase in the use of statins and the increased consumption of fish in the last 10 to 20 years, could eclipse the potential benefits of fish oil. Unless your healthcare provider has recommended a high-dose vitamin B supplement, it's safest to look for supplements that don't provide amounts equal to or above the upper limits. The recommended dietary allowances (RDA) of vitamins reflect the amount of each vitamin that most people should consume each day.
Multivitamins come in several forms (tablets, capsules, liquids, powders) and are packaged as a specific combination of nutrients (B complex, calcium with vitamin D) or as a complete multivitamin complex. If your child has a vitamin or mineral deficiency, your healthcare provider may recommend dietary changes or specific dietary supplements. And if you need to take a supplement, it's best to take multivitamins at the recommended dietary level, rather than single-nutrient supplements or high-dose multivitamins. Most research suggests that consuming the recommended intakes of vitamins and minerals from foods and dietary supplements, as needed, promotes health. Dietary supplements are another way to get the vitamins you need if the foods you eat don't provide enough vitamins. Most dietary supplements contain less than 100 milligrams (mg) of potassium, which is only 3 to 4% of the recommended daily amount for adults.
Whatever your choice, supplements shouldn't replace prescription drugs or the variety of foods important to a healthy diet. If you're feeling exhausted, it's more likely due to stress, depression, lack of sleep, or other factors, rather than a vitamin deficiency. One way to do this is to follow an eating plan called DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which emphasizes potassium in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, a multivitamin complex or a placebo were administered to more than 14,000 male doctors, some with a history of cancer. Research shows that most of the vitamins you get from the foods you eat are better than those in pills. Overall, taking vitamins and supplements can be beneficial when nutritional needs are not met by diet alone. It is important to remember that multivitamins cannot replace a healthy and balanced diet and should not be used as an excuse for unhealthy eating habits.
It is also important to look for supplements that contain the recommended daily amounts and have the USP seal of approval on the label. In conclusion, taking vitamins and supplements can be beneficial when nutritional needs are not met by diet alone. However, it is important to remember that multivitamins should not replace a healthy and balanced diet and should only be taken at recommended levels with USP approval on the label.