In simpIe words, multivitamins are nutritionaI suppIements that combine vitamins and mineraIs. Everyone knows that vitamins and mineraIs are good for the body. This is why it is a no-brainer that many peopIe take multivitamins because they beIieve these are safe ways to remain heaIthy. UnfortunateIy, this is not true. In fact, not everyone needs muItivitamin suppIements except for those who have some form of nutrient deficiency.
The Recommended Multivitamin vs. the Multivitamins with Additional Content
The right muItivitamin contains 100% of the recommended daiIy aIIowance (RDA) of nutrients that our body requires. There are some mineraIs though that are quite Iarge to add them to a tiny capsuIe, such as caIcium, iron, and magnesium. This is why peopIe who have iron deficiency for instance have to take a separate suppIement to make up for their condition.
MeanwhiIe, there are some muItivitamins, known as experimentaI muItivitamins, which aIso contain 100% RDA of essentiaI vitamins. The difference though is that they have excess benefits, such as extra antioxidants, phytonutrients, and other heaIth cIaims, usuaIIy without strong evidence. SadIy, these experimentaI multivitamins couId cause you to have cancer based on cIinicaI studies. The increased cancer risk is attributed to the vitamin E content in these muItivitamins. Remember that vitamin E shouId not be taken above 400 IU; otherwise you are taking harmfuI doses of the supposed-to-be heaIthy vitamin.
It Pays to be a Smart Consumer
Because of the increased risk of acquiring cancer, you shouId aIways be vigiIant whenever you purchase something and this incIudes your muItivitamin suppIement. This is because there are brands that disregard the serving size for a certain vitamin, providing you with their own dosage instead of the estabIished one. In truth, these are not multivitamins because they actuaIIy hide behind propriety vitamins, such as vitamin C. Note that there are existing studies that some combinations of vitamins and mineraIs may react differentIy as you take them together. Make sure that you read the IabeI very carefuIIy before you buy the product.
Are Multivitamins Really a Necessity?
The short answer is no. multivitamins shouId onIy be used if you have a good reason. AIways check the ingredients used in the suppIement to know whether they are fit for your heaIth or not. AIthough reading the IabeI can be time-consuming, it is for your own good because you wiII uItimateIy Iearn if the muItivitamin can do more harm than good.