In an ideal world, we would get all the vitamins and minerals we need through our diets. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and our nutrition usually falls short of where it should be.
It is a common misconception, often touted by opponents of vitamins and supplements, that you can get all the vitamins you need simply by eating properly. Just one example of how this isn't true comes from research by the U.S. government's Human Nutrition Research Center, which stated, "It's virtually impossible to get more than 25 international units (IU) of vitamin E through the diet."
The study looked at the influence of diets and supplements on the plasma levels of vitamin E in a group of 65 men. The average daily dietary intake of these men was 10–15 IU, with all getting less than 20 IU from dietary sources. Those who took a multivitamin generally got an extra 15–60 IU daily, while those who took a vitamin E capsule daily got at least 100 IU over and above their dietary intake.
The point here is that if you wanted to increase your plasma levels of vitamin E and enjoy its protective effects on the heart and circulatory system, you couldn’t do it with food alone.
The best place to begin with nutritional supplementation is with a multivitamin. Think of a multivitamin as your nutritional safety net. It fills the gaps in your diet and allows you to get all the vitamins and minerals you need but may be missing out on.
For maintenance purposes, a multivitamin formula should contain adequate amounts of a balanced array of nutrients so that you don’t need to add on a load of extra pills or tablets. However, the generic one-a-day multis that you find in most stores usually don't provide nearly the support you need. For this reason, I created Daily Basics Plus as a “basic” option for those who prefer one-a-day type multis.
Regardless of the multi you choose, however, the most important thing is that you take it on a daily basis. Doing so is one of the best ways to preserve and maintain your good health.
Now it's your turn: Do you take a multivitamin every day?