Multivitamins--Your Best Nutritional Safety Net

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Filed Under: General Health, Supplementation
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Multivitamins--Your Best Nutritional Safety Net

Here the media goes again. Over the weekend, the New York Times printed yet another negative op-ed piece about vitamins. The writer discusses the "dangers" of taking "megavitamins."

I do agree that ideally, we would get all the nutrients we need through our food. But 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.

Don't let the continued anti-vitamin propaganda dissuade you from doing what's best for your body and health. I recommend taking a multivitamin every day. I do, and will continue to do so indefinitely.

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