Multivitamins and Your Health

Pile of multivitamins on a table

By: Allison Kuhn, MS, RDN, LD, Registered Dietitian

More than 50% of Americans currently take a daily multivitamin to support their general nutrition and health. But is this necessary?

The science surrounding this issue is somewhat contradictory, with a handful of large clinical studies showing no additional benefit of supplementation, while others indicate that specific micronutrient supplementation, such as calcium, vitamin D and moderate amounts of folic acid, may help prevent the development of deficiencies in some people. For many populations, including pregnant women, young children, elderly individuals and those who may fall short in their intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and calcium, a daily multivitamin may help to fill in these gaps in micronutrient intake. What the science also shows is that nutrients and bioactive compounds in foods may work synergistically to impact health, so supplements which are whole-food derived provide the best of both worlds: convenience in form alongside a focus on foods first!