While not everyone needs to take a daily multivitamin supplement, it is generally a wise idea to do so. The reason that it's important to take a daily multivitamin is because it ensures that you are getting the recommended daily allowance of specific vitamins and minerals. Since most people don't eat a healthy, well balanced diet every single day, the daily multivitamin acts as insurance that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Who Needs To Take a Daily Multivitamin?
If you thrive on a fast food diet, you may be getting plenty of calories each day, yet you may be lacking the critical nutrients that a daily multivitamin can supply (if you are not eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables). People who fill up on soda and other drinks or depend on processed foods and quick snacks to get them through the day, should consider adding a daily multivitamin to their regimen.
Other people who should consider taking a multivitamin are:
- people over the age of 50
- women of childbearing age
- teenagers who are not eating properly
- people on restricted diets
- anyone who excessively smokes or drinks
- vegetarians and vegans
- people under extreme stress
- picky eaters and meal skippers
- those that don't follow the new food guide pyramid
Find the Right Brand
There is a proliferation of daily multivitamin brands out there. What you want to look for is a daily multivitamin supplement that has the USP code, indicating that it has been tested for potency and accuracy by an independent agency. You want to be sure that it is a complete supplement, has an expiration date far enough in the future that you will have used all the supplements by that date, and that it doesn't provide more than 150% of the daily value for each vitamin and mineral.
There are many good brands you can buy. One example is Kirkland® Signature brand, which is a generic brand sold by Costco that favorably compares to the Centrum® brand, which is more costly. Whichever brand you buy, be sure to keep the daily multivitamins in a dry place at room temperature.
It is important not to go overboard when you are taking a daily multivitamin. You should stick close to the daily-recommended allowance, and since your vitamin will probably contain all the daily folic acid you need, be sure to not eat lots of foods that are fortified with folic acid. Don't be swayed by ads about super vitamins; a daily dose of a regular multivitamin is all that you need.