In the past few years, the basic multivitamin has gotten a bad rap. Experts claiming that the multivitamins were a waste of money. Studies said the vitamins wouldn’t help prevent chronic diseases later in life, and that there were few vitamins worth taking. But these studies also assumed that everyone was eating an optimal diet that provided everything they needed. For those who wanted or needed supplementation, then, what would the options be? And if you just wanted to ensure you were getting enough of all the vital vitamins and minerals, what could you do?
Real Vitamin Intakes
A balanced diet should provide all of the nutrients people need in sufficient amounts. The problem with that is that not everyone — in fact, a lot of people — don’t have an optimal diet. This can be due to food insecurity, a massive dislike of certain foods, a lack of knowledge of how to put a daily diet together and more.
For those people who aren’t getting enough through food, one option is targeted or personalized supplementation. This can take the form of picking and choosing your supplements, such as taking separate vitamin D, calcium and iron supplements daily, or getting a compounded version that contains what you need.
Targeted or personalized supplementation does have advantages. You don’t end up taking nutrients that you’re already getting enough of, you have more choices for individual doses and you avoid taking gigantic pills if you have trouble swallowing those.
However, there can also be some disadvantages. If you do the pick-and-choose method, you could end up taking a lot of pills daily if you’re not getting enough of several vitamins and minerals. You may also end up overlooking necessary nutrients.
If you want to take only those supplements that you know you need, a personalized plan is best. If you just want to fill in gaps, though, and are not concerned that you’re getting too much of certain nutrients, a multivitamin would be just fine. Speak with your doctor and a registered dietitian to work out the best plan for you.