Multivitamins are the most commonly taken supplement. Here’s what they can (and can’t) do for your health

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If you’re trying to cover all your nutrients in one pill, you might think a multivitamin is the obvious answer. About a third of the American population rely on this flexible pill to fill in the nutritional gaps in their diet, but before you join the flock, it’s important to learn about everything multivitamins can and can’t do.

Ahead, nutritionists tell us Chance whether it is these multitasking additions it’s worth their weight in good food – or if you’d be better off spending your money elsewhere.

Benefits of taking multivitamins

Most multivitamins contain vitamin A, DEh, Kcalcium, C, B, magnesiumiron, zinc, selenium, manganese, and chromium, he explains Jamie Lee McIntyre, RD. This means that a multivitamin provides all the benefits associated with those nutrients. For example, vitamin C it can help boost the immune systemvitamin B it can improve brain functionand calcium can help your body to have strong bones.

Their nutritional value makes multivitamins an “insurance policy” for your health and well-being. “Although each person’s needs vary based on age, sex, health, and lifestyle, most multivitamin supplements provide nutrients that play an important role in a variety of bodily functions to prevent deficiencies that can lead to disease,” says McIntyre.

Yes, multivitamins are easy. Instead of taking multiple pills in the morning, you can pop one (usually a large) pill at breakfast and call it a day.

Where multivitamins fall short

Although multivitamins have many uses, they are not a solution to this problem. “Multivitamins are not a substitute for a healthy diet,” says McIntyre. “Research has shown that most nutrients are absorbed well from food. Researchers believe this is due to interactions that occur when nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are consumed, digested, and synthesized from food. “

Our bodies have evolved to absorb nutrients from whole foods. When we he can take from vitamins, too, is not as good as eating, well, eating. “Digestion and absorption begin when we look at food,” says sports nutritionist Leron Sarig, RD, managing nutritionist for nutrition. Exercises. From there, we eat, swallow, and swallow the food we want to eat.

Eating whole foods instead of vitamins also allows you to get some of the benefits provided. For example, instead of getting pure vitamin C, you’re getting all the nutrients that come from eating, for example, avocados. “Especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables fiber that you get from a fruit or vegetable that is not digested and put in a multivitamin,” says Sarig.

While it’s okay to take multivitamins for most people, check out these tips Additives affect our heart and brain health it has been uncertain. In other words, there is no clear evidence that taking these pills is beneficial to your long-term health.

You should also make sure that you are not taking too many vitamins. “It is possible to eat unsafe foods that are found in many vitamins. To avoid this, choose a multivitamin that best suits your needs and pay attention to those related to sex (male or female) and a certain age group or condition (prenatal , 50+, etc.),” ​​says McIntyre. “Be careful not to combine calories that provide the same nutrients, especially if they all provide 100% of the recommended daily intake.”

How to determine if multivitamins are right for your lifestyle

Using multivitamins may be more appropriate for some lifestyles than others. For example, those with dietary restrictions, such as vegetarians or ketogenic dieters, may find that they feel better when they add a multivitamin to their routine.

“If you’re removing food groups, you’re going to have to compensate for not getting them with extra ingredients,” explains Sarig. For example, pets may find that they feel better when they supplement with multivitamins that contain B12—which is very important. occurs mainly in meat and milk.

Everyday and elite athletes can also benefit from a multivitamin. If you are very busy, it is important to take steps to keep your body strong, including eating a healthy diet and (if necessary) taking a multivitamin.

Finally, those who do not have access to a variety of fruits, vegetables, fats, carbs, and proteins may benefit from multivitamins. That said, these add-ons often come with a hefty price tag that may deter many people from adding them to their vehicles.

How to choose a multivitamin at your local drugstore

Say it with us, readers: All multivitamins are no they are created equal. Additional information is not driven by security or efficiency and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so you should be your own advocate on the vitamin trail.

“The first thing to do is look for multivitamins that are third-party tested by a reputable third-party company,” says Sarig. “Prove that the company has taken steps to ensure that consumers are satisfied.” McIntyre recommends looking for labels with USP Verified Mark, NSF International Certification, ConsumerLab.com Certification, Informed-Choice Certification, and GMP Certification. Consumer Lab provides reviews and information about products you’ll see on the brand’s shelves, so use them as a resource.

Last but not least, try to choose a multivitamin mix that fits your lifestyle. “There are different types of women, of pregnant women [folks], for men, for elite athletes, and more,” says Sarig. “For runners, most multivitamins will have more vitamin D, magnesium, and other nutrients that we can have as runners.” When you find a supplement that is approved by a third party and designed for your lifestyle, you have found the right product for you.

When you should skip multivitamins

In general, you should always consult a doctor before adding supplements to your routine. This discussion is especially important if you are pregnant, have a chronic medical condition, or are taking existing medications that may interact dangerously with your multivitamin.

“Overall, although multivitamins can be a great way to support good health, they should be used carefully and in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and diet,” says McIntyre. Keep those tips in mind the next time you walk an extra mile.

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