Are multivitamins good for you?
There are so many supplements on the market, but are multivitamins worth it?
From caking agents to ineffective amounts, there’s a lot of shady stuff going on in the world of multivitamins. So are multivitamins good for you? or are they a waste of money? In this post, we'll dive into the truth about multivitamins and how to choose the best ones.
Are multivitamins necessary?
Vitamins are essential for a huge number of fundamental processes within the body and the brain. With the exception of vitamin D, we can’t manufacture vitamins ourselves, so we need to get them from our diet.
So should you take a multivitamin? Put simply, they aren't necessary IF you can get all the essential vitamins in your diet. But, as we all know, it’s hard to maintain a well-balanced diet, and that’s why it can be helpful to look into supplements.
Is it good to take a multivitamin everyday?
The short answer: it depends. Taking a multivitamin daily can be a great safety net in making sure you cover all your nutritional needs. But while it can be good to take vitamins, most multivitamins fall short—both in quality and quantity of ingredients.
Can taking a multivitamin be harmful?
So if you’re feeling sceptical about those tablets you picked up in the supermarket, here’s what we uncovered about why most multivitamins are bad for you.
1. Hidden nasties (from talc to contaminants)
Too many multivitamins and other supplements contain harmful caking agents such as talcum powder (often listed as magnesium silicate), fillers, colourants, toxic dosages, invisible chemicals, and dangerous contaminants. Whilst talc is "generally recognised as safe" (GRAS) by the FDA in the US, talc contains in its natural form sometimes contains asbestos. When inhaled asbestos has been linked to lung cancer, especially after long term exposure. All this is made worse by inaccurate labelling—so you may not even know if these things are lurking inside.
2. Unusable ingredients
Your body can’t always absorb the nutrients in a multivitamin or supplement combination. Some ingredients inhibit the absorption of others or are in versions unusable by the body. Many need to be taken with fats or certain foods in order for the body to absorb them into the bloodstream. So you may be paying for something that isn’t having any nutritional value.
3. Questionable sources
Did you know that a lot of vitamin D is sourced from sheep wool? Or that most omega 3 comes from processed fish oil or fish livers? Not great if you’re on a plant-based diet, or would rather your nutrients come from sustainable sources.
4. Just not enough
Because omega 3 is in liquid form, it's often missed out of multivitamins—except those using a dual capsule. Blueberry antioxidants or high enough doses of certain vitamins are also absent from most multivitamins. This means you’re either missing out on crucial nutrients for the health of your brain and body, or have to take multiple supplements to top up.
So, is it a good idea to take multivitamins?
Despite all the nasty things above, there ARE great multivitamins out there that can help you get to reach your daily nutritional needs. To sum up: Are vitamins good for you?
As you can see, not all multivitamins are good for you. But it can be good to take vitamins in general, you just need to know which ones.