In simple words, multivitamins are nutritional supplements that combine vitamins and minerals. Everyone knows that vitamins and minerals are good for the body. This is why it is a no-brainer that many people take multivitamins because they believe these are safe ways to remain healthy. Unfortunately, this is not true. In fact, not everyone needs multivitamin supplements except for those who have some form of nutrient deficiency.
The Recommended Multivitamin vs. the Multivitamins with Additional Content
The right multivitamin contains 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of nutrients that our body requires. There are some minerals though that are quite large to add them to a tiny capsule, such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. This is why people who have iron deficiency for instance have to take a separate supplement to make up for their condition.
Meanwhile, there are some multivitamins, known as experimental multivitamins, which also contain 100% RDA of essential vitamins. The difference though is that they have excess benefits, such as extra antioxidants, phytonutrients, and other health claims, usually without strong evidence. Sadly, these experimental multivitamins could cause you to have cancer based on clinical studies. The increased cancer risk is attributed to the vitamin E content in these multivitamins. Remember that vitamin E should not be taken above 400 IU; otherwise you are taking harmful doses of the supposed-to-be healthy vitamin.
It Pays to be a Smart Consumer
Because of the increased risk of acquiring cancer, you should always be vigilant whenever you purchase something and this includes your multivitamin supplement. This is because there are brands that disregard the serving size for a certain vitamin, providing you with their own dosage instead of the established one. In truth, these are not multivitamins because they actually hide behind propriety vitamins, such as vitamin C. Note that there are existing studies that some combinations of vitamins and minerals may react differently as you take them together. Make sure that you read the label very carefully before you buy the product.
Are Multivitamins Really a Necessity?
The short answer is no. Multivitamins should only be used if you have a good reason. Always check the ingredients used in the supplement to know whether they are fit for your health or not. Although reading the label can be time-consuming, it is for your own good because you will ultimately learn if the multivitamin can do more harm than good.