4 Signs You Might Need a Multivitamin

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Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to support overall health. A balanced diet based on whole foods will provide vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients to support your health. Still, Americans are missing out on several nutrients, including calcium, potassium, fiber and vitamin D, all of which are considered nutrients of concern in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. According to the CDC, this may explain why a daily multivitamin supplement (MVM) is the most common dietary supplement used by all age groups in the United States to fill nutritional gaps.

“Multivitamins are useful for people who have difficulty eating a balanced diet, have higher nutritional needs than they can eat, or have difficulty absorbing nutrients,”

But how do you know when to take a multivitamin? Is it safe to take every day? What Are the Signs of a Nutrient Deficiency? Here, we dig into the science behind multivitamins and MVMs, along with five sneaky signs you might need to take them.

What Are Multivitamins, and Are They Good for You?

Multivitamins and MVMs are dietary supplements that help people meet their body’s needs for vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients that are essential for good health. “Multivitamins should be taken on a regular basis to correct any nutrient deficiencies or to help ensure you’re getting all the micronutrients your body needs, and typically, they’re taken orally in the form of gummies, capsules, tablets, chewable, or powders.” Essentially In other words, taking a multivitamin is a nutritional insurance policy.

However, the dietary supplement industry is largely unregulated in the United States because there is no legal requirement for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the safety of dietary supplements prior to consumption. This means there is no standard for what goes in your multivitamin. Fortunately, many brands seek voluntary approval through third-party agencies such as USP and NSF International. “With these and other third-party agency seals, you know a supplement contains what it claims,” ​​says Dr.

4 Signs You Might Need a Multivitamin

Nutrient deficiencies can be difficult to detect. But these are some under-the-radar clues that you might need a multivitamin:

Your Nail Health May Be Poor

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains that iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body for energy. Iron deficiency can lead to a variety of health problems, including an abnormality of the nails called nail dystrophy. Symptoms of onychomycosis are thin, brittle spoon-shaped nails. If you have spoon nails (the raised edges that scoop out like a spoon), you’re one of the 25 percent of anemic people worldwide, half of which are caused by iron deficiency.

You may have impaired night vision

Night blindness and cloudy vision are potential signs of vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A plays a vital role in your vision, allowing you to see the full spectrum, reports the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Without enough vitamin A, your eyes cannot produce the pigment needed for normal retinal function, leading to night blindness and impaired vision. Additionally, vitamin A is essential for helping your eyes produce enough moisture to keep them lubricated and healthy. Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the United States; however, according to the National Institutes of Health, children and adults with gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel disease, and those with cystic fibrosis or pancreatic insufficiency Children and adults may be at risk of insufficiency.

the corners of your mouth may crack

Angular cheilitis, a condition characterized by painful cracks at the corners of the mouth, is associated with several nutritional deficiencies. These deficiencies include iron, zinc, and B vitamins such as folate, riboflavin, and B12. Fortunately, proper oral or topical antibiotic treatment improves angular cheilitis within a few days and completes healing within two weeks. Of course, you’ll also need to correct any nutritional deficiencies at the root of the problem.

you may bruise easily

Have you ever noticed that you bruise easily and take a long time to heal? If so, you may be deficient in vitamins C and K, and vitamin C deficiency can lead to weak blood vessels due to insufficient collagen production, leading to easy bruising. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and clotting after injury. Insufficient vitamin K levels can lead to easy bruising.

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Is it okay to take a daily multivitamin?

While it’s generally safe to take a daily multivitamin to ensure nutritional adequacy, most people who eat a healthy, balanced diet don’t need them. Before starting any new supplements, “always consult with your physician, especially if you have a nutrient deficiency or any medical condition that may affect your absorption and storage of nutrients,” he said.

Should healthy people take multivitamins?

If you are in good health and eating a balanced diet , don’t stress about taking a multivitamin. “Some people like to use a multivitamin to help fill nutritional gaps in their diet. If you don’t have any nutritional deficiencies, then it’s a personal choice whether you take a multivitamin,” Lubeck says.

Are multivitamins better than individual vitamin supplements?

Depending on your needs, you may need to take individual supplements rather than a multivitamin. Individual supplements usually provide more of a specific nutrient than a multivitamin. For example, you can opt for a vitamin D supplement during the less sunny winter months. Another example is whether you’re vegetarian or vegan, you need vitamin B12 supplementation, a nutrient most commonly found in animal products.

How do you know if your multivitamin is working?

The best way to know if your multivitamin is working is to have a blood test to check your levels of various vitamins and minerals. “You should be able to tell if your multivitamin is working based on whether any physical signs of a nutrient deficiency have resolved,” Lubeck says. “If you continue to show signs of deficiency after using a multivitamin for a while, it probably isn’t working,” she says.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of nutrient deficiencies is critical to knowing when to take a multivitamin. While these dietary supplements are generally safe and can help ensure adequate nutrition, they are not necessary for everyone. There is little benefit to taking a daily multivitamin if you eat a healthy, balanced diet centered on whole foods. If you have digestive problems, food allergies, loss of appetite, or are pregnant, discuss taking dietary supplements with your doctor or registered dietitian.

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