Are Multivitamins Good For You? A Nutritionist Weighs In

By Dr Olivia Naturals Support • June 29, 2020

If you’re taking a multivitamin or considering adding one to your daily routine, it’s time we get clear on the truth about their effectiveness and use.

In this blog post, I answer the question, “Are multivitamins good for you?” 

And, I’ll share: 

  • Three common myths about multivitamins
  • The best ways to ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs 
  • And, pointers on what to look for in a quality multivitamin

You probably already know there’s no shortage of controversy around this topic.

In fact, some say, “You don’t need a multivitamin” … while others say, “It’s a must!”

So which is true? Let’s dive in! 

MYTH 1: Multivitamins Are The Most Important Supplement

Just because they’re the most popular, doesn’t mean they’re the most important supplement you should be taking! 

Every person's nutritional and supplement needs are different. 

Medication, lifestyle, diet, and health goals all need to be considered. 

So if you’re just blindly reaching for a multivitamin, it might be time to pause. 

A good rule of thumb to follow when building your supplement routine is to start with the vitamins that are harder for you to get — rather than assuming you need everything in one pill.

For example, if you live in a place with limited sunshine or are one of the 42% of U.S. deficient in Vitamin D, you may want to consider upping your Vitamin D through supplements. According to an article from Harvard Health Publishing, “Vitamin D deficiencies are shockingly common in the United States.” 

Or if you have limited access to fresh fish or dietary restrictions that don’t allow you to get a lot of healthy fats easily, your first step might be to take an Omega-3 and 6 vitamin. 

And magnesium is one of the hardest nutrients to get in your diet. I recommend it as one of the foundational supplements to use. 

So to recap, don’t just pop a multivitamin and think it’s going to do everything for you. 

Instead, consider focusing on the nutrients your body needs and what’s hard to get through diet.

MYTH 2: Multivitamins Are A Cure-All  

We have more vitamin deficiencies now than ever in America.  

And our food sources now are less vitamin- and mineral-rich than the foods from 20-30 years ago. 

So supplementation is more important now than ever! 

But relying on supplements alone to be a “cure-all” is a myth so many companies try to sell you on. 

I believe taking supplements is multi-faceted and many factors need to be considered. 

When I see people with grocery bags filled with supplements, I can’t help but think, “If you think that your health is dependent on these two bags of vitamins, then you are not getting to the root cause of your issues.” 

Because your health starts with your diet and nutrition. And then you can fill the holes in your nutrition with supplements.

So when it’s time to choose a multivitamin, how do you know which one to get? 

MYTH 3: All Multivitamins Are Created Equally

Just because multivitamins are available virtually everywhere, doesn’t mean they are all created equally. 

In fact, a lot of supplements you find in your grocery stores will be filled with artificial ingredients and colors, fillers, sweeteners, and synthetics. 

Remember, not all vitamins are made from natural ingredients. Some are made in a lab.

And if your body sees something as foreign, it’s harder to absorb.

The big thing you want to watch out for is that not all vitamins come from bioavailable sources. This means your body struggles to absorb them. 

Remember, you want natural ingredients, not synthetics. 

If it contains things like modified food starch, maltodextrin, gelatin, polyethylene glycol … those are synthetics you should avoid. 

Another example is B9 — if the ingredient listed is folic acid, that’s synthetic. Methylfolate is the bioavailable form (and the one you should take). 

Go to B12, if it says cyanocobalamin, that’s a really easy way to spot that it’s synthetic. Rather, try to find a supplement that has methylcobalamin. 

And try to avoid vitamins that use sucralose, aspartame, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, which are sweeteners you do not need.

And finally, avoid ones with artificial coloring, which is really easy to spot because it’s right on the label! Things like Yellow 10, Red 40, etc. 

When looking for a multivitamin, make sure it’s one you can trust. 

Here’s the one I recommend.