Please DO NOT DELETE this page.

Blog //
  • Nutrition
//

Multi-vitamins: The pros and cons

24 November, 2014

If you pride yourself on consuming a healthy, balanced diet, you may be considering or already taking a multi-vitamin. Or perhaps you are worried you aren’t getting enough nutrients in your diet? 

A multi-vitamin is a tablet or liquid containing a variety of vitamins and is intended to supply dietary supplements for those looking for better health. Multi-vitamins can come in a range of forms, ranging from tablets and capsules to powders and liquids.

Many multi-vitamins are formulated or labelled to differentiate consumer sectors, such as prenatal, children, over 50, men’s, women’s or diabetic, but for some nutritional experts multi-vitamins are nothing more than a multibillion-dollar industry that offer little in the way of health benefits.

So what are the pros and cons of multi-vitamins? Should you be taking one or are they simply a waste of money?

Pros

  • Provide both vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in a person’s diet.
  • They improve many bodily functions and can assist with mental health.
  • Decrease your risk of vitamin deficiency.
  • Can help you digest food.
  • Allows fussy eaters, such as children, a regular intake of essential vitamins.

Cons

  • Risk of becoming reliant on multi-vitamins.
  • Risk of vitamin toxicity.
  • Can in some cases cause more harm than good.

One of the biggest problems with multi-vitamins is that people presume they are a good supplement for a healthy, balanced diet. They’re not. A good diet is always the best way to achieve overall good health.

Multi-vitamins are designed for those who struggle eating healthily, a prime example being children who are fussy about eating fruit and vegetables. Children do a lot of running around and that burns up energy and vitamins fast, so without a good diet to support an active lifestyle, a multi-vitamin could be of some benefit.

The other major problem with multi-vitamins is that many people don’t know what it is they are taking. Multi-vitamins should be chosen carefully to ensure you are getting the vitamins that meet your needs. Men don’t require too much iron, and the recommended daily intake is just 8 milligrams per day. Considering most men get a lot of iron through red meat, egg yolks, turkey and chicken, there is very little need for a multi vitamin that contains iron. Without realising, a man consuming a multi-vitamin with iron could end up with an overload in iron, resulting in vitamin toxicity.

Women, on the other hand, need lots of iron to make up for the loss of minerals during monthly menstruation. With a recommended daily intake of 18 milligrams, a multi-vitamin containing iron could be beneficial.

Older people lose the ability to absorb certain vitamins and nutrients, with B12 being one of them. B12 can be a good supplement to take, as can vitamin K which helps prevent hip problems, but certain medications can be affected by these supplements.

The best way to ensure you are taking the right multi-vitamin is to consult with your doctor or, better yet, find your nutrients and vitamins through your food. Diet really is the best and most efficient way to secure good health. 

Suggested Articles



  • PHI rate increase

    From 1 April 2019, Minister approves average premium increase of 3.67% for CBHS

    On 19 December 2018, the Australian Government approved health insurance premium increases for all private health funds.
    • Membership
    19 December 2018
  • PHI Reforms

    Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic product tiers - what are the new product tiers and what is covered?

    The Government’s Private Health Insurance Reforms are going to make it easier – and less daunting – for consumers to compare insurance products across health funds.
    • Membership
    19 December 2018
  • Student Dependent

    Student Dependant - Frequently asked questions

    Renew the status of your Student Dependant by 1st March 2019 to ensure they don't lose their health coverage.
    • Membership
    16 December 2018
  • Festively decorated Christmas cake

    Healthy Christmas cake

    Our recipe is a dried fruit puzzle, taking the best of our favourite dried fruit flavours and garnishes to make the perfect Christmas cake.
    • Nutrition
    10 December 2018