Those who eat healthy, balanced diets have no need for multivitamins save for when prescribed by a physician. However, there are certain periods in life when multivitamins are a necessity. Childhood, pregnancy and seniority are prime examples of periods in life where multivitamins are needed. As a kid, I liked nothing but hotdogs. As you can see, this limited diet would have killed me if my parents were less stubborn than I was. In pregnancy, the body needs multivitamins to adapt to its constantly changing condition. In the elderly, bodily systems start to fail. More and more nutrients are required to keep systems up and running. In reverse, some nutrients will be harmful to the aged.

Multivitamins are essential for people who cannot get enough of the required nutrients through their regular dietary intake. Times of illness and incapacitation usually require extra supplementation also, because the body is healing and the nutritional requirements are greater. The elderly have greater dietary needs as well, and they are usually not able to fulfill them through diet alone, requiring multivitamins, in addition to calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin D. Multivitamins are essential to anyone who has a chronic disease, a genetic condition, or who find themselves in some type of medical crisis. A physician or other qualified health care professional should supervise the use of multivitamins, in these types of situations. Furthermore, prescribed doses should be followed at all times. Some vitamins can have interactions with prescription medications, such as Coumadin or Warfarin and vitamin K. It is important to let your health care provider know of all medications and supplements you are using and how much you take.

Multivitamins are readily available and reasonably priced; most are available without a prescription, and are available in various forms as well, such as capsules, powders, liquids, and tablets, some of which are chewable, like vitamin C. Always read the labels, and take only as recommended; most multivitamins should be taken with food, or they could cause stomach upset. If you notice any type of reaction, stop taking the multivitamins immediately and notify your health care provider. It may be that you just can’t take that specific brand of multivitamins, so don’t rule out taking any type of vitamin. Multivitamins without extra additives and ingredients are usually best because they are better digested and are more easily absorbed by the body.

A physician, nutritionist or dietitian will know what your body lacks and what it has too much of. Consult with them to learn more about your health and how to keep it.

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