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September is Disease Prevention Month
Your body needs about 40 different vitamins and minerals each day for optimal health. It can be difficult to get all of this from food alone. We are often in a hurry and do not consume enough fruits, veggies, whole grains, or low-fat dairy to meet the minimum daily requirements for vitamins and minerals. A daily multivitamin can often help with any nutritional deficiencies that may occur.
A multivitamin is the safest and simplest way to help get the right amounts of vitamins and minerals your body needs. Taking individual vitamins or supplements can easily lead to overdose, because nutrients can be toxic if too much is consumed.
Unless your provider prescribes specific vitamins, a multivitamin each day is the best way to get the extra nutrients you need.
There is a wide variety of multivitamins available and choosing the right one may be challenging. Talking with your provider and reviewing the percent of Daily Values (DV) for each nutrient is a good place to start. Avoid ingesting nutrients above the recommended daily limit. Your provider can also assist you in choosing the multivitamin that is right for you. Below are some tips that might help you choose.
Choose a vitamin that:
- Has no more than 3,000-3,500 International Units (IUs) of retinol or vitamin A
- Has the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) symbol of quality on it
Be cautious of:
- Additives, such as herbs, which make vitamins more expensive and are usually unnecessary
- Vitamins that provide more than 100% of the DV for any one nutrient
Taking a daily multivitamin is not intended to correct a bad diet. It should be used as a supplement to make up for minor deficiencies that could eventually lead to chronic diseases if left untreated.
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