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Adding Multivitamins To Your Table: Know If You Actually Need Them

Vitamin deficiency can manifest itself in a wide range of symptoms. Usually, the noticeable effects do not appear unless you have been low on vitamins for a very long

While the ideal way to keep up with bodily requirements for vitamins should be by eating a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, if one is not able to maintain a healthy diet, in that case taking supplements might help

Written by Kashish Sharma |Updated : October 27, 2022 10:58 AM IST

Vitamins are micronutrients that are essential for our overall well-being. They help us carry out many essential body functions. Our body needs 13 essential vitamins that we can get from a variety of food. However, many times our bodies might not get all the necessary vitamins and this might lead to deficiencies. Sometimes the deficiency might be due to low vitamin intake in the diet, other times it could be due to certain medical conditions. Multivitamins are designed to fill nutritional gaps and might come under different brands and different formulations. However, including them in your routine is still debatable across the globe.

While the ideal way to keep up with bodily requirements for vitamins should be by eating a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, if one is not able to maintain a healthy diet, in that case taking supplements might help.

How to know if you have a vitamin deficiency

Vitamin deficiency can manifest itself in a wide range of symptoms. Usually, the noticeable effects do not appear unless you have been low on vitamins for a very long. Some of the common symptoms associated with vitamin deficiency are as follows-

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  1. Fatigue
  2. Dry skin and hair
  3. Depression
  4. Irritability
  5. Easy bruising
  6. Catching infections easily
  7. Skin colour changes
  8. Prolonged vitamin deficiency can lead to behavioural changes, insomnia, shortness of breath and rapid heart rate.

Should I take a multivitamin?

As per studies, for those who eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and other nutrients, a multivitamin may have little or no benefit. The following must be some reasons that can make it important to take a multivitamin-

  1. If you are on a restricted diet and your body's nutritional requirements are not being met.
  2. If you are on a self-imposed diet that in some way restricts your body's nutritional requirements.
  3. If you have a health condition that reduces your body's ability to absorb nutrients.
  4. Your nutritional needs have increased temporarily for instance in a pregnancy
  5. Some other factors that are preventing you to have a balanced diet every day.

Always consult your clinician

It is always a good idea to include any multivitamin on the advice of your treating clinician. Mega doses of vitamins is never recommended. It can potentially interfere with the absorption of other nutrients and might turn toxic if consumed over a large period of time.

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