Friday, June 12, 2009

Are Vitamin Pills a Waste of Money?

I don't eat a totally balanced diet and, because I have trouble swallowing large pills, I take Walgreen's brand of inexpensive multi-vitamins that are very small but contain at least the RDA. I can take them for 6 months everyday or not take them at all and I notice no difference. So I wonder, do these kinds of supplements really do any good or am I just wasting my money? Thanks, Lee M.

That's an excellent question, Lee!
Because you admit that you don't eat a balanced diet, taking an inexpensive multi-vitamin to meet the daily value for most vitamins and minerals is absolutely great 'health insurance'. You won't feel amazingly better just because your body functions normally. However, you will feel amazingly awful if you end up with any type of vitamin deficiency!

It's not too common for people who have access to food in this country to experience any severe vitamin deficiency unless they have other underlying problems. But keeping a constant ideal level of vitamins in your body (and minerals, too) will be great insurance in the event you have any kind of illness that keeps you from eating well for a period of time or one that stresses your body to use additional nutrients (even as simple as the flu or a car accident can push you right into a compromised nutritional status).

I say definitely keep taking the multi-vitamin, unless you would rather start eating healthy (see for a great guideline) and getting the nutrients you need through food--an even better idea :)

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