Multi-vitamins – do we really need them?

Go into any health food shop and it’s hard not to be drawn in by all the miracles they promise on the back of their tubs of vitamins. But do we really need them if we have a healthy diet? We did some research.

Taking too many of some vitamins can cause health risks
Reports from the Mayo Clinic have found that taking 400 international units of vitamin E daily, could lead to increased health risks, including premature death. Also taking more than 100 milligrams of vitamin B6 can cause nerve damage. A report in the New York Times also stated that too much vitamin A may be associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Supplements shouldn’t be used to replace actual food
Some people may feel like they don’t need to worry about what they eat, because they’re getting their vitamins from a little jar on the shelf. Remember, eating a diet with plenty of fruit and veg has been proven to protect against certain cancers. The same can’t be said for supplements.

Do you need them?
Some groups of people are recommended to take vitamins during certain stages in life. For example, pregnant women are encouraged to take folic acid and people over 50 are advised to take B12.

The moral of the story is, be careful what you’re putting into your body. If you think you’re lacking in something, go talk to your GP to find out for sure.