Medically reviewed on September 9, 2022 by Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Perhaps you saw a TV commercial for a multivitamin manufacturer, or a neighbor recently recommended their favorite supplement brand. Maybe you’ve just started a more restrictive eating plan and are worried about your overall vitamin and mineral intake.
If you have limited experience with nutrition and vitamin supplements, you may be wondering—are multivitamins good for you? Do multivitamins help build the immune system? Can they actually make a noticeable difference in your health?
Whether you’re a bona fide wellness guru or you’ve recently embarked on a journey to better self-care, this guide can help you decide whether a multivitamin is right for you. We'll discuss a few benefits of adding a multivitamin to your regimen. And we'll break down potential risks and review what you should do before taking a multivitamin.
Your body needs these thirteen essential vitamins:
While your body can produce vitamins D and K (unless you have a preexisting health condition), most people get the other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need by maintaining a healthy, varied diet .
But even if you generally eat well, you could benefit from adding a multivitamin in the following ways:
There are two main risks to consider when taking a multivitamin:
Before you start a multivitamin, read the label carefully, and consider consulting with your healthcare provider about your change in routine. If you’re allergic to any ingredients listed, choose a different manufacturer or talk to a healthcare provider about your options. If you have an unexpected allergic reaction like hives, itching, rash, or watery eyes, seek medical attention right away .
Take care to stay within the recommended vitamin and supplement doses published by trusted sources like the US Food and Drug Administration . Some vitamins could pose a risk of toxicity, and the most important ones to consider (and their symptoms) include :
The best way to avoid the risks of taking multivitamins in excess and reap all of the potential wellness benefits is to adequately prepare before you add new substances to your daily regimen:
As of 2022, there’s only one large-scale, long-term study of the impacts of multivitamin supplementation—the Physicians’ Health Study II. In this study, a large group of male physicians took either a multivitamin or a placebo pill every day for more than a decade .
The results are mixed, showing modest reductions in:
But so far, the study doesn’t show any protection against:
That said, vitamins are safe—and they can still help you meet your wellness goals under certain circumstances. Discussing your needs with a healthcare provider is the best way to determine if a daily multivitamin is worth it for you.
Taking multivitamins can benefit people who choose restrictive eating plans that cause nutritional deficiency, make certain lifestyle choices, or experience vitamin deficiencies.*
But like any essential vitamin supplement, multivitamins can carry risks, and are not suitable for everyone. Depending on your circumstances, it’s also important to understand what vitamins should not be taken together. The best way to determine if a multivitamin is right for you is to discuss it with a health professional.
But here at Everlywell, we’re so much more than a supplement brand—we offer professional medical advice, information about common wellness topics, and a wide array of at-home testing products to help you take control of your self-care.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.