The vitamin industry is a thriving business. Many adults take vitamins in an effort to improve their health, and they often give them to their children as well. But there is much debate as to whether multivitamins or single ingredient vitamins are best.

For many, a multivitamin is the most convenient choice. It seems to take the guesswork out of getting enough of each vitamin and mineral. Others, however, believe that taking single ingredient vitamins gives them more control over what goes into their bodies. So which is best? It depends on your individual needs and diet.

Getting Your Vitamins from Food

Ideally, all of our vitamins and minerals should come from dietary sources. Unfortunately, few of us eat a diet that gives us everything we need each day. In fact, it would take very careful planning to get in the recommended daily allowance of every vitamin each day. Add to that the fact that certain health problems lead to an increased importance of specific vitamins, and you can see why taking supplements makes things much easier.

Some health food companies have recognized this problem and come up with whole food supplements. These are supplements that use foods in their natural state rather than extracting or synthesizing the vitamins in a lab. They have fewer preservatives and fillers, and they are purported to be more effective than vitamins that are produced in a lab. Yet they provide the vitamins we need in a convenient and easy to use form.

When Is a Multivitamin Best?

For those who do not eat a healthy diet, a daily multivitamin may be the best bet. It ensures that we do not completely miss out on any single vitamin. But for those who are health conscious, single ingredient vitamins may be a better option.

It is possible to get too much of a good thing. Your body can only use so much of each vitamin each day. And some vitamins can produce side effects if we take too much of them. Too much Vitamin C, for example, can cause nosebleeds and other undesirable effects. So if you keep close tabs on your diet and know how much of each vitamin you’re getting, single ingredient supplements might be a more sensible way to make up the difference on those you do not get enough of.

When we can’t or don’t get enough of the vitamins we need from food sources, vitamin supplements can help us get the things we need to stay healthy. But it is important to try to keep tabs on the amounts of vitamins we are getting in our diets so that we can make the best supplement choice. Getting the right amount of each vitamin every day will help our bodies work more efficiently.

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