The “Eat, Drink & Be Healthy” column for the Washington Post recently entered the debate on the value of dietary supplements, especially multivitamins.
The column notes that “the latest version of the USDA’s federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans urges us to get our nutrients primarily from food” and NOT from multivitamins or supplements.
Still, Robert Post of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion says that “dietary supplements, used sensibly, can help fill gaps in our diets.” But the Post recommends using supplements only for a few needs such as iron, folate, and Vitamin B12.
Meanwhile, “the Harvard School of Public Health suggests a daily multivitamin, calling it ‘a great nutrition insurance policy.'”
So, should you go with the USDA and Dr. Post and only take supplements when needed or indicated? Or, should you follow Harvard and take a daily multivitamin as an “insurance policy”?
At this point in time, my vote kinda leans toward the Harvard recommendation. No doubt that we should get most of our nutrients and vitamins from a highly healthy nutrition plan. But, unfortunately, many of us do not. Thus, my recommendation.
Here are some of my other posts on multivitamins (I also have multiple posts on calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins you might want to read):
- Calcium and multivitamins may be linked to reduced breast cancer risk
- Benefits of multivitamins called into question
- Are multivitamins helpful or harmful when it comes to preventing chronic diseases?