This scientific research is for informational use only. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Care/of provides this information as a service. This information should not be read to recommend or endorse any specific products.
Multivitamin is a wide term used to describe a supplement that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other specialty ingredients.
Taking multivitamins can be beneficial to health for people who don’t get the proper nutrients from a balanced diet. Many people find it difficult to eat a balanced and healthy diet, and multivitamins can help fill the nutritional gaps.
For more information about multivitamins, see this set of reference articles.
Many Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. The USDA recommends three to five daily servings of vegetables, and two to four servings of fruit. In fact, the 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans propose half of your plate at any given meal should be fruits and veggies. If you are not eating fruits and vegetables, there is a chance you may be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, which can be corrected by supplementing with vitamins or a multivitamin.
Multivitamin/mineral Supplements - Fact sheet for health professionals
Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, 2015
Addressing nutritional gaps with multivitamin and mineral supplements
Elizabeth Ward, Nutrition Journal, 2014
Multivitamin Use and Mortality in a Large Prospective Study
Watkins ML, Erickson JD, Thun MJ, Mulinare J & Heath Jr. CW. , American Journal of Epidemiology, 1999
Let the Pyramid guide your food choices
Health.gov, Health.gov, 2016
2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition., 2015
Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
Slavin JL & Lloyd B, Advances in Nutrition, 2012
Oral contraceptives, also commonly referred to as birth control pills, are a class of prescription drugs taken to prevent pregnancy. Oral contraceptives may be a combination of the hormone estrogen and a progestin (synthetic progesterone) or a progestin alone. The most commonly used agents are a combination of estrogen and progestin and have efficacy of approximately 99.9%, when used as directed.
While effective in preventing pregnancy, oral contraceptives can have negative consequences such as drug interactions, adverse effects on health status, and nutrient depletion. It has been shown that key nutrient depletions of concern may be vitamin B2, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium and zinc. If you take OCPs, you may want to consider a multivitamin.
Oral Contraceptives. Professional Version
Casey F, Merck Manual, 2019
Oral Contraceptives and Changes in Nutritional Requirements
Palmery M, Saraceno A, Vaiarelli A, Carlomagno G, European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 2013
PDR for Nutritional Supplements
Hendler S, PDR for Nutritional Supplements. 2nd edition, 2008