For certain people, particularly the elderly, supplementing the diet with additional vitamins and minerals can have health impacts; however, the majority will not benefit People with dietary imbalances may include those on restrictive diets and those who cannot or will not eat a nutritious diet. Pregnant women and elderly adults have different nutritional needs than other adults, and a multivitamin may be indicated by a physician.
Generally, medical advice is to avoid multivitamins during pregnancy, particularly those containing vitamin A, unless they are recommended by a health care professional. However, the NHS recommends 10μg of Vitamin D per day throughout the pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding, as well as 400μg of folic acid during the first trimester (first 12 weeks of pregnancy). Some women may need to take iron, vitamin C, or calcium supplements during pregnancy, but only on the advice of a doctor.
In the 1999–2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 52% of adults in the United States reported taking at least one dietary supplement in the last month and 35% reported regular use of multivitamin-multimineral supplements. Women versus men, older adults versus younger adults, non-Hispanic whites versus non-Hispanic blacks, and those with higher education levels versus lower education levels (among other categories) were more likely to take multivitamins. Individuals who use dietary supplements (including multivitamins) generally report higher dietary nutrient intakes and healthier diets. Additionally, adults with a history of prostate and breast cancers were more likely to use dietary and multivitamin supplements.
A dietary supplement is a manufactured product intended to supplement the diet when taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid. A supplement can provide nutrients either extracted from food sources or synthetic, individually or in combination, in order to increase the quantity of their consumption. The class of nutrient compounds includes vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids and amino acids. Dietary supplements can also contain substances that have not been confirmed as being essential to life, but are marketed as having a beneficial biological effect, such as plant pigments or polyphenols. Animals can also be a source of supplement ingredients, as for example collagen from chickens or fish. These are also sold individually and in combination, and may be combined with nutrient ingredients. In the United States and Canada, dietary supplements are considered a subset of foods, and are regulated accordingly. The European Commission has also established harmonized rules to help insure that food supplements are safe and properly labeled.
Wikipedia contributors. (2020, January 28). Dietary supplement. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:14, February 14, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dietary_supplement&oldid=937976104