How do you know that you are getting the right nutrients in the correct amounts to meet your needs? The answer is, you do not and you are not. A generic off the shelf multivitamin is just that, generic.
These vitamins contain a long list of ingredients in varying amounts, often the bare minimum to meet the US Recommended Daily Amount. However, who says that we all need all of these ingredients in the same amounts? If I am a vegan I probably need certain nutrients that my burger eating husband does not. As a woman I also probably need more iron at baseline but I may also fall short on B12 and other things. My carnivore husband may not need iron but could be lacking in vitamins C, D, magnesium and other key nutrients that his diet does not include. My friend who suffers from migraines, may need other nutrients such as certain B vitamins to help with that problem. If I feel my hair is thinning there may be other key nutrients I need.
Clearly we do not all have the same vitamin needs. Each of us needs different nutrients based on who we are. Even where we live can have an influence on our vitamin needs. Getting more year round sun exposure influences our need for Vitamin D. Additionally ethnicity can also play a role in Vitamin D needs— those with darker skin need higher amounts of D. Vitamin D is important for its role in bone health, energy, mood, attention and lately especially important due to it’s role in immune support.
Figuring out what vitamins to take on your own if very difficult. There is a wealth of information out there, but much of it is confusing and conflicting. Knowing which sources to trust is difficult. For this reason, a physician created personalized vitamin regimen is a safe and simple way to get personalized vitamins that are right for your needs. Using medical evidence to determine which vitamins in which doses are appropriate for different individuals is the best way to get the right blend of nutrients for your needs.
If you want to play it safe, should you just take high doses of many vitamins with the hopes that your body will just use what it needs? Absolutely not. There can be great harm from taking the wrong vitamins or too much of certain vitamins. You can become quite ill from vitamins. Vitamins may be natural and good for you, but just like any medication, taking the wrong ones in the wrong doses is not safe. The amount your friend or neighbor takes may not be the right amount for you. Taking a personalized vitamin helps avoid these issues by giving you the useful and safe amounts of nutrients for your needs.
So skip the confusing vitamin aisle, toss your generic multivitamin and choose an all in one personalized vitamin that can meet your needs so that you can feel your best, improve your health and know that you are taking only what your body needs to thrive.
Arielle Levitan M.D.
Co-founder Vous Vitamin LLC
Author of The Vitamin Solution:Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health