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What you need to know about multivitamins

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Published on Dec 17, 2009

A multivitamin is a pill containing several different vitamins and minerals to supplement diet

What you should know:
•Multivitamins can't replace the benefits of a healthy diet
•Side effects can occur if you consume too much of one vitamin
•Talk to your doctor or pharmacist when considering a multivitamin

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Transcript
Hi, I'm Erika Shephard and I'm a CVS pharmacist. A multivitamin is a pill containing several different vitamins and minerals intended to supplement the diet with the necessary nutrients needed to maintain health.
Although taking a multivitamin may be easier than eating enough fruits and vegetables, even the most comprehensive vitamin pill can't provide all the benefits of a healthy diet. But even if you have a healthy diet, there are some nutrients that can't always be satisfied with food alone, such as vitamin D and folic acid. Because of this, it's usually a good idea to take a multivitamin along with your healthy diet so you can be sure that you're getting all of the recommended doses of vitamins.
There are of course potential side effects if you get too much of one vitamin. You should avoid any supplement that contains high levels of trace minerals like manganese and molybdenum. Be aware of high doses of vitamin A and beta-carotene, and be sure not to get too much zinc or more than 1,000 of vitamin C daily.
There are instances when you may need another supplement in addition to your multivitamin, to be sure you're getting enough daily nutrients. Calcium is crucial to keeping your bones healthy, especially in older women, and most multivitamins don't contain more than 130 milligrams. Because of this, you may need to take a calcium supplement.
Make sure you closely examine the multivitamin you're considering, and talk to your doctor or pharmacist about what it may contain. Your CVS pharmacist will always be happy to answer any questions.

Source: CVS Caremark Health Resources

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